SEP 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 ²ConventionSouth ² w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 47 E V E N T P L A N N E R ' S G U I D E T O TN A V I V I D B A C K D R O P Among the treasures that Tennessee offers, the Smoky Mountains offer a sce- nic backdrop that is especially awesome in the autumn months. More than 100 varieties of hardwoods and changes in el- evations create a vivid palette where fall colors travel down the mountain sides, resulting in a spectacular display. BY D. FRAN MORLEY From Smoky Mountains To Mississippi River Plains, A Diversity of Settings and Venues The state of Tennessee offers planners a lot of diversity in venues, cities and attractions, with world-class lodging and event venues in the major metropolitan areas of Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Smaller towns and rural areas provide their own unique appeal throughout the state's three great regions: the Smoky Mountains and Cumberland Plateau in the east, the rolling hills of middle Tennessee and the Mississippi River plains in the west. Tri-Cities Area In the northeastern edge of the state, Tennessee's Tri-Cities area includes Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol. The metropolitan area, which encom- passes eight counties in Tennessee and two in neighboring Virginia, has a population of about 500,000 people. According to Visit Johnson City, visitors to the city will find cultural and historic attractions, hiking and biking trails, craft breweries, live music and outdoor adventures. Accommodations with event space include the DoubleTree by Hilton, with 2,500 square feet of meeting space; Courtyard Marriott, with a meeting capacity of 50; and Holiday Inn Johnson City, with 11,000 square feet of meeting space. The AAA Four Diamond Carnegie Hotel has a full-service spa and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space. In Bristol, a town that straddles the border of Tennessee and Virginia, event venues include the 24,000-square-foot Birthplace of Country Music Museum, where events can include admission to the museum exhibits, according to the Bristol CVB. The Olde Farm Clubhouse offers five event rooms and the famed Bristol Motor Speed- way has indoor and outdoor spaces, including banquet rooms, suites, meeting rooms and more for groups of up to 10,000. The Holiday Inn Bristol Conference Center has 226 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space. In Kingsport, the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort & Convention Center has an 18-hole golf course, 304 guest rooms and 42 meeting rooms in 81,563 total square feet of function space. Also in the MeadowView corri- dor, according to Visit Kingsport, the Hampton Inn Kingsport has meeting space for up to 40 guests and is completing a renovation of guest rooms and meeting spaces this fall; and the Holiday Inn Express Kingsport has meeting space for up to 50. Greeneville Greeneville and Greene County, located between Knoxville and the Tri-Cities region in the Appa- lachian foothills of east Tennessee, offer planners more than 600 area lodging rooms and meeting and event facilities for up to around 500 people, according to information from Greene County Partnership Tourism. The second-oldest town in the state, Greene- ville was home to the country's 17th president, Andrew Johnson, and is the birthplace of trail- blazer David Crockett. A historic district includes restored homes and businesses, as well as churches, many in continued use since the late 1700s. General Morgan Inn and Conference Center ► Tennessee Photo Credit: ©Tom Mortenson

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