With the new year comes new goals. Whether that means going to the gym or eating healthier, a top resolution is often making the effort to travel more. At KCI Expo Center, we understand catching the travel bug, especially because our event space is located so close to the KCI airport! This month, we have put together a list of the top travel destinations of the year so you can finally go on your dream vacation. Some places you might have never thought of for yourself! And before you take off, be sure to check out hotels near the Kansas City Airport. We always recommend staying in our adjacent hotel, Holiday Inn KCI Airport.
Maybe you want to travel stateside, or maybe you want to take the next 747 to a far off location somewhere else on the globe. There’s no wrong answer to finding a place for some much deserved rest and relaxation. Check out this list to find unique inspiration for your next trip out of Kansas City:
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe in California is a beautiful destination all year round. There are picturesque ski slopes for winter, deep blue lakes for summer, and colorful landscapes in the fall. Northern California is rarely thought of when considering the Sunshine State as a part of your vacation plan, but it really should be. The scenery alone is enough to pull your interest. The opportunities for outdoor activities are endless, so if you are a junkie for everything outside, Lake Tahoe is definitely the place for you. Traveling from KCI Airport is easy and effortless, with just one connecting flight before landing in Reno.
This Georgian town is the perfect destination to experience the old school charm of the Southern United States. With a rich history and culture, Savannah is a beautiful city to vacation in. The story of this town goes all the way back to 1733, so the deep roots here are definitely something to explore. Not only that, Savannah has a nearby beach destination called Tybee Island. Two vacation spots in one? Sign us up. Flights leaving Kansas City International to Savannah are a dime a dozen, with no layovers! We love nonstop flights.
Colorado is well known as a popular vacation spot, usually for other recreational activities, but that’s none of our business! There are many other exciting things that this state holds. Breckenridge is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. This town is perfect for a snowy getaway and looks exactly like a Christmas card. Skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating are included for the most ideal winter vacation. However, if you aren’t a winter weather person, Breckinridge does not fall short in the amount of summer activities. Check out the hot air balloon rides and camping opportunities while you’re there. While Colorado is close enough to make a road trip out of it, we suggest taking the nonstop flight from Kansas City. Not only is it nonstop, but it’s also budget friendly too.
Have you ever seen the stunning pictures of rock formations and smooth canyon walls? If you have, this is the city you’re looking for. Page, Arizona is the home of the famous Antelope Canyon. However, to take a tour of this natural wonder, you have to book a guided tour with the Navajo Nation. No exceptions. But that’s not the only Grand Canyon spot to see! This city is right on the edge of Horseshoe Bend, Tower Butte, and the nearby Lake Powell, so there’s plenty of natural beauty to go around. Northern Arizona is perfect for anyone and everyone that wants to take in the majesty of the southwest United States. Don’t forget, half the park is after dark! When flying out of Kansas City International Airport to see this natural wonder of the world, you’ll only have to make one pitstop in Phoenix. Don’t worry, the destination is absolutely worth it.
Detroit is a famous hub of the Midwest. Known as Motor City, Detroit has a history that is filled with ups and downs, and now the sprawling metropolis is having a comeback. You can explore the colorful downtown area, visit museums, like the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation that showcase the great diversity in industry, or explore the musical history of the city by visiting the Detroit Opera House for a classical performance. During the summer, taking a stroll down the RiverWalk is a must-do. Lining the river is a host of restaurants, shops, parks, and areas for public performances. Detroit might not have been on your list of cities to see in the U.S., but it absolutely should be. Since Detroit is right here in the Midwest, flights out of Kansas City happen almost daily! Check them out to see all of your options.
Quebec City, Canada
Often considered to be the Paris of North America, Quebec stands apart by having an old world and European charm, plus it’s right across the border! This city celebrates its French heritage wholeheartedly, as the language most commonly spoken here is French. Plus, during the winter you can experience the country’s only ice hotel! Since the city is also so close to Niagara Falls, you can experience the Montmorency Falls (these are a whole 30 meters taller than Niagara). There are events for all four seasons which makes Quebec City a great place to visit year round. Luckily, flights from Kansas City’s airport to Quebec City happen year round as well!
Step aside, Greece! Cyprus Island is the new seaside Mediterranean destination. It’s perfect for first time international travelers. According to the European Union’s 2012 barometer, 73% of the country speaks English. The weather is beautiful, as the island receives about 300 sunny days a year, so you can keep swimming in that beautiful blue ocean well into October or November! Within Cyprus is the last remaining divided city in the world, the United Nations recognizes one side of the capital city Nicosia as the Republic of Cyprus, while the northern part of the island is still Turkish territory. This can be seen by a buffer zone that runs through the capital. With delicious food, beautiful beaches, lack of tourists, and a rich history, this city is definitely a worthy destination. This might be the longest flight on our list, but we promise Cyprus Island is well worth the wait. Check out the flights headed out of Kansas City International in February!
