Louisville Hosts Hybrid Event for Planners to Highlight Capabilities, Safety Measures

November 3, 2020

With more and more planners looking at a hybrid model for their meetings, Louisville Tourism and its industry partners showcased their ability to host such an event while also highlighting the work they’ve done as a city to welcome guests back safely. Held on Oct. 29, Barreling Ahead brought together 35 attendees at Kentucky International Convention Center, with an additional 100 joining virtually. 

Currently, all Louisville hotels are open to guests, and event venues and restaurants are allowed to host groups at 50 percent capacity. “Louisville is ready to welcome business to our city,” said Doug Bennett, senior vice president of convention development for Louisville Tourism.

The half-day event Oct. 29 highlighted the city’s latest health and safety plans and the new cleaning standards being implemented at its major event venues. Both KICC and Kentucky Exposition Center, which fall under the Kentucky Venues umbrella, have achieved GBAC STAR accreditation after implementing strict protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention. 

“The health and safety of our guests, clients and employees continues to be our highest priority, and both facilities have been recognized for consistently demonstrating this commitment,” said David Beck, president and CEO of Kentucky Venues. 

The event also featured a series of education sessions, including one with David DuBois, president and CEO of the IAEE, that looked at the future of the meetings industry during COVID-19. Breakouts focused on sporting events in today’s climate; healthy hybrid events; attendance building; and a session on the important topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“The double punch of COVID alongside the social justice movement has allowed us to rise to these challenges,” said Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. “As Louisville’s Muhammad Ali once said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with getting knocked down, as long as you get right back up.’ Louisville is up and ready to show the progress we’ve made in both spaces to welcome guests and ensure Louisville is a safe environment to host meetings.”

In hybrid fashion, the event concluded with a virtual tour of Louisville’s 4th Street Live! downtown entertainment venue followed by lunch in KICC’s spacious pre-function area for in-person attendees.

Get information on holding meetings in Louisville here.

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