Sort by Topic

Tempe Tourism Blog

Creative Group Events in Tempe

Crawfish Boil at Culinary Dropout
July 17, 2018

By Matt Connelly, National Sales Manager The Tempe Tourism Office is fortunate to work with some very talented people in the hospitality and tourism industry. We are all dedicated to creating special memories of a group’s time in Tempe, which not only makes for a productive meeting, but also builds camaraderie and elevates team spirit. In this spotlight, let’s take a look at The Showcase Room at the Culinary Dropout, an imaginative space in Downtown Tempe, and Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes, a beautiful mountaintop resort. The team at both places provided us with a glimpse at how they make group events come alive in Tempe. Recently, I spoke with Kelley Bolender, Regional Manager of Group Sales, about a recent event that was held at The Showcase Room at the Culinary Dropout. Culinary Dropout is a creative gastropub that is located in a reinvented warehouse space. Known for delicious food, handcrafted cocktails and an extra large patio, they can also host groups events at multiple private spaces, including The Showcase Room. Kelley said they recently hosted a Fortune 500 corporate banking group in for an all-day conference and their meeting planner wanted an amazing over-the-top reception for their top producers from all over the country. The event was highly interactive and incorporated the spirit of the regions from where the attendees were from. The “General Session” was far from ordinary. “They went with a hive mentality theme, and even the stage was shaped like honey comb with fly […]

Learn More

Summer Meeting Specials in Tempe, AZ

AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe Downtown
April 19, 2018

Tempe, Arizona is an excellent choice for a summer meeting or conference. Located in the heart of metro Phoenix, Tempe is a fun-loving city known for great dining and nightlife options, Arizona State University, Broadway shows and other activities that event attendees can enjoy once the meeting day is through. Outside temperatures are warm in the summer, but planners will discover that many hotels and venues offer a great value with cost saving deals for meeting planners. Tempe is home to a variety of meeting venues that are perfect for groups of 10 to 500 attendees. And with more than 6,000 guestrooms, a dynamic downtown, Tempe Town Lake, Tempe Beach Park and a number of attractions, Tempe provides a variety of options for on-site and off-site meetings. Tempe is less than 10 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and the Sky Train connects visitors to Downtown Tempe and Downtown Phoenix via Valley Metro Rail. Summer Meeting Specials  Contact the property sales team for more information about the following specials for meeting planners.  The AC Hotel by Marriott Phoenix Tempe/Downtown is offering an Unpack This Summer, AC Style promotion offering planners the chance to win a $100 American Express Gift Card when booking a group of 10+ rooms/nightly. Sign a contract between May 1st – August 31st, 2019 and experience the European-inspired design and luxury amenities provided at AC Hotel Tempe. Filled with an array of stylish artwork and a rooftop pool, the hotel reflects the soul of Tempe. The Graduate […]

Learn More

Group Tours and Team Bonding in Tempe, AZ

March 29, 2018

Planning a meeting in Tempe and want to know what your group can do for a fun team bonding experience? From food and brewery tours to outdoor adventures, we can help you arrange a memorable group outing that will leave your attendees wowed. Contact our sales staff at 480-894-8158 and we can help you start planning today. Take an Arizona Food Tours in Tempe. Enjoy a three-hour walking tour of Downtown Tempe where guests can sample some dishes at a few of our favorite restaurants. The tour is appropriately called “Taste of Downtown Tempe Happy Hour Tour”. Your super knowledgeable tour guide, not only leads you around but he also gives you a history of the restaurants you’re visiting, as well as an overview of the city including places see and things to do. The tour includes a visit to four restaurants and three alcoholic beverage pairings. They cater to any food or dietary restrictions. Join Across Arizona Tours for exciting guided one-day van tour of: Grand Canyon with Sedona and Navajo Reservation Tour; Sedona, Jerome and Montezuma Castle Tour; Sedona Red Rocks and Wine Country Tour; Phoenix, Scottsdale and Heard Museum Tour; Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Tour. Guests enjoy deluxe vehicles with large tinted windows and speaker systems. Their guides are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and fun. They also conduct custom tours for any size group throughout Arizona. Arizona Outdoor Fun has the largest fleet of ATVs and UTVs in the state and YOU are the driver in this adventure, […]

