Last week we worked with a group visiting Grand Rapids from Paris, the first time this group has had a board meeting outside of France. As the local DMC we were hired to help coordinate the VIP airport transfers, around town transportation and shuttles to and from hotels and meetings. In addition we were asked to put together dinner experiences tailored to this group's interests. How might a small Midwestern town like Grand Rapids make a personal connection to our well healed group from Paris!? We are always up for a challenge and especially love putting together customized experiences for those vising Grand Rapids. For the first evening we thought it would be fun to draw a connection between our "Beer City" title and our fine wine drinking guests! We knew we couldn't convert them to beer drinkers but we sure had fun trying. Our staff arranged a private dinner at a brewery complete with a story of "Old Grand Rapids". Come to find out the first Europeans to West Michigan were French Fur Traders - who came to trade with the Indians. We shared several tastings of beer, told some stories, had a few laughs, toured the brewery and enjoyed a great casual dinner of typical "American" pub food and don't forget the dessert! Their second and final evening here needed to be extra special - our client didn't just want his guests to "eat and drink"; he wanted them to have an engaging memorable experience with their co-workers. Hiding outside in a snowy Sculpture Park just 10 minutes from Grand Rapids is one of the most iconic modern art sculptures of all time - Auguste Rodin's Eve. Knowing that Rodin was French we thought the group might enjoy seeing Eve and the other world class sculptures that are on display at the Frederik Meijer Gardens. We arranged a trolley ride through the sculpture park, complete with a hot beverage, Michigan Mittens and a wonderful tour guide. There was a stop at Eve for a group photo and a few snowballs were tossed! After dinner our guests were led to a candle lit "Winter Wonderland" themed dinner to hear a few stories from the Curator at Frederik Meijer Sculpture Park Joe Becherer. Hearing the back-story on some of the major installations and creation of the gardens was the icing on the cake for this magical evening!
In sharing our stories of building customized experiences for our guests we hope we inspire you to bring your groups to Grand Rapids. We truly believe there is something for everyone in our wonderful home city and we are happy to help you find your way! Please contact us for our "Beer City" or "Winter Wonderland" packages (or choose from several others) - we've done all the work so you can enjoy your stay!