Today we hear from Valarie Coyle, Meetings Director from Health Professions Network about her experience holding her conference in Louisville and the partnership she’s built with the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. Between airport runs for her speakers to finding unique venues for attendees, the CVB destination experts were there with her every step of the way.
SUZZANNE: Tell us, what does your job entail?
VALARIE: As meetings director I am responsible for planning conferences, site selection, contract negotiation and logistics, program planning, finding presenters. Additionally I work with accreditation bodies on the approval of continuing education for our participants.
SUZZANNE: What is one of your significant job challenges that working with Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau helped you solve?
VALARIE: LCVB was amazing in their assistance of getting my presenters to the airport when their time was limited. Their professionalism actually prevented any real challenges from occurring.
SUZZANNE: What are some of the distinctive attributes/destination offerings of Louisville that helped to make your meeting great?
VALARIE: The creativity of the LCVB was excellent. They selected amazingly unique venues to hold our program. Those venues provided enormous excitement for the attendees to be surrounded by such a wealth of history while sitting in the Muhammad Ali Center/Churchill Downs. That excitement just fed into the speakers and their presentations. Our theme was collaboration and what incredible collaboration was done on the part of the LCVB, our fantastic hosts from different facilities and venues. They took that theme and ran with itJ.
SUZZANNE: How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
VALARIE: I would like to think my relationship is one of mutual respect and professionalism. I count the LCVB as one of the top CVBs I have worked with – supportive, professional, creative, and I found amazing and fantastic new friends. It was an absolute thrill to work with them and as all things have some connection to food, well for me, I would compare it to my favorite vinegar –Serrano Honey – sweet, tart, spicy and made from 100% honey.
SUZZANNE: What did your attendees say about their overall experience in Louisville?
VALARIE: Comments in regard to this event were extremely positive as several of the participants had experienced the graciousness and hospitality of Louisville previously. And for those participants who were visiting Louisville for the first time it was an event to remember. Cannot wait to return!
SUZZANNE: The top 3 things your attendees enjoyed about meeting in the Louisville area?
VALARIE: That is a tough one as every facet of this event was tops. Ease of access, extremely walkable city, amazing restaurants and of course Bourbon! And for our return participants it just keeps getting better.
SUZZANNE: Did you use a unique venue for a gathering or event while in the Louisville area?
VALARIE: Several – Speed Art Museum, we are very grateful to the Omni for hosting us at this fantastic location as well as our hosts at the Muhammad Ali Center, Churchill Downs, Evan Williams, O’Shea’s Penthouse/Rooftop Lounge; one incredible location after another.
SUZZANNE: What do you see as innovative or trending in the future of the meeting’s industry?
VALARIE: Given tech I would say focus on attendee engagement. Pitch the PPTs and totally engage the participant: on-site bloggers, event-specific apps, total engagement activities. Tying in social responsibility to events to help companies confirm their commitment to social causes – events that are sustainable.