Cobo Center – Part 1


We may have mentioned this in the past, but it cannot be stressed enough how much…

We <3 Michigan

GraphiColor opened its doors over 30 years ago and proudly remains in southeastern Michigan today! We can’t sing enough praises of ‘America’s High Five,’ and we love when we find articles written that spotlight on anything Michigan-based.

Today, we are excited to share an article originally published on EXHIBITOR online, that features a powerful staple in the trade show industry:


Conventional Wisdom

Cobo Center

A landmark of the downtown Detroit skyline since 1960, Cobo Center has 722,500 square feet of space in five halls, four of which can be linked together to create one of the largest contiguous exhibit spaces in the country. Midway through a $299 million upgrade to retrofit Cobo inside and out, the convention center now features a 40,000-square-foot ballroom and an atrium with Portuguese marble, Italian tile, and an expansive view of the Detroit River. Ongoing renovations slated to continue through early 2015 will provide new prefunction spaces, lounges, junior ballrooms, and meeting rooms, as well as exterior glass walls that will transform the old concrete structure into a reborn jewel.


   Where to Sleep
     The Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Convention Center Hotel, across the street from Cobo, is newly remodeled with 367 rooms. For budget accommodations, the Holiday Inn Express and Suites is four blocks away. The majority of hotel rooms downtown have been remodeled within the past five years, and most have convenient access to Cobo via the Detroit People Mover tram system.



   What to Eat
     For an inexpensive lunch at a Detroit landmark, swing into Lafayette Coney Island three blocks from Cobo. Roast offers upscale fare in elegant surrounds for client dinners, or try the historic London Chop House for old-world ambiance. The Westin Book Cadillac has an array of stylishly appointed spaces for private functions of 30 to 400 attendees.



   How to Get There
     Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is 22 miles from Cobo Center, which offers a discounted shuttle fare through its partner, Trinity Transportation Group (, of $30 each way. Taxi service between DTW and downtown costs $45 each way. The venue has 2,000 parking spaces, though the Detroit People Mover tram system often makes a car unnecessary downtown.



Alcoholic beverages may be brought into the venue with prior permission though exhibitors will be charged a corkage fee and Centerplate staff must serve the alcohol.As part of a recently negotiated change, overtime pay for unions begins after the first eight hours worked between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. rather than starting at 3 p.m.
Cobo Center has exclusive contractors for telecommuni- cations, electric, freight handling, audiovisual, install and dismantle, and janitorial services.Free Wi-Fi is available throughout Cobo Center.
Exhibitors may use small tools including cordless screwdrivers and ladders with three steps or less to assemble and decorate exhibits of up to 400 square feet. They can also install 20 clip-on lights, clean the exhibit, hang signs or graphics, and set up AV and computer equipment without union labor, though certain limitations are outlined in the show manual.Centerplate is the venue’s exclusive caterer, and exhibitors may not bring in any food or beverages except product samples.
Exhibitors may unload their own privately owned vehicles and transport items to their exhibit space without the aid of motorized equipment.

Our team at GraphiColor has had numerous experiences at the Cobo Center, and we would be more than happy to speak with you if you have any questions about exhibiting at this great venue!


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Many thanks to EXHIBITOR for these great tips and stats on Detroit’s Cobo Center!
To see the original article on EXHIBITOR online, click here.

For further information on the Cobo Center and everything it has to offer,
feel free to visit their website at

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