Events Large and Small: We Plan them All

Posted on Jan 7, 2020

CVB Staff
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If you are planning an event for four or 800 people, the Emporia Convention & Visitors Bureau needs to be your first phone call. Whether your event is a coffee date, a wedding, a family reunion, a multi-day convention or anything in between, Emporia, Kansas can host it all with multiple venues large and small.

Why Emporia? Venues, activities, and more venues that can host as little as a few to 5,000. And, location, location, location. We’re halfway between everywhere nestled in the majestic Flint Hills where the most beautiful Kansas sunsets melt into the rolling hills. Just an hour and a half from both Wichita and Kansas City on Interstate 35 and conveniently located at the crossroads of I-35, the Kansas Turnpike and US Highway 50, Emporia is easily accessible, making it the perfect location for events or meetings. Another transportation option is the Emporia Municipal Airport, which is only five minutes from downtown.

Venues

Your event might be an hour meeting with four people, or it might be a five-day training with hundreds of attendees. Whatever the size, Emporia can accommodate. “There is nothing too small. We can take a group of four and find a home for you, we can take a group of 40 and find a home and we can take a group of 400 and find a home,” Lori Siebenaler, sales manager for the Convention & Visitors Bureau, said.

Emporia offers multiple meeting, convention and event spaces. From the intricate Spanish Revival detail of the historic Emporia Granada Theatre downtown, to the beautiful French Doors and stately columns of Emporia State University Memorial Union, we have the details and the facilities to meet your needs.

If it’s sheer space you’re after, the W.L. White Arena| Civic Auditorium or the Anderson Building and Clint Bowyer Community Building on the Lyon County Fairgrounds might be your ticket. If you are seeking a more intimate space, consider the Valu-Net Smart Room & Conference Room in the Trusler Business Center (home of the CVB and Emporia Chamber of Commerce). “There are also church and fellowship halls all over town,” Susan Rathke, CVB Director, said. “There are so many possibilities.”

Beyond the meeting

The CVB can help make your meeting or event special before, during and after the event. “Any events you’ve gone to might have something the night before or after,” Rathke said. “Outside of the meeting we offer other things they can do while they’re here.” If your attendees have some free time in between events, they can visit places like the historic Red Rocks, the home of William Allen White, take a tour of Dynamic Discs or learn how to play disc golf in a workshop. Or take a tour of the historic Granada Theatre, get coffee at the Granada Coffee Company and get chocolates at the Sweet Granada. Or consider a private showing of a movie at the historic Emporia Granada Theatre.

There are many other activities around Emporia such as taking a tour of the Lyon County History Center, a painting class at the Emporia Arts Center, bowling at Flint Hills Lanes, skating at Rollers Skating Rink, and wine or beer tasting at Radius Brewing Company or Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shop. If shopping is what your group desires, consider visiting Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply, which is a tourist attraction in itself. “That is something above and beyond the meeting,” Siebenaler said. “There are just so many options that we can help you with.

Before you call have this information handy:

· Size of event
· Number of attendees
· Food + beverage needs
· Dates
· Amenities needed such as kitchen, internet access, project/sound systems
· Budget
· Accessibility needs

Next steps

Once the above information has been determined, the CVB will work with you to identify an appropriate venue for your needs and budget. “Once we have that done, we can do site visits and and introduce you to management staff to work on getting a contract to make sure they can meet your needs,” said Siebenaler.

The CVB also can help with event details such as check-in. “We can be at their check-in day the day they arrive,” Rathke said. “We can help set it up at their hotel or where they are having their meeting and that takes the pressure off their staff and they can do what they need to do.”

If your event needs a bid package put together, the CVB can help with that, too. “We can go to a state convention and do a presentation for you,” Rathke said. They’ll also coordinate and host tours of venues and facilities. The CVB also offers an incentive up to $500 in grant funds if the criteria is met and the bid is awarded to Emporia. “We don’t know of too many other bureaus that offer incentive funds like that,” Rathke said. “We’ve been doing that for a long time.”

Nearly everybody has some type of association with a group or club, Siebenaler, said. “In some way, everybody is associated with a group, a club, an organization or their employer, where there’s some kind of meeting, training, convention, conference or anything that they need to have in a venue,” Siebenaler said. “We are the Visitors Bureau, the visitors center. We know where things are and who to talk to. We are the go-to people to help bring everything together.”

All event planning services at the CVB are free. Get started today and call 800-279-3730 or email [email protected].

CVB Staff
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