While Jalisco is not a city (it’s a northwestern region in Mexico), this state is most well known as the birthplace of mariachi and tequila. It’s also home to the popular beach destination of Puerto Vallarta and the capital city of Guadalajara. You can experience the true culture in small villages around the capital, or be fully immersed in the many all-inclusive resorts along the coastline. The small town of Tequila, Mexico, aptly named for the many tequila ranches and the blue and gold landscape, can be reached by train and is a designated Pueblo Magico (Magic Town) by the Mexican Secretariat of Tourism. The wonders of Jalisco are truly endless, which makes this region a perfect place for travel. To make finding flight details easier, we suggest departing from Kansas City International and landing in Puerto Vallarta.
Reykjavik, Iceland is the northernmost capital in the world. While this may deter some travelers, this slightly chilly climate has an insane amount of potential. The downtown area has a very interesting and artsy scene, bursting with galleries and intimate concert venues. For those with a little bit of an adventurous side, check out the incredible whale watching tours they offer along the coast to see the migrating pods of orcas swimming nearby. Iceland is also known for their geothermal spas, The Blue Lagoon being one of the largest. Kick back and relax just like the Icelandic locals. To sell you even more on this magical destination, this is a perfect location for hunters of the elusive Northern Lights. Luckily for our Kansas City locals, Icelandair offers flights right out of our very own Kansas City International Airport! They might have a quick stop in Seattle, but you’ll quickly be on your way.
Cinque Terre, Italy
When thinking of the coastal fishing towns of Italy, people often think of the Amalfi Coast. While beautiful, we decided to take you away to a quieter, more romantic, and pastel version of these quaint seaside villages. Cars have been almost completely banned from this Italian oasis for decades, making the main mode of transportation the 19th century train line. Go on wine tastings while looking over the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea and take strolls through historic villages filled with life, or visit the beach in Monterosso. This is the perfect string of villages to experience both land and sea, and we highly recommend it. International flights may seem daunting, but flying out of Kansas City International Airport is a breeze.
That wraps up KCI Expo’s list of travel destinations for 2020. We hope you take our advice and jet set your way from the KCI Airport to one of these stunning vacation spots. Don’t forget to send pictures!
Fall is here and at the KCI Expo Center, there is something for everyone no matter what your interests. This season we are bringing in many exciting events, vendors, and exhibits for the community to enjoy. Check out who we are hosting in our upcoming events below.
Sep. 20-22: Half Price Books Kansas City Clearance Sale
Nothing beats curling up with a new book or movie in the chilly fall season. Your favorite local bookstore, Half Price Books, is setting up shop in the KCI Expo Center this fall to help you find your new favorite fall past time. With a long-lasting tradition of commitment to the community, Half Price Books will be providing a big selection of books, movies, music, and video games with big savings to you. Everything will be $2 or less and the first 100 customers each day will receive a free tote bag. Visit our event page for times, location details, and more information.
Oct. 26-27: RK Gun Show
At the end of October, join us for the largest gun show in the U.S. at the KCI Expo Center for the RK Gun Show. Gun collectors and hunting enthusiasts will gather for the weekend to see a wide variety of vendors displaying guns, hunting supplies, military surplus, and outdoor gear. Tickets are $12 for adults and $4 for children, with VIP pricing specials available as well. Safety is a priority for this event and will be handled accordingly. Visit our calendar for more information on this fall event.
Nov. 1-3: Shows of Integrity
At this weekend-long event, you will be dazzled with quality gems and jewelry by the Shows of Integrity at the KCI Expo Center. If you are looking for unique, and trendy jewelry styles, this show is for you. Vendors will have gems, minerals, jewelry, and beads on display. Shows of Integrity is always looking for more vendors, wholesale buyers, and dealers to expand their show. Ticket pricing is $6 for adults, $3 for children 5-12, and FREE for children under 5. Check out our event page for show hours and a three day pass ticket special.
Nov. 15-16: 2 Friends and Junk
If you’re always on the hunt for unique vintage pieces you won’t want to miss 2 Friends and Junk at the KCI Expo Center. Vendors from all over will have quality antique pieces full of character that you won’t find anywhere else. This fall event will begin on Nov. 15 at 10:00 am and end on Nov. 16 at 5:00 pm. For directions, vendor information and registration, etc. visit our calendar of events.
