When you help plan an annual meeting in Knoxville for Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, walk-ability and outdoor options of the destination are essential. Luckily, Hope Buttitta, Director of Operations & Finance with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance found the perfect partners in the Visit Knoxville team. Read on to hear about Hope’s recent experience in Knoxville, a few of her favorite venues in the destination and more.
SUZZANNE: Tell us, what does your job entail?
Currently, I manage overall finances, reporting and budgets of the organization. Additionally, I manage contracts and hotel blocks for trade shows, as well as oversee the trade show budget.
SUZZANNE: What is one of your significant job challenges that working with the Visit Knoxville team helped you solve?
Our trade shows are a significant part of our business model as we strive to provide the best experience possible for our retailers and vendor partners to get work done. Visit Knoxville has always been ready and willing to step in and assist with transportation options, venue selection, local information for attendees and hotel selection.
SUZZANNE: What are some of the distinctive attributes/destination offerings of Knoxville that helped to make your meeting great?
The walk-ability of the town is outstanding. From the convention center there are plenty of hotels and local restaurants attendees can use. We also enjoy getting outside and the greenways provide a safe, easy way to get in a quick workout between appointments. Our sector of the outdoor industry is all about locally owned and operated businesses. Knoxville has a great selection of these types of businesses that we can support while in town for our trade show.
SUZZANNE: How would you describe the relationship you have with the CVB? What would you compare it to?
Our relationship with the CVB has always been easy and supportive. They provide us with great communication, follow through and professionalism. I would compare it to a business partner that wants our event to be as successful as we do.
SUZZANNE: The top 3 things your attendees enjoyed about meeting in the Knoxville area?
- Downtown- easy to navigate and walk to hotels, shops and restaurants
- Safe- attendees feel very safe walking around town
- Great facility- convention center and staff are top notch
SUZZANNE: Did you use a unique venue for a gathering or event while in Knoxville?
In past meetings, we used the Square Room, Art Museum, Sunsphere, Bijou Theater and of course always the convention center. We have also used the Hilton meeting rooms. All of the above met our expectations and were easy to work with.
SUZZANNE: What do you see as innovative or trending in the future of the meeting’s industry?
In terms of transportation to/from the airport we see a lot of Uber usage vs cab or car rentals.
Our attendees are outdoor folks so rental bikes, paddling equipment, etc. are great to have available for usage. Additionally, we are striving to go paperless as much as possible at our events and more sustainable overall.
Thank you Hope for talking with us today about your meeting in Knoxville with the destination professionals at Visit Knoxville. To find out more information on Knoxville and 150+ other top meeting destinations, visit www.empowerMINT.com.