Distinctive Locations for Memorable Meetings

Distinctive Locations for Memorable Meetings

Star treatment for your VIP clients and guests.

The next time you’re tasked with spearheading a business meeting for VIP clients, consider the age-old real estate mantra of “location, location, location,” and book an unusual and highly memorable space in one of the Twin Cities’ many distinctive public and private buildings. Here are our top picks for meetings with six to 65 people.


Carondelet Center

Situated in a stately, 1902 Beaux Arts landmark building adjacent to St. Catherine’s University, this decidedly noncorporate event and retreat center is often utilized by execs from the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital who want a quiet and inspiring setting for meetings, seminars, and conferences. 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, 651-696-2750, carondeletcenter.org


Mill City Museum

For clients with an interest in Minneapolis history, this riverfront museum, built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, offers a fascinating backdrop for a board meeting or conference. Designed by local architect Thomas Meyer, the museum showcases original features of the mill and works by local artists and sculptors. 704 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, 612-341-7555, mcm@mnhs.org


International Market Square

When your meeting calls for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, invite your guests to International Market Square, just northwest of downtown Minneapolis. The former Munsingwear headquarters is home to interior design studios, showrooms and galleries, a light-filled, five-story atrium space for large gatherings, plus smaller meeting and event spaces. There’s plenty of free parking. D’Amico Catering operates the on-site restaurant and provides catering services. 275 Market Street, Minneapolis, 612-338-6250


Landmark Center

Whether your guests are coming in from out of town or simply from across the river, the historic Landmark Center, with its soaring, three-story atrium and enormous Old World–style columns, makes an impressive introduction to the other Twin City. Built in 1902, this former Federal Court House and Post Office is now a center for cultural events, a museum, several galleries, and private dinners, meetings, and receptions. Catering services are available from a list of approved providers. 75 West 5th Street, St. Paul, 651-292-3233, landmarkcenter.org


McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota

Even if you’re not a Gopher alum, this pink granite, geode-shaped building designed to reflect Minnesota’s natural assets makes a dynamic meeting venue. “It’s a hidden gem,” says Charlotte Ariss, senior creative specialist at Target. “The staff is great to work with, the space is beautiful, and our guests loved it.” Onsite catering is provided by D’Amico Catering. 200 Oak Street S.E., Minneapolis, 612-624-9831, www.mac-events.org


Pool & Yacht Club

For meetings that are both relaxing and productive, just add water. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River within minutes of downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, this private yacht club offers meeting spaces for public rental. 1600 Lilydale Road, Lilydale, 651-455-3900, poolandyachtclub.com


Walker Art Center

When the guest list includes thought leaders, luminaries, and visionaries, call the meeting at the spectacular Herzog & de Meuron–designed Walker Art Center. In addition to a world-class art collection, the Walker offers a variety of meeting areas, theater spaces, and lecture rooms, plus advanced technology, onsite catering, and underground parking. 1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, 612-375-7600, walkerart.org


Guthrie Theater

Hosting a group of VIPs from out of town? The Guthrie Theater provides a dramatic setting for a meeting of executive minds. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the sleek, navy blue building features a variety of conference rooms, classrooms, lounges, and dining areas. 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, 612-225-6000, guthrietheater.org


The Walker Room at the State Theatre

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-way location, invite your clients to the little-known Walker Room, discreetly located above the historic State Theatre. Order in a covert catered lunch; then, after you’ve reached consensus, celebrate downstairs at the Capitol Grille or across the street at the new Crave. Zeller Realty Group, 612-317-2932, zellerrealty.com

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

For meetings with a breath of fresh air, take your clients out of the city. Situated on 1,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and landscapes, the Arboretum offers a variety of meeting and banquet spaces, 12.5 miles of paths for contemplating big ideas, plus onsite catering and free parking. 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, 952-443-1400, arboretum.umn.edu


Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

For a truly out-of-the-box meeting, take your clients into the wild. Situated adjacent to the Polar Bear Odyssey, the Zoo’s newest exhibit, the Polar Bear Lodge is designed for meetings, receptions, and dinners, with a fireplace, a 42-inch LCD screen, and floor-to-ceiling views of the bears. 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, 651-487-8201, comozooconservatory.org


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

For clients who appreciate grace and gravitas, a meeting at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is always appropriate. Designed in 1915 by the legendary New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, the museum is home to nearly 80,000 works of art, plus a choice of meeting and event spaces with onsite catering. 2400 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, 888-642-2787, artsmia.org

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