Indianapolis Sees Surge of Live Events in July and August

August 31, 2020

Following the implementation of a “back on track” reopening program that included new health and safety measures directed by a local task force, Indianapolis has seen a surge in meetings activity. In the four-week period following the July 7 reopening of Indiana Convention Center (ICC) — which recently spent $7 million on health and safety improvements — the city successfully hosted 18 meetings and events with a total of more than 40,000 attendees. 

“With more than 50 percent of the nation’s population within a day’s drive of Indy, coupled with the health upgrades to our center, we’ve seen a surge in meetings,” said Chris Gahl, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Visit Indy.  

Of the 18 meetings and events, 11 were held in the convention center. Seven others were self contained in downtown hotel properties. 

“With hospital-grade air filters circulating outside air 24 hours a day and Clorox machines deep cleaning the [convention center] building throughout the day, we have been able to keep visitors safe and healthy while convening in Indy,” said Gahl.

The groups recently meeting in Indianapolis came from a variety of market segments: corporate, association, religious and sports. The organizations — including Access Intelligence, Indiana Pawnbrokers Association, Paul Waldrep Ministries and Blue Star Basketball — worked with Visit Indy, ICC, their host hotels and Marion County Health Department to have their health and safety plans approved. 

One of those organizations, Beck’s Hybrids, a family-owned seed company based in Atlanta, Ind., held its annual Summer Camp event for more than 600 attendees at the JW Marriott Indianapolis in July. “With the ever-changing procedures and mandates, and with the help of the knowledgeable staff at the JW, we were able to create a successful event for our attendees,” says Brittany Street, travel and events lead for Beck’s Hybrids.

In addition to cleaning protocols, Visit Indy’s back-on-track reopening program includes training for hospitality employees, a promise that they will be wearing masks at all times during meetings and events, and zero attrition for groups that contract and meet in 2020. 

Find more details on how Indianapolis is reopening to meetings and events here.

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