Louisville Snags World's Largest Helicopter Show for 2016

August 1, 2013

The city of Louisville, Ky., has reason to celebrate, with the booking of the world’s largest helicopter show – HELI-EXPO - March 1-3, 2016, at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The show, owned by the Helicopter Association International, attracts more than 20,000 exhibitors and attendees from around the world, including helicopter manufacturers, owners and operators, government agencies and helicopter industry products.

“We know from experience that the people who attend HELI-EXPO stay for multiple nights, so it’s important for us that the host city has the room capacity, restaurants and event venues to accommodate the attendees after the exhibit hall floor closes each day,” said Karen Gebhart, HAI’s vice president of business development.

She added, “It was abundantly clear to us after we first visited that Louisville certainly fits that bill.”

HAI President Matt Zuccaro said that the Kentucky Exposition Center’s flexible event space, as well as proximity to the airport and the city’s overall reputation for charm and hospitality helped solidify the new agreement.

“With an abundance of indoor and outdoor exhibit space, the Kentucky Exposition Center is a natural fit for the HAI HELI-EXPO,” said Rip Rippetoe, president and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board. “This is an excellent opportunity to deliver quality customer and event service, as we welcome new business to our facilities and to the Commonwealth.”

This year’s HELI-EXPO, held in March in Las Vegas, grew for the 6th consecutive year and  featured 736 exhibitors on nearly 1 million square feet of exhibit space.

“This is a significant convention booking for Louisville,” said Jim Wood, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The show is expected to bring in $9.5 million economic impact to the city and region, he added. In addition to the 2016 event, event managers have an option to add an additional year to the contract.

“In terms of economic impact, this will be one of the top10 shows for the year 2016,” Wood said. “It is another great example of industry partners working together to book business that will benefit the entire city.”

Next year’s HELI-EXPO will be held Feb. 24-27 in Anaheim.

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