|The latest local event center to open in Northern Kentucky is the Highlander Event Center at 90 Alexandria Pike in Fort Thomas. FTM file.|
Leaders, staff and local industry partners from meetNKY I Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau will join others from Kentucky's tourism, events and meetings industry in Lexington April 14 for the first ever Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), a worldwide day of events to showcase the widespread economic impact of business meetings, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions that will include a proclamation from Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.
"Meetings mean business in Northern Kentucky and throughout the state, the U.S. and across the world," said Julie Kirkpatrick, Vice President, Sales & Marketing for meetNKY and president-elect of the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) - Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter, which is leading the April 14 GMID event celebration in Kentucky.
"Global Meetings Industry Day recognizes the tremendous economic impact generated by meetings and conventions and celebrates the work of millions of planners and hospitality industry professionals who make meetings happen every day," said Kirkpatrick, who takes office in June. "Kentucky’s MPI - Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter is so proud to be part of this worldwide celebration to recognize the economic power of the meetings industry.”
According to the 2014 EEI Study conducted by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet:
“Over the last five years, the economic impact from tourism in Kentucky has increased by more than $2.2 billion to $13.1 billion. The industry has added 13,000 jobs and now supports 180,000 jobs statewide. These jobs generated more than $2.9 billion in wages for Kentucky workers, an increase of nearly $123 million from the previous year.
Tourism generates $1.37 billion in tax revenues for local and state governments yearly.”
Travel and tourism contributed nearly $366 million to Northern Kentucky’s economy during 2015 as tourism filled more hotel rooms than ever in the region, meetNKY announced during its annual March 24 meeting. In fact, Northern Kentucky accounted for 39 percent of the $4.4 billion in travel spending in the Greater Cincinnati region and 20 percent of all travel spending in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
In addition to spending, meetings also boost economic development efforts by introducing Northern Kentucky to business travelers, who may revisit the area in the future as leisure visitors or consider it for locating a new business.
"Julie is fiercely passionate about attracting meetings, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions to Northern Kentucky," said meetNKY President and CEO Eric Summe. "The MPI April 14 event is a well-chosen initiative to highlight how the meetings industry drives economic impact in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties as well as across the entire state."
Planned events for Kentucky’s GMID celebration day on April 14 include a kick-off breakfast & education event for Kentucky’s MPI members and guests at the new 21C Museum Hotel in Lexington with guest speaker Kim Koeller, an internationally acclaimed global consultant and award-winning author specializing in the management of attendee food allergy and dietary needs at meetings – a hot topic in the meetings industry worldwide. Following the meeting, the Kentucky GMID celebration continues at the world famous Keeneland racetrack where members will celebrate Gov. Matt Bevin’s proclamation recognizing April 14th as Global Meetings Industry Day in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.