NOV 2017

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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 14 THE SOUTH'S MUSIC CITIES Charleston, WV., in early October. In addition to honoring the history of the Kanawha Valley's salt industry, the event featured Stratus, a local R&B, jazz, and funk band. Connecting To Local Culture A popular new venue in St. Louis, Mo., the Na- tional Blues Museum, which opened just steps from the city's convention center in 2016, offers a place for groups to connect to the region's mu- sical heritage, according to Anthony Paraino, di- rector of communication for Visit St. Louis. The facility includes more than 15,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, a theatre, special event space and classrooms, which can be used for group events. Additionally, the museum offers live mu- sical performances, lectures and films. Many hotels promote musical tourism as part of their outreach to groups. The Westin Nashville began offering a See and "B" Seen package earlier this year, which includes an exclusive tour of RCA's Historic Studio B, followed by a day of exploring at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Also in Nashville, SongBird Tours introduced the city's first Live Song- writer-in-the-Round guided tours earlier this year. Limited to 30 peo- ple, the tours are led by SongBird CEO Patsy Bruce, who co-wrote several country music hits. Partici- pants get to hear the stories behind the songs from some of Music City's most prolific songwriters and get a guided city tour aboard a special- ly-designed bus. Nothing breaks down barriers like getting people out on the dance floor. In Fort Worth, Texas groups can learn traditional line dances at Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky tonk. Getting a group to learn a dance together can also improve concentration, increase energy levels and help protect brains from aging, according to a new study from the Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Music Agendas Randa Simpson, manager of media relations at the Florence/Lauderdale (Ala.) CVB, points out that groups meeting in a musical destination can design much of their agenda around musi- cal events. An example of this took place when the Alabama Motorcoach Association (AMA), Georgia Motorcoach Association (GMA) and the South Central Motorcoach Association (SCMA) conference was held in the area. Simpson ex- plained that the a dinner and banquet was hosted at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame on the first night, featuring the Alabama Bus Boys playing as entertainment. On the second night, a dinner was held at Rattlesnake Saloon, with local artist and songwriter Mark Narmore performing and the third night's dinner took place at the Historic Pickett Place with several local musicians play- ing. The final dinner was held at the Marriott Shoals Resort & Spa Conference Center with the Muscle Shoals All-Stars playing for the group. n Top Left: Gateway To The Blues Museum & Visitors Center in Tunica, Miss. Bottom Left: Cypress Moon Studios (formerly Muscle Shoals Sound Studio) in Florence, Ala. Bottom Right: Rubboard player at Festival Acadiens in Lafayette, La. ©Tim Mueller

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