MAR 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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A R C H 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 54 Annual CVB Issue! Sponsored Content nterested in mixing business with adventure? The home of America's most popular national park is a renowned destination for business meetings and conventions. Blount County, Tennessee – the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies" – is just 20 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Better yet for travelers, it's also home to Knoxville's airport and several prime event spaces down the street from the terminal. That blend of convenience and exploration make Blount County an irresistible spot to host your next event. Easy Access Five airlines travel to McGhee-Tyson Airport, East Tennessee's air travel hub, from approximately two dozen destinations. Once guests are outside baggage claim, they're a five- minute trip from 15 different hotels, many of which have meeting spaces. Bountiful Meeting Space Blount County's hotels and event centers specialize in hosting corporate events and conventions. The newly renovated Knoxville Airport Hilton – literally next door to the airport – boasts 11,000 square feet of event space and 17 meeting rooms. Other national brands, such as Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Express, are within a bird's-eye view of the airport and offer tailored meeting solutions. Journey 15 minutes into the shadow of the Smokies and the pace relaxes. The tranquil towns of Townsend and Walland serve as picturesque getaways for corporate retreats. Five-star resort Blackberry Farm hosts premium events. Several lower-key – yet still luxurious – spots offer peak productivity in a pastoral setting. Attendees can roast marshmallows in Dancing Bear Lodge's fire pit or rent one of the mountain cabins dotting the landscape. Adventure Down the Street The Peaceful Side is the perfect destination for business travelers hoping to add a little leisure to their stay. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts a wealth of trails, scenic vistas and educational activities. The park's proximity to Blount County's meeting spaces means many business travelers take their families along. Others like to escape during scheduled breaks to take in the finest views east of the Mississippi. Planning a convention so close to a national treasure means higher attendance rates, happier guests and indelible memories of your event. Growing Popularity More people than ever are visiting Blount County for business and pleasure. In October 2016, Knoxville's airport welcomed the heaviest traffic in its 79-year history. The park enjoyed a record- setting year in 2016, with more than 11.3 million visitors basking in its beauty. The area's regional and national profile is rising. So is its appeal to event planners. I encourage you to capitalize on Blount County's convenience, beauty, diverse options and adventurous spirit. If I can help you plan an event, don't hesitate to reach out. I am eager to share this special place with you. To learn more, visit n A Place Where Convenience And Adventure Collide I Plannermonial: "Simply put, the facilities and activities near the mountains drew us in, but your attention to detail and hospitality drew us back." —Monica Jones, Fun 4 Groups " Mountain vistas welcome guests to the Peaceful Side of the Smokies. This state-of-the- art conference room is one of the Airport Hilton's tailored meeting spaces. Lush mountain streams and trails are mere minutes from a bounty of event locations. Kim Mitchell Director of Tourism Kim Mitchell is Director of Tourism for the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority. She specializes in helping individuals and event planners organize trips to Blount County. (865) 273-1213 Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority

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