The past and present intermingle in Michigan’s largest city. Detroit is synonymous with both Motown and vehicle manufacturing. It’s the US’s first and only UNESCO ‘City of Design’, and its ornate buildings are a reminder of its former prosperity.
Stan Smith, senior director of marketing for Visit Detroit. He began his career in digital marketing, spending 20-plus years with advertising agencies. During this time, he discovered a love of destination marketing and worked on projects for organizations such as Pure Michigan. It was then he realized there was a story to be told about Detroit‘s innovation and inspiration.
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Convention Center Renovations
Detroit’s Huntington Place convention center recently held the EV Exchange, a conference on electric vehicles, an industry that is thriving in Detroit. The convention center itself is being renovated, adding a 30,000 square-foot ballroom, a connecting hotel with 600-800 rooms, and providing direct access from the convention center to the award-winning Detroit Riverwalk.
Thriving Music Scene
The home of Motown is the ideal host for meetings and events that want to have music at their core. For a recent trade show, Visit Detroit helped create three distinct music experiences, jazz, contemporary, and Motown, spread across three locations. This took attendees to different parts of the city as they experienced various elements of Detroit’s music heritage.
Not-for-profits and civic government organizations are leading Detroit’s urban renewal story, which is often considered the gold standard. As they built and renewed the city, it has stayed true to and is serving the residents and community, who are at the core of these projects. Visit Detroit believes in shining a light on this work and is excited about the community’s involvement in these developments and this story.
UNESCO City of Design
Detroit is the only UNESCO City of Design in the U.S., receiving the honor in December 2015. To celebrate this designation, they hold an annual month of design each September. This is an opportunity to promote local designers and curators and celebrate their work with exhibits and other experiences. The month of design raises awareness and recognizes the design pedigree within the city. Whether that be from architecture to industrial design, the city has a broad spectrum of design leaders residing within it.
Detroit understands the need to create unique experiences that stick with attendees long after the event has passed. At the same time, it enables planners to create something different that will ensure attendees return year after year. The city provides groups with a creative spark, that allows their meeting or event to stand apart from the rest.
Skift Meetings produced this podcast in partnership with Visit Detroit.
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