When Procter & Gamble elected to move its biannual meeting from the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center, which is undergoing a renovation, it didn’t have to look far for a new site.
The Cincinnati-based company found a venue just across the Ohio River in Covington, Ky.— the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.
The meeting—held every other fall at the 300,000-square-foot Cincinnati Convention Center—is a global event that brings together sales and marketing staff with research and development personnel. However, with a two-year, $160 million facelift and expansion of the Cincinnati Convention Center about to get underway in April, P&G officials decided it made sense to hold the 2004 meeting in Northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati Convention Center, it should be noted, remains open for events throughout the construction process as improvements will be phased in to minimize disruption.
Because the 193,000-square-foot NKCC is smaller than Cincinnati, the meeting had to be scaled back, says Debbie Gittinger, travel product service manager at P&G. Typically, anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 people attend the meeting, but this year, Gittinger is looking at about 2,000 to 2,500 attendees.
Because Covington is so close, there was no need to rebook hotel rooms, says Gittinger. The biggest challenge was dealing with less exhibit and function space at the Northern Kentucky facility, which has about 48,000 square feet, compared to 162,000 square feet in Cincinnati. Accommodating about 100 breakout sessions will require some creative planning, says Gittinger.
Gittinger expects the fall 2006 meeting to be back in Cincinnati, provided that the construction project stays on track. The Cincinnati Convention Center renovation is scheduled to be complete in mid-2006.