Road Trip

Big Ten Football Schools

These universities are just as passionate about hosting and helping to plan successful meetings and conferences as they are about their football teams.

The passion that the Big Ten Schools have for football runs far and wide. Even if you’re not planning on holding your event during the heart of football season, you’ll still hear the fan favorite chants echoing throughout the campuses and if you’re lucky, the mascots will be voyaging across the campus and will stop for a quick photo-op. Whichever university hosts your next event, we’re sure that the location will impress your attendees and the staff will help make your event unforgettable.

University of Maryland, College Park

College Park, MD

Located in College Park, Maryland, the University of Maryland, College Park is the perfect venue to hold your next event. Sitting just nine miles from Washington, D.C., your guests will be able to enjoy everything the U.S. capital has to offer in their downtime. Are you looking for an event space that is available year-round? In the summer, the University of Maryland, College Park offers student residence halls and cafeteria style meals for meetings, conferences, and youth programs. During the rest of the year, special events, weddings, trade shows, and conferences can be held in one of the university’s many meeting rooms.

With over 100 meeting and event spaces, the number of guests that you are hosting will not matter at the University of Maryland, College Park. From large events to small events, this university’s meeting spaces can accommodate a variety of sizes. Are you planning on hosting a multiple-day conference? The University of Maryland, College Park accommodates up to 5,000 people overnight in its residence halls, and the university’s dining services will be in charge of your guests’ meals - one less thing to worry about! The University of Maryland, College Park is a location that you have to check out when you’re searching for an accommodating place to hold your next event near the nation’s capital.

Whether your guests are intrigued with history or looking for something unique to do, they will find it all after their event ends in or near College Park. Guests can visit the White House or the Lincoln Monument if they’re searching for something more traditional to do. If your guests want to experience something untraditional, then have them stop by the National Arboretum for a quick photoshoot or visit the Renwick Gallery to check out some trendy exhibits. All of your guests will have something interesting to do after your event ends at the University of Maryland, College Park!

The Ohio State University

Columbus, OH

Making it to the College Football Playoffs, Ohio State’s football team has had quite the year. Wouldn’t it be fun to hold your next event at a nationally ranked football school? The Ohio State University located in Columbus, Ohio is home to a great event center that will intrigue your guests with a rich history and tradition. Located on campus, The Ohio Union will make your next conference or event a huge hit! The facility is available year-round with more options open during the summer months. By the end of your conference, your guests will be able to hear the “O-H” chant and answer like true Ohio State fans, with the response, “I-O.”

Whether you have 15 guests or 3,500, The Ohio Union at The Ohio State University guarantees one of the finest experiences that any university has to offer. The type of event doesn’t matter, either. The Ohio State prides itself in being able to help plan a variety of events including academic, faith-based, or athletic. If your guests are searching for overnight accommodations during the summer, they can stay in one of The Ohio State University’s Office of Summer Conference Housing residence halls. During the winter, attendees will be able to book rooms at one of the many nearby hotels. If you’re hoping for a little help while planning your event, the event coordinators on campus promise to be there every step of the way. This benefit will help make your event more enjoyable for both yourself and your guests.

If the football team isn’t playing the week you visit The Ohio State University, no need to worry because we have some suggestions of things your guests can do after their event ends. For guests that like to have some fun but also don’t mind something a little spooky, make sure they check out the Boos and Brews: Haunted History of Columbus Walking Tour. If your guests are looking for a relaxing attraction, have them check out the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Guests will be able to experience a little history during their shopping when they visit the German Village. From schnitzel to sausage, every guest will leave with their stomachs filled and with good memories. When your guests are visiting Columbus, they’ll be happy to know that there’s more to do than just attend their meeting.

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Your guests will be able to “sparty” all night long when you choose Michigan State University as your next event venue. This university is the perfect location to hold your next East Lansing event. The campus itself offers guests something to do in between meetings and events because of its park-like atmosphere. Are your guests looking for something else to do outdoors? Stretch your legs and take a bike ride along the Red Cedar River. Enjoy one of the many sporting events that this university has to offer. Your guests will love the location of the meeting or conference so much that they’ll want to find out everything that this beautiful campus has to offer.

With a capacity of up to 15,000 people, Michigan State University will cater to however you want your event to be set up. In the 230 separate meeting and event spaces located on the campus, each venue can be set up in either theatre style or classroom style. Both set ups offer their own unique feeling to your event. When your guests start to get hungry, the university has the perfect solution. Michigan State University has 11 nationally recognized restaurants within the residence halls including Starbucks and Union Pizzeria and Deli. Your guests will not be disappointed when you choose Michigan State University as your next event location.

