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Kentucky Convention Centers

The largest convention centers in Kentucky can handle everything from intimate board meetings to conferences or trade shows that attract thousands of guests. These five convention centers feature the latest technology, tasty eats, plenty of nearby hotels and beautiful central locations that allow attendees to sample some bourbon and get a feel for what makes Kentucky special.


Kentucky International Convention Center and Kentucky Exposition Center


Louisville is in a prime position when it comes to meeting planning because it has two large venues. Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC), which completed a $207 million expansion in 2018, has 200,125 square feet of contiguous class A exhibit space, a 40,000-square-foot, column-free ballroom with color-changing LED walls and 52 meeting rooms. The new conference theater has 165 tiered seats and a 220-inch video wall with cutting edge A/V capabilities. The city has 22,000 hotel rooms, with nearly 7,000 of those downtown close to KICC. Louisville Marriott Downtown is across the street from KICC and has 616 guest rooms.

Accessible by three major interstate highways and adjacent to Muhammad Ali International Airport, the Kentucky Exposition Center has both indoor and outdoor exhibit space, boasting 1.2 million square feet. It also features 356 acres of outdoor space and 25,000 parking spaces. The facility has 700,000 square feet of class A exhibit space and 56 meeting rooms. There are about 4,500 hotel rooms near the airport and expo center.

The Galt House Hotel is the city’s largest hotel, with 1,300 rooms and more than 130,000 square feet of meeting space, right on the riverfront.

Louisville is home to the world’s only Urban Bourbon Experience, with more than 10 distillery experiences, a bourbon cocktail and culinary trail, bourbon-themed accommodations and shopping. The Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs Racetrack are worth a visit. Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and boxing fans will want to visit the Muhammad Ali Center to learn about his life and legacy. Baseball aficionados will want to tour the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

Central Bank Center


Central Bank Center is one of the largest convention centers in Kentucky, with 200,000 square feet of flexible convention and event space, including a 100,000-square-foot exhibition space with four halls, 29,000 square feet of meeting space in 14 rooms, a 24,300-square-foot ballroom that is divisible by three, and 55,000 square feet of club and flexible space.

Hardwood and Oak Hospitality is the center’s exclusive caterer, handling everything from cocktail receptions to full dinner menus. LEXPO Exposition Services offers support services, including presentation needs, for trade shows, conventions, corporate meetings and special events at the Central Bank Center.. 

The facility’s niche is professional conventions between 1,000 and 2,000 attendees, but the space is large enough to handle up to 14,000 depending on the schedule. The Central Bank Center is attached to Rupp Arena, which is large enough to host general sessions. The center’s management company also manages Triangle Park, which is across the street from the convention center and also hosts events. A new project, Town Branch Park, will break ground in 2023 and will feature an outside amphitheater and park space next door to the Central Bank Center. It is expected to be completed in 2025.

The center is attached to the Hyatt Regency and Hilton Downtown hotels, with 700 hotel rooms between them, and is just a few blocks away from Lexington Marriott City Center, which has 218 guest rooms and 11,171 square feet of meeting space.

Sloan Convention Center

Bowling Green

Sloan Convention Center is in the heart of Bowling Green, about 10 minutes from downtown. The center features 70,000 square feet of space, including a 19,500-square-foot ballroom, and is adjacent to a golf course. The facility underwent a major pre-COVID renovation, with the second phase completed in September 2020. The renovation included a complete redesign of the lobby; a new roof, signage, carpet and lighting; and major mechanical improvements.

The Holiday Inn University Plaza, with 218 guest rooms, is attached to the center and features 4,500 square feet of additional meeting space. The hotel’s professional sales and catering team manages the convention center as well. The Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn are right across the street. In total, Bowling Green has about 2,500 hotel rooms, more than 400 of them within walking distance of the convention center.

Car lovers know Bowling Green is the home of the Corvette. Groups can tour the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant, the only plant in the world where Corvettes are built. The National Corvette Museum is a must visit; and those who like to drive instead of look at cars have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a C8 or C7 Corvette or a Camaro at the NCM Motorsports Park, a 3.2-mile racetrack across the street from the Corvette Museum.

Northern Kentucky Convention Center


The Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington is the largest conference facility in Northern Kentucky, with 204,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. About 20 minutes from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, the facility sits on the banks of the Ohio River, directly across from the beautiful 19th century suspension bridge that connects Covington to downtown Cincinnati. 

The first-floor event center is 46,200 square feet that break down into two rooms. It can accommodate receptions of up to 4,600 people and meetings of up to 3,900. The main lobby offers 8,000 square feet of public space perfect for registration, exhibits and receptions. The Learning Center is a 400-seat amphitheater for presentations and lectures that features the latest projection technology and two large video screens. The conference level on the second floor includes 10 flexible meeting rooms and a 17,500-square-foot ballroom that can be divided into four separate spaces.

An on-site audio-visual company handles all the center’s needs, and Centerplate is the convention center’s exclusive food and beverage supplier. The Marriott RiverCenter and Embassy Suites Cincinnati RiverCenter are across the street from the conference center with 650 rooms between them.

There’s a nice riverfront area for walking and many locally owned restaurants to visit. Covington offers the B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s self-guided Bourbon Trail, which includes five craft distilleries, eight bourbon bars and six bourbon-centric restaurants. All 19 stops are located throughout Covington, Newport, Independence, Sparta, Augusta and Maysville.

 Owensboro Convention Center


The Owensboro Convention Center is a full-service facility overlooking the Ohio River in downtown Owensboro. It has nearly 102,000 square feet of multipurpose space, including a 44,000-square-foot exhibition hall and the 8,900-square-foot Kentucky Legend Pier, which overlooks the river and can host 610 people for a banquet or 1,000 theater-style. 

The center offers plenty of pre-function space and two large ballrooms. The West Ballroom is 13,283 square feet and can host groups up to 910 for a banquet or 1,913 attendees theater-style. 

The German American Bank East Ballroom is also more than 13,000 square feet and can be divided into four rooms. It can host up to 910 people for a sit-down banquet.

Because of the convention center’s central location, meeting attendees have plenty of options for shopping, dining or grabbing a drink. Nearby Western Kentucky Botanical Garden and Smothers Park offer meeting attendees a chance to get outside into nature. For bourbon enthusiasts, Green River Distilling Company is a must-visit. One of the oldest bourbon distilleries in the world, Green River takes up 26 acres. Visitors can take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn how Kentucky bourbon is made.

The world-renowned Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum is within walking distance of the convention center. Visitors can learn about the history of bluegrass music, find out how it has grown and evolved and learn about the top musicians who made the genre great. There are also two hotels within walking distance of the convention center: The Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Owensboro Waterfront and the Holiday Inn-Owensboro Riverfront.