Learn More

Spotlight on Jack Minetti – Conference Concierge at Tempe Mission Palms

February 20, 2018

The Tempe Tourism Office team is fortunate to work with some outstanding hospitality professionals. These professionals help shape the guest’s experience, provide information about what to see and do in Tempe, and help make a conference run smoothly. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jack Minetti, the Conference Concierge at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in the heart of Downtown Tempe. He is the only Conference Concierge in Tempe. It is evident when you meet Jack that he has a real love for people, which shows in his work. Jack is originally from Pittsburgh and set his sights on the sunny state of Arizona in the 1980s. He quickly found a job in the hospitality industry. Jack’s work experience in Arizona includes working for InFlight Food Prep, the famed Estelle’s Jazz Club and the Hyatt Regency as Lead Food Captain. Winning multiple awards for industry excellence, Jack continued to grow and expand his horizons. In 1999, Jack found his way to the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel as Lead Food Captain. While working several key events, Jack began to recognize that guests had many questions and needs. Jack brought his observations to Cheryl Martin, his supervisor, and said “I want to help these people have a meaningful experience during their stay here.” Recognizing Jack’s knack for impromptu action and ideas, the department of Conference Concierge was created. Jack’s mission is to assure that your conference or meeting goes as smoothly as possible. Jack and the staff at the Tempe […]

Learn More

How to choose the right speaker for your conference

December 28, 2017

You’ve secured the destination and completed negotiations with the host property, now it is time to focus on the content of the meeting and how you will exceed your attendees’ expectations. As with many meetings, choosing the right keynote speaker to enhance and compliment your program is often times one of the most difficult challenges. Here are some tips to hiring your next speaker and ensuring you find the right fit for your group. Watch your prospective speakers perform When you watch a speaker live, you are able to see how well they are received by the crowd, as well as how they interact with the audience. Are they able to read the crowd reactions and adapt quickly to the responses they are getting? A keynote speaker should absolutely be able to supply you with a video of past sessions and make sure you watch the entire segment so you can determine if they held the audience’s interest for the whole time. Look for speakers who research and prepare thoroughly For your meeting, you want a tailored presentation that will appeal to the specific audience attending your event, which means the speaker will need to put in time either creating a speech from scratch or repurposing an existing speech with your audience in mind. Gauge the speaker’s understanding of the topics, industry and your audience. Make sure to put it in writing in your contract with your speakers that they know and understand you require input and progress updates all […]

Learn More

Tempe celebrates equality and diversity

ASU Art Museum in Tempe
October 20, 2017

All cities have a sign welcoming their visitors and residents to the town. Tempe’s sign on Mill Avenue takes it one step further as it states, “Welcome! Our city is an inclusive community.” Tempe has always been an open, inviting and welcoming community. Our city has a rich history of diversity of people and cultures. We celebrate that diversity in our events and festivals, such as the Arizona Dragon Boat Races and Tempe Tardeada. Tempe’s own Arizona State University, one of America’s largest universities, has more than 60 different nations represented in the student body, faculty and staff and has some of the most progressive inclusion policies in the country. Tempe’s appreciation of diversity is reflected in City policies and the Tempe Tourism Office has endeavored to reach out to our visitors from across the country and across the globe, including the LGBTQ community and travelers with disabilities. As part of its progressive vision, the City of Tempe has offered benefits for Domestic Partners of City employees since 1999. In 2014, Tempe further strengthened its stand on non-discrimination with four major milestones: The Tempe City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that makes in unlawful to discriminate against residents and visitors on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, U.S. Military veteran status, race, color, national origin, age, religion, and disability. The city ordinance bans discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels. Tempe voters unanimously approved (with more than 68 percent approval) an amendment to the […]

Learn More

Discover Tempe, AZ – on us!

AC Hotel Phoenix Tempe/Downtown
October 18, 2017

Our goal at the Tempe Tourism Office is to save you time and money when you are planning your next event. How can we accomplish that? We’ve developed a new Tempe Destination Experience program, designed specifically for meeting and event planners. You have many options of where to host your next program and we’ve created a better way for planners to explore Tempe. Forget what you know about FAMs and site inspections. Our Tempe Destination Experience program is focused on your individual needs, allowing you to confidently make decisions about where to host future events. Key program highlights: Flexible date options Flight reimbursement complimentary accommodations Customized itineraries Partnering with area CVBs Free time to experience the destination You can select convenient dates for a visit to our sunny city. You may choose to visit during Cactus League Spring Training, the Tempe Festival of the Arts, Ironman Arizona, or several other exciting events held annually in Tempe. Our team will customize a personal itinerary with tours of local properties and venues that will make your next meeting a success. We partner with Arizona CVBs including Visit Phoenix, Experience Scottsdale, Visit Mesa and more to ensure you see all the properties being considered during your trip. With an efficient itinerary, you will now have time to experience our city like your guests will. Visit our website and fill out the online form to start your Tempe Destination Experience game plan. Or, contact our group sales team directly. We’ll look forward to seeing […]