Downtown East Lansing is full of different attractions such as restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops. Whatever your guests are interested in doing, they will be able to find something that fits their needs downtown. If your guests are searching for something to satisfy their hunger, make sure they visit the MSU Dairy Store. According to some tourists, this vendor offers some of the best cheese and ice cream known to man; however, we will let you decide that on your own. Guests will be able to enjoy a self-guided tour of the dairy plant to learn all of the ins and outs of creating delicious treats. The university also offers many museums on-campus including the Kresge Art Museum and the MSU Museum which is Michigan's largest public natural and cultural history museum. On campus or off campus, guests will have an array of attractions to visit after the event ends at Michigan State University.

Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center offers the perfect hygge atmosphere to hold your next small event. Because this venue is a bit smaller than the others, it offers a friendly sort of tranquility to its guests and was designed to create a feeling of comfort and peace. It is surrounded by a large university but sits just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the campus. Your guests will be able to engage in meaningful conversation with each other in a smaller setting. To your guests, this venue will make the meeting feel like a mini vacation; however, you will be able to know that work will actually be achieved in a productive manner.

Groups ranging from 5 to 100 people will be able to meet at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center. Your guests will not have to go far to find overnight accommodations because the inn located within the conference center can fit up to 50 people in the hotel-like rooms. With a panoramic view of the lawns and woods, the dining room offers attendees a peaceful place to enjoy a freshly-made dinner and engage with their peers. Every aspect of Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center helps to convey a feeling of peace to its guests. The hosts will be ecstatic to plan their event here and the guests will never want to leave.

Only a short drive away from New York City, Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center is surrounded by many attractions that your attendees will be able to enjoy long after their meeting is over. From the traditional tourist things to do such as visiting the Statue of Liberty or journeying to the top of the Empire State Building to the untraditional such as exploring Chinatown or catching an outdoor movie at Bryant Park. If your guests are too tired to take a trip, they will still be able to find something fun to do while staying closer to the university. Have your guests visit the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum or watch a production take place at the George Street Playhouse. Whether your guests are searching for a simple getaway or an all-around adventure, they will be thrilled with all of the attractions near Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center.

University of Illinois Conferences & Special Events

Champaign, IL

Pop the champagne at your next event in Champaign, Illinois! The University of Illinois Conferences and Special Events venue offers a beautiful layout to hold your next conference or meeting. The special event staff at this university is committed to helping you host an unforgettable event that your attendees will be talking about for years to come. The 1,400-acre campus is located just minutes from downtown Champaign-Urbana where the city always seems to be bustling with people and things to do. Whether you’re planning on hosting a seminar, social event, or conference, the University of Illinois promises to make your next event a success.

At the University of Illinois Conference Center, up to 1,800 guests will be able to attend your next meeting or conference. All of your guests will enjoy the beauty of the campus and the expansive layout of the meeting rooms around the university. During the summer months, attendees can enjoy the multiple residential dining venues located on the campus. All of your guests will be accommodated overnight in one of the university’s residence halls. If you’re looking for a gorgeous campus to be the location of your next event then the University of Illinois Conference Center should be your go-to venue in Illinois.

Champaign, Illinois is packed full of history and tradition that guests will be able to see during one of the many sporting events hosted on campus as well as the multiple museums surrounding the university. Guests will be able to visit Krannert Art Museum between meetings and see some of the best contemporary art exhibits from across the country. Still in the museum mood? Check out the Spurlock Museum which features exhibits on the world’s many cultures and different geographic areas. If your guests are in a time crunch, they can pack up their lunch and have a picnic on the University of Illinois’s beautiful main quad. Your guests will love everything that Champaign has to offer even after their meeting ends.

University of Minnesota Conference and Event Services

Minneapolis, MN

By the end of your next event at the University of Minnesota, all of your guests will be shouting the university’s victory chant, “SKI-U-MAH!” That’s how much they will enjoy the event location that you have chosen. Located just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, your guests will love the convenient location of the campus. This will give them the ability to tour a city that they may have never visited before attending their next meeting or session. The event coordinators will help to ensure your guests have a great time when you host your next event with the University of Minnesota Conference and Event Services.

With 25 retail vendors and on-site catering options available, your guests won’t have to leave the campus to find delicious food in-between their events. Even when the students leave during the summer months, these dining options remain open and available to all of the guests who are visiting. The University of Minnesota Conference and Event Services is home to 3 unique campuses and 2 great cities, which makes this the perfect place for hosts looking to plan a larger event or for the guests who know they might have some free time to tour the cities between their sessions. This venue is situated along the banks of the Mississippi River, so the view might entice hosts by itself before hearing all of the other amenities that it offers. Whatever type of event you’re hosting in Minnesota, make sure to check out the University of Minnesota Conference and Event Services.

Did someone say shopping? It would not be a trip to Minnesota if you didn’t take a trip to the Mall of America. If shopping isn’t one of your guests’ main interests then have them check out the Twin City Brewery Tours that will stop at three different breweries all while taking in the sights and sounds of Minneapolis. Maybe the attendees are searching for a more laid-back attraction. Have them visit the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum that features a collection of early 20th century American artists as well as a diverse collection of contemporary art. Attendees will enjoy the variety of artwork as well as the educational programming.

