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.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact