Venue Review – Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines, IA

Recently I attended the American Society of Landscape Architects Iowa Chapter Awards Gala and Fall Conference hosted at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center at Veterans Memorial. So here is how it all came together…….

Versatile and vibrant is what you will find at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. As the newest edition to the Iowa Events Center complex, they have 21 meeting rooms and boast home to Iowa’s largest ballroom of 28,800 square feet. The ample space and flexible options make them an ideal location for conventions, tradeshows, special events and weddings. The décor is contemporary and colorful, yet also comfortable.

Versatility and vibrancy aside, by far the most interesting feature of this space is the montage of memories on display through artwork and photographs of Iowa athletes, veterans and historical events. Any Iowan would be mesmerized taking a walk through this space.

Located in the heart of Des Moines, IA the facility is easily accessible, provides plenty of parking and is nearby to several hotel options.

This was a two day event beginning with an evening Gala and Awards Banquet followed by a full day of continuing education and trade show on the second day. Attending were a group of landscape architects, their guests and supporters.

From the menu for the Gala and Awards Banquet guests had a selection of Beef Sirloin or Airline Chicken with sides of salad, potatoes, vegetables, dinner rolls and dessert. Breakfast the next day included an assortment of Danishes, scones, turnovers, croissants and fresh fruit. Lunch was a custom menu.

I plan and attend a lot of events and by far my top FAV at this event was the staff. The whole team at the Iowa Events Center is outstanding and it is easy to tell that they host small and large events regularly. In particular I appreciated the support of Matt and Robin. Both of them were pleasantly professional. A+. They were attentive, efficient, prompt. Their manner of tending to the details meant I was free to take photographs and assist in putting a spotlight on the ASLA Iowa Chapter Awards winners who were being honored at the event. Matt and Robin closed out the Gala late at night then were there bright and early the next day prepping for the conference.

The space. One might easily make the mistake of thinking that with such a large amount of space the Iowa Events Center is a place for very large events. Erase that thinking. Here again the staff is key. In spite of the vast space available, the events staff provided an intimate, elegant gathering space for the Gala and a comfortable functional space on the day of the conference.

The food. Everyone enjoyed the food. The dinner rolls served during the Gala were very good. Amazing what a light brush of honey butter to the top of a roll will do for taking a “dinner roll” to “Dinner Roll.” As with the space, again with the food, the staff was key. Some venues have “a way of running” which means they stick to the checklist or program. While one might expect that type of experience with this large facility – well, erase that thinking too. Their willingness to veer from the standard menu to create a customized menu for the day of the conference was unexpected but very much appreciated.

For the person who may be planning a one-time special event such as a wedding or other one time business function you will likely most appreciate working with this experienced professional staff. And yet for anyone who plans several events a year – you too will appreciate this staff.  New, clean, modern accommodations showcasing historical artwork and photos make for a very unique space. Excellent service. Good food.  An excellent place, not just for large events, but for small events too.

The Iowa Events Center website features not just the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center but also features information about Wells Fargo Arena and Hy-Vee Hall. The site outlines accommodations, amenities, meeting/event space and catering options. The website also provides maps, directions, hotel link, area attractions links and a list of upcoming events.

Iowa Events Center
730 Third Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: 515-564-8000
Fax: 515-564-8001

Click here to learn more about the Awards Winners and the outstanding projects recognized by the ASLA Iowa Chapter during this event.

Click here to see our other Reviews including Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN and Hotel Julien in Dubuque, IA.

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