Visit Knoxville is Continuing to Meet the Needs of Meeting Planners through COVID-19.
At what continues to be an unprecedented time for the tourism industry, CVBs and DMOs are finding new and innovative ways to meet the needs of their clients.
Visit Knoxville, along with the destination’s community partners, is stepping up so that groups may be welcomed back safely. The Visit Knoxville Sales Team is ensuring groups have enough space booked to accommodate physical distancing when needed and has rolled out a comprehensive ‘Safe Site Visit’ program for planning of immediate and future programs.
The Visit Knoxville Services Team is following up with necessary services for in-person events. This includes providing safety signage, masks, thermometers and volunteers to assist with onsite temperature checks and contact tracing. They have also created a Digital Meeting Kit with creative assets to welcome on-site attendees as well as those joining virtually to provide that Knoxville “feel”. Some planners have used these assets as tools for pre-promotion, getting their attendees excited to join next year’s live event in the city if they had to re-book.
At a time when drivability is more important than ever, Knoxville’s convenient location provides another advantage. Situated at the intersection of I-75 and I-40, just minutes from I-81, Knoxville is within a day’s drive of more than half the U.S. population – and a beautiful drive at that!
So how is it working out so far? Lindsay Barber, Director of Meetings for the National Agricultural Aviation Association recently had this to say:
“We held our October Association board meetings in Knoxville in mid-October and had a great experience in terms of southern hospitality, being welcomed to the city and safety/healthy protocols related to COVID-19. We were in communication with our facility and the Visit Knoxville team for several months leading up to our meetings. The Visit Knoxville team kept me up to date on the city’s requirements, protocols and changes that took place regarding social distancing, mask requirements, etc. The CVB also offered us signs to have around our event reminding people of the COVID-19 requirements. The Crowne Plaza Knoxville did a great job having our room sets and meal functions socially distanced and safe so that multiple people were not touching reception utensils. While catering has changed, the hotel had plenty of options to choose from, including some for me as a meeting planner and attendees with meal restrictions. It was important for our Association to still conduct important business in person, while adhering to the changing times and requirements. The city of Knoxville and The Crowne Plaza did a great job working with me as a meeting planner during these stressful times.”
Take comfort in knowing that alongside incredible hiking and biking trails and the lure of the Tennessee River, safely operating hotels, venues, attractions and restaurants are ready to welcome you. Bottom line: it’s “safe” to say Knoxville is doing things right when it comes to hosting meetings safely. To learn more, head to visitknoxville.com/safemeetings.