Shreveport-Bossier is one of those fantastic destinations that offer a lot of the same amenities you might find in larger destinations, but without the expense or hassle. We recently talked with Kevin Flowers, Convention Sales Manager with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourism Bureau about what’s happening in his destination and what planners and attendees can expect when they go there for a meeting or event. One of the things attendees can count on is that there is always something to do. “From year-round festivals, unique riverboat shopping venues, and fun after-hours entertainment, delegates will leave here with a great meeting experience,” offered Kevin.
SUZZANNE: What makes Shreveport-Bossier a great meeting destination?
KEVIN: We like to say Shreveport-Bossier offers big-city amenities without the big-city hassles. Here planners will find affordable full-service and limited-service hotels, ease of transportation, a regional airport served by five carriers including Delta, United and American and a state-of-the-art convention center. Our local attractions, many of which are free, are continually growing. All this and a CVB of dedicated, hard-working professionals ready to lend a hand can be found in Shreveport-Bossier.
SUZZANNE: What is the one thing planners are always surprised to learn about the Shreveport-Bossier area?
KEVIN: Planners that I’ve worked with always seem to be surprised by the quality of our offerings, whether it’s festivals, music, history, museums, venues or outdoor adventures. Planners seem not to expect so much in a smaller community.
SUZZANNE: What might we find you enjoying in the destination on your day off?
KEVIN: I enjoy practicing my golf swing on my days off. There are many great courses to choose from in the area, and I’ve hit golf balls into the woods and water hazards on several of them. My game needs lots of work.
SUZZANNE: What are a couple of your favorite places to dine or get a drink?
KEVIN: Two of my favorite places to dine are Ralph & Kacoos, known for its wonderful seafood, and Silver Star Smokehouse, home to some of the best barbecue in the area.
SUZZANNE: What do you see trending in the meeting’s market? How is your CVB proactively addressing this trend or staying current?
KEVIN: With the downturn in corporate travel (oil & gas), our CVB is working with our industry partners to help them become more creative and aggressive in offering great value packages to meetings and conventions.
SUZZANNE: What is an innovative service offering at the CVB?
KEVIN: We have developed a meeting planner rewards and volunteer assistance program that could offer cash back on events held in the destination and help with event activities like registration.
SUZZANNE: What’s the latest news, developments, or events in your destination you’d like to share with planners?
KEVIN: Business Travel News’ 2016 Corporate Travel Index recently named the destination one of the least expensive cities for business travel. According to the Index, Shreveport is the third least expensive destination for business travel in the United States. And the destination continues to increase its family-friendly offerings. This summer will see the opening of the Shreveport Aquarium, with ocean education and conservation as its main mission.
SUZZANNE: What size/type of meetings fit best in your destination?
KEVIN: Meetings ranging from military and family reunions to corporate conventions and trade shows fit well in this destination. The Shreveport Convention Center has more than 350,000 square feet of meeting space that can be tailored to meet the needs of nearly any size group. It recently hosted a comic con-type event with approximately 14,000 attendees. Other venues such as the historic Municipal Auditorium, the Garden Event Center, Bossier Civic Center, and The Strand Theatre are great event centers too. The area’s many full-service and limited-service hotels can also accommodate both large and small groups.
Thank you Kevin for taking the time to talk with us! To find more information about Shreveport-Bossier or any other of the 150+ top meeting destinations, visit www.empowerMINT.com.
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