Learn More

The Journey before Ironman: Brent Scholar

October 2, 2017

For the special and accomplished few who cross the finish line at an Ironman race, there are no sweeter words than those from Ironman announcer Mike Riley: “You are an Ironman!” Brent Scholar hopes to hear those words for the first time on November 19, 2017 at IRONMAN Arizona in Tempe. Brent will be competing in his first full Ironman after a journey filled with many challenges that have molded him into who he is today. After November 19th he hopes to add Ironman to his list of accomplishments. Brent began his journey after a bout with vertigo in 2011. He weighed 193 pounds and decided to make a change in his life. He started doing P90X workouts at home and began noticing a difference. He quickly wanted a new challenge, something that allowed him to set a goal. He chose running, and metaphorically he hasn’t stopped since. On his 40th birthday, Brent ran four miles. He began running more and more every day and in 2013, he completed his first half-marathon. He has completed seven full marathons across the country since then. Each time he finished faster than the time before. Looking for a new challenge, Brent decided to purchase a bike and began training for a triathlon in 2014. The Santa Cruz 70.3 was his first triathlon event. Upon completing the 70.3, he circled IRONMAN Arizona as the first full triathlon he wanted to complete. He registered and began his training. Brent ran, swam, and rode his bike […]

Learn More

Tempe Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Four Peaks Octoberfest
August 11, 2017

With 330 days of sunshine each year and a vibrant downtown community, Tempe is the perfect festival location. Fall through spring, you will find a variety of fun festival events in our city. In Tempe for a meeting? Don’t forget to check the calendar and make it a point to mix in a little entertainment as you take a break from a busy day of meetings. Festival season kicks off with the annual Four Peaks Octoberfest at Tempe Town Lake, October 12-14, 2018. A tradition in Tempe going back more than 40 years, this three-day outdoor festival at Tempe Town Lake features beer (of course!), polka dancing and lots of food! What more could you ask for? Fall brings cooler days to Tempe and it is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran desert at the Desert Botanical Garden. October 12, 2018 – May 12, 2019, Electric Desert will transform the Garden into a living canvas using a mesmerizing light and sound display. Klip Collective, an experimental video and mapping shop from Philadephia, will turn the Garden into a sensory wonderland. Also this fall, the Garden will have a Dia de los Muertos the first weekend of November which offers fun for the whole family. On November 9-11, 2018 the garden spices things up with the Chiles and Chocolate Festival – offering the best chiles, chocolates, salsas and other Southwestern favorites.  And in addition to tasty treats the festival also has a bar, DJ and live performances. The […]

Learn More

Hot Deals for Summer Meetings

July 13, 2017

Arizona is known for sizzling summer days.  Stay cool this summer with some great offers from our local partners.  Don’t miss out – book a meeting in Tempe by September 15, 2017 and take advantage of some amazing deals!  Already finalized your 2017 planning? Contact our team today and learn the best time of year to plan a cost-effective event in Arizona. Arizona Outdoor Fun & Adventures 15% off Adventure Tours Book your group’s summer desert adventure with Arizona Outdoor Fun and receive 15% off the price of their private two or three-hour guided tours. Call 480-622-1289 for more information and reference the Sizzling Summer Promo to receive the discount. Tempe at the Buttes has 3 group sales specials right now for meetings.  Contact them at 602-225-9000 to see which one is right for you. Say YES to “No” – “NO” Standard Points – Earn DOUBLE Marriott Points Your Destination For Inspiration Select One (1) Complimentary Creative Culinary Team Building Event Make The Season Sparkle Complimentary Dessert Display 75 max count, Chef’s Choice Tempe Mission Palms Summer Sale – more details available by calling (480) 894-1400 today. Don’t miss this awesome deal! Pick 3 Package Pick any 3 specials for your group, including discounts on AV, F&B, comp rooms and more! The Graduate Tempe Summer Special available by calling today at (480) 967-9431 and save when planning your next event. 20/20 Special Enjoy this hot spot for both lodging and culinary delights! 20% off group rates and 20% off F&B, […]

Learn More

Free Visitor's Guide

Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.

Free Visitor's Guide
Request Guide

Stay Connected with Us

Tempe Tourism e-Newsletter

Sign up for our monthly e-Newsletter to learn what’s new in Tempe.