Source: Explore St. Louis; published by Exhibit City News
As the MICE industry celebrates a cautious comeback, St. Louis boasts a stellar resume of hosting safe and successful events this past year, propelling the destination to the top of the list for meetings and events in 2022.
In 2021, St. Louis hosted 8 large-scale, safe and successful premier events, welcoming more than 60,000 attendees and hotel guests. That roster last year included:
- US Olympic Team Trials Gymnastics June 24-27, 2021 (20,000 guests)
- Leadership Team Development Summit 2021 October 1-3, 2021 (18,000 guests)
- Bands of America 2021 Super Regional October 22-23, 2021 (15,000 guests)
- USGIF GEOINT 2021 Symposium October 5-8, 2021 (3,000 guests)
- Inland Marine Expo IMEX 2021 May 24-26, 2021
- Presbyterian Church of America General Assembly June 29-July 1, 2021
- Juice Plus+ Live Conference! October 20-23, 2021 (1,800 guests)
- USA Fencing, Oct 27 – Nov 1, 2021 (3,000 guests)
For many, these events were the first in-person events to be brought back for their organization, and the success was tremendous. For example, the 2021 Gymnastics Olympic Trails at The Dome at America’s Center saw record breaking attendance as more than 20,000 USA Gymnastics fans gathered in St. Louis, making it the highest attended Olympics gymnastics trials in history.
“I’ve been really impressed with the Explore St. Louis team. For our event, everyone was so excited to get together, and they really liked being in St. Louis because it’s a one-stop shop,” says John Dumproff, CEO of Leadership Team Development Inc. “All of the hotels are located really close to the facility, you can easily explore the downtown area and restaurants, go see attractions like the arch and the zoo, and have an overall great experience.”
Planners can be confident knowing the health and safety of guests and employees is. St. Louis meets or exceeds CDC guidelines in all aspects of the meeting and convention experience including hotels, restaurants, transportation services, and America’s Center, which offers state-of-the-art touch-free entry doors, bathroom fixtures and hand sanitizer stations to reduce contact. As a GBAC Star Accredited Facility, St. Louis is committed to rigorous cleaning and disinfection as part of a comprehensive infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with COVID-19.
For those looking into 2022, St. Louis has made it top priority to continue to offer safe and comfortable accommodations for everything from tradeshows to championships. With multiple venues and hotels available, St. Louis’ has the flexibility, variety, and ability to make things happen for event planners, no matter the request.
The America’s Center Convention Complex is home to four distinct meeting facilities under one roof: Cervantes Convention Center, The Dome at America’s Center, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center and the Ferrara Theatre. In addition. the convention center features five exhibit halls, a ballroom and more than 80 meeting rooms. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Louis, the complex has over 502,000 square-feet of prime exhibit space, 80 versatile meeting rooms, a 28,000 square-foot ballroom, 67,000-seat Dome at America’s Center, and the 1,400-seat Ferrara Theatre.
For a less traditional venue, host a conference at the City Museum, an architectural marvel made out of unique found objects, or at Ballpark Village, the first-ever sports anchored entertainment district adjacent to Busch Stadium, opened in spring 2020.
Right next door in Ballpark Village is Live! By Loews, which opened in Spring 2020 and features 216 guestrooms and 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Here, visitors can find culinary excellence in multiple dining outlets, including a lively outdoor rooftop terrace with greenspace and a historic bourbon bar that features 400 varieties of bourbon.
Meeting planners can capture guests’ creative side at the National Blues Museum with a custom-planned concert in the venue’s auditorium or a private viewing of the museum’s galleries. Having undergone a $45 million renovation before reopening in late 2019, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station serves as a premier family entertainment destination but provides event planners with unique backdrops and locations for meetings and events.