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Hyatt Place in Downtown Grand Rapids.

Click here or call (616) 984-1200 to book your stay at Hyatt Place in downtown Grand Rapids for the 2024 Shed Builder Expo!

Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Click here or call (616) 774-2000 to book your stay at the Amway Grand in downtown Grand Rapids for the 2024 Shed Builder Expo!

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Downtown Grand Rapids at sunset.

Meet in Grand Rapids

When the Shed Builder Expo takes place on September 25-26, 2024, attendees and exhibitors will gather together at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Why meet in a city in the middle of this Great Lakes state? The New York Times ranked Grand Rapids No. 20 on its list of 52 Places to Go Worldwide in 2016. Groupon named it the No. 1 U.S. Place to Visit in 2015. And Lonely Planet declared it the Top U.S. Travel Destination in 2014. These are just a few of the recognitions the city has earned in the past few years—and just a few reasons Grand Rapids delivers a meeting experience like no other.

Grand Location

Grand Rapids is located on the banks of the Grand River, which winds its way through downtown. The city gets its name from the river and the rapids that used to help the local furniture industry with the transport of logs. In the early 1900s flood walls were installed in the river to remove the rapids in order to help manage flooding. The Grand Rapids WhiteWater Project is now in the works to restore the river and the rapids.

Big City Life, Small-Town Friendliness

Located in the western corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, halfway between Chicago and Detroit, Grand Rapids combines the amenities of a big city with the friendliness of a small town. It’s the second largest city in Michigan with a population of about 192,000 in the city and about a million in the Metro Grand Rapids area. And the Grand Rapids experience all begins in a safe, clean downtown, where 150+ restaurants, breweries, nightclubs, shops, and museums sit within a five-minute walk of 1,785 hotel rooms and the skywalk-connected convention center.

Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Random people looking at a map over beers.

Art, Food, Entertainment

The quality and breadth of art, food, and entertainment in Grand Rapids is on par with much larger cities. “Few cities anywhere do more to support creativity,” says Men’s Journal Magazine, a claim driven home by the abundance of public art. Some pieces were installed as part of the city’s annual ArtPrize event— the world’s richest, most radically open art competition. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the world’s 100 most visited art museums, is just 10 minutes from downtown. The artistic spirit extends to the dining scene. Grand Rapids has been named America’s No. 2 most affordable foodie city, and its restaurants delight patrons with an astonishing variety of creative farm-to-fork cuisine.

Food and Fun

Dining

While trade shows are mostly about doing business, there’s something to be said for taking some time to explore the host city and sample its flavors. Those coming to Grand Rapids for the Shed Builder Expo will discover a place with a tasty culinary scene and fascinating (and fun) attractions. Many locations are great for those bringing families, and anyone wanting to put together an evening get together for clients will be sure to find the perfect spot.

Downtown Grand Rapids offers more than 150 dining options, from fast food to fine dining. Or, follow the Food Trail, which allow visitors to taste their way through Grand Rapids’ specialty shops, markets, and unique foodie experiences.

Attractions

Those coming to Grand Rapids for the Shed Builder Expo will find plenty to do outside of show hours. Here are just a few ideas of what can be experienced.

ArtPrize (2024): For 19 days every other fall, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids becomes an open canvas. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public.

Blandford Nature Center: A premier nature getaway with 143 acres of woods, streams, and meadows, plus 4 miles of trails open dawn to dusk daily.

Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House: Presented by Steelcase, as a meticulous restoration complete with original furnishings and faithfully executed reproductions, the Meyer May House provides the rare opportunity to experience a Prairie house exactly as Frank Lloyd Wright intended.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Michigan’s second most popular tourist attraction is one of the world’s 100 most visited art museums and one of the Top 30 Must-See Museums on the planet. It’s a combination of a sculpture park and botanical garden.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum: Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States wasn’t born in Grand Rapids, but he was raised here and represented the city in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-1973. The President and Mrs. Ford are buried on the grounds of the Museum.

Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM): Collections range from Renaissance to Modern Art, with a special focus on 19th and 20th century European and American art.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: The Children’s Museum is located in downtown Grand Rapids, just a short walk from hotels. Eighteen permanent exhibits include Aunt Daisy’s Farm, Mom & Pop Store, Treehouse, Giant Lite Brite, Wee Discover, Wee Bank, Puppet Stage, Buzzy Buzzy Bees, and Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!

Grand Rapids Public Museum: Founded in 1845, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is among the oldest history museums in the United States.

 

Heritage Hill Historic District: One of the nation’s top old-house neighborhoods is just a five-minute walk from downtown Grand Rapids. Heritage Hill boasts Michigan’s largest and finest collection of 19th and early 20th century houses. Nearly every style of American architecture, from Greek Revival to Prairie, is represented in the 1,300 buildings that date back to 1844.

John Ball Zoo: This classic urban zoo is located two miles west of downtown Grand Rapids. John Ball Zoo is home to more than 1,100 animals from five continents.

 

Robinette’s Apple Haus: Century-old family farm offers apples and other fresh fruits in season, plus a cider mill, wine tasting, bakery, lunch counter, dining area, hayrides, mountain bike trails, and more.

Lakeshore Experience

Grand Rapids offers some of the country’s best natural resources. Parks, trails, lakes, and golf courses dot the region. Lake Michigan—just 30 minutes from downtown—has been hailed as one of the world’s top 25 shorelines.

Hotels

Lodging throughout the Grand Rapids area runs the gamut from luxury hotels to budget motels. More details about the hotels available during the Shed Builder Expo in September 2024 is provided above.

Getting To and Around Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is located within a day’s distance of half the U.S. population, and it’s easy to get to by plane, train, and automobile. That means it will be easy for Shed Builder Expo attendees and exhibitors to get here in September 2024. Those coming to the Expo can drive their own vehicles—getting around is easy and fast. Amtrak service between Grand Rapids and Chicago is available daily, with convenient connections to other cities. The station is just five minutes from the convention center. Those traveling by air will fly into the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the second largest airport in the state. Six airlines offer more than 140 daily non-stop flights to and from the airport. Daily flights take place to and from more than 30 major market destinations.

Parking

DeVos Place® is located at:

303 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

 

DeVos Place has parking conveniently located under the convention center. Access to the parking lot is on Michigan Street and Lyon Street. Please note you cannot access the underground parking garage if you are heading West on Michigan Street. No left hand turns are permitted due to a semi-permanent concrete berm installed for a new crosswalk.


Additional parking may be available in the City-County Building on Monroe Avenue (across from DeVos Place) or several other parking structures within walking distance.

Vehicles that are too large to fit in a parking structure may be given a permit to park on Scribner Street during the dates of the event. Parking on Scribner Street is available on a first come - first serve basis.

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