University of Nebraska

Lincoln, NE

Guests will be shouting “Go Big Red” by the end of your event at the University of Nebraska. The home of the Cornhuskers offers guests a place to relax while also getting some work done. Not many venues offer training fields or recreation/fitness centers as an option for meetings or retreats but this university does. This is one of the reasons why the University of Nebraska is the perfect place to hold your next unique event. Whether you hope to hold your event indoors or outdoors, in the summer or winter, the event staff at the University of Nebraska will help you plan an amazing meeting or conference at their beautiful venue.

The conference center at the University of Nebraska can accommodate 5,500 attendees with full service, meeting, and dining options. Each of the residence halls have been renovated within the past five years and offer individual room temp control, self-serve laundry on each floor, 24/7 front desk concierge and meet/greet space in the front welcome areas. Your guests will be impressed with the hotel-like atmosphere available on campus. When your guests are hungry they will be able to choose from a variety of options. You can choose to have your events fully catered or opt for a healthier option in the university’s local farm grown meals. When you choose the University of Nebraska to be the venue of your next event, your guests will never want to leave.

Are you planning your event in Lincoln during the summer months? If so then you’re in luck because Lincoln is packed full with local festivals such as the Jazz in June Festival, the Celebrate Lincoln Festival, and the weekly farmers markets that guests can enjoy anytime they visit. Interested in the history and tradition of Lincoln? Be sure to have your guests check out the historical Haymarket that has been up and running since 1867. They’ll be able to enjoy shopping, restaurants, art galleries, and much more. After they are finished at the Haymarket then have them swing by a home baseball game for the Salt Dogs who are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. No matter what your guests choose to do when they visit Lincoln, they are guaranteed to have a great time even after their meeting has ended.

Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN

The Purdue fight song, “Hail Purdue,” is sure to be hummed by all of your guests by the time they leave their next event at Purdue University. This university located in West Lafayette, Indiana offers a world-class conference center and coordination services combined with guest services that offer first-rate lodging, meeting, and dining space. Unlike the students of Purdue University, the special event staff never takes the summer off, so the venue is available year-round. The staff is always around to answer any questions that guests might have and help the hosts plan a memorable event at Purdue University. Guests will fall in love with everything that this university has to offer. Purdue University is centrally located in the middle of just about everything that you can think of -- the state, the Midwest region and the nation -- making it the perfect location for every social event or conference. Guests will be impressed with the multiple dining options ranging from a casual buffet style to a formal dining experience. Whether your guests plan to dine under the stars or in the elegant dining rooms, they will not be disappointed in the beautiful venues Purdue has to offer. Keep the party going the next day because Purdue University will also be able to host your group of up to 7,500 attendees overnight. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting for the day or for the week, Purdue University’s event services will not let you down. Downtown Layfette is filled with little shops, galleries, and restaurants. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to spend your free time strolling through a local farmers market while still enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Are your guests hoping to channel their inner child? Be sure to check out the Tropicanoe Cove where they’ll be able to experience a taste of the tropics in the heart of Indiana. They’ll be able to slip and slide down as many water slides as their hearts desire. If you’re planning a team building event for after your meeting or conference ends, you won’t have to leave the campus to find something to do. Check out the Purdue University Boiler Challenge Program which features high and low ropes courses complete with certified teambuilding instructors. Your guests will never want to leave when they visit Purdue University.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI

Home to the Wisconsin Badgers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is another gorgeous Big Ten Football school where you will be able to hold your next event. On game day, make sure to check out the Badger Bash that is held just steps away from the stadium at Union South. Enjoy delicious food, drinks, and entertainment before the opening kickoff. This tradition has been around for 40 years and is free to the public, so make sure you don’t miss out! The Badger Bash also hosts a watch party, so you won’t have to leave the tailgate for the game. Your guests will never experience this unique tradition anywhere else! The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to the Wisconsin Union that is comprised of the Memorial Union and Union South buildings, both of which are right on campus! Memorial Union, built in 1928, offers guests a breathtaking view of Lake Mendota and features historic architecture. Each building has been recently renovated and offers guests a modern space to hold their next event. With over 30 different meeting spaces to choose from, you will be able to host events with as many as 1,300 attendees. From the Strada Italian Cuisine to Daily Scoops Ice Cream and everything in between, your guests will never go hungry when you hold your event at this university. Planning on hosting an overnight conference? The renovated Union South is home to 60 hotel rooms so your guests will not have to go far to find overnight accommodations. If you’re not visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison during football season, there is no need to worry! You’ll be able to experience the beauty of Wisconsin without ever leaving the campus. The university is the perfect place if you’re traveling with your family because of the kid-friendly options located right on campus. Located on Lake Mendota, guests will be able to rent kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards. After a day on the lake, check out State Street! Only half a mile long, State Street is centered between two Wisconsin anchors – the State Capitol building and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The boutiques, restaurants, and bars make it a pedestrian hub. Your guests will have a blast exploring everything Madison has to offer!


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