More Fall Event Information
Whether you are new to Kansas City or a tourist, be sure to check out surrounding attractions in the Kansas City area. Make it a memorable weekend getaway and maximize your time near the city by booking your stay at our adjacent hotel, just minutes away from KCI Airport.
Do you have a private event you are hosting or exhibit that would be the perfect fit at the KCI Expo Center? Check out our 2019 available dates and contact our team today. Dates are filling up fast and you won’t want to miss out.
All summer long, it seems as if craft and decor stores are already stocked full with holiday supplies — a season that seems so far away. But now that summer is almost over, the holidays are right around the corner and we want you to be as prepared as possible.
Hosting a holiday party in Kansas City for coworkers, friends, or family is a great way to connect with people and create lasting memories. It will take careful planning and preparation to make your party a success, which can be stressful. At KCI Expo Center, we’re here with helpful preparation tips so that you can enjoy the party with everyone else this season.
Where to Host
For Small- To Medium-Sized Family Gatherings
As the planner, one of the first things you will need to decide is where to host the party. For a small- to medium-sized party for extended family or friends, a community center or meeting space will work great. Finding a space with ample room to let kids run around and play games while the adults can converse is important to remember. This setting also gives your guests the ease of coming and going as needed, and it gives you more flexibility in planning the party you want.
For Medium To Large Business Parties
For larger business parties, a meeting or banquet room would work best. The KCI Expo Center gives you a great space for a corporate holiday party in Kansas City with easy parking, technology-savvy rooms, proximity to the airport, and its adjacent location to the Holiday Inn KCI Airport Hotel. Many businesses choose the KCI Expo Center for their corporate holiday party because of the wide range of space options and decorating services.
If you choose to use a venue outside of your business or home, be sure to book ahead to ensure you can reserve the space. Holiday party spaces book quickly, with many reserved years in advance. We would recommend booking your holiday party space by September or October at the latest.
Celebrate the holiday season with a fun theme idea. Corporate holiday parties should feel anything but “corporate.” Having a theme for your holiday party will help employees enjoy the night and experience camaraderie between their coworkers. Think outside of the box with a pet holiday party, holiday movie-themed party, a ski/winter wonderland party theme, etc. Themes can unite a large group and make for a festive and memorable day your guests will never forget. Themes also help to inspire every other aspect of your party from creative decor, food, and activities for your guests at the celebration.
Casual or formal? Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate the attire expectations when inviting your guests and send out RSVPs so they do not feel out of place. Encourage your guests to get creative with their casual or formal wear. If you are hosting a more laid back social, consider making it an ugly sweater attire theme. Masquerade parties make for a fun twist to a formal setting. With either setting, a fun way to get people involved is nominating the best-dressed person at the event.
An easy way to set the mood for the party is with music. Choose between live music or set up your own music to play. Live music is a great option for a more formal and involved gathering. Research local bands that fit the style and theme of your party and make sure to contact them before the season gets busy and they are booked.
With today’s technology, there are more opportunities to discover the perfect music for the occasion outside of bringing in live musicians. Music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora have unique and pre-made playlists that fit any occasion. These holiday playlists range in categories from pop favorites to jazzy instrumentals. Ensure before the big day arrives that you check to make sure the proper technology is available to support playing your music over the speakers for all to hear.
Food and Beverage
Providing your guests all of the food and beverages for the day can be a big responsibility if taken on alone. You need to make sure there is enough food for everyone that also fits special dietary needs and allergy restrictions. To make things easier for you, consider a catering service for your party. If you decide to go with a theme, figure out a way to make your theme fit your meal and delicious holiday treats.
Make sure to include drink options that are both non-alcoholic and alcoholic so there are options that fit everyone’s preferences. When it comes to alcohol, you want everyone to be merry but also respectful of other guests. This is especially important for corporate and workplace holiday events. Controlling the amount of alcohol served at these parties will make for a healthier party budget and environment. To stay budget-conscious, many businesses opt for wine and beer.
You might need to break the ice a little at your holiday party, especially if many of the guests are new to the group (i.e. significant others, new co-workers, outside friends, etc.) The opportunities are endless to liven up the party with competitive activities, get to know you games or brain teasers that everyone will enjoy.
Ideas for your corporate holiday party include holiday movie trivia, gift exchanges, holiday-themed awards, and more. Give classic games a holiday twist, like playing the card game “spoons” with candy canes rather than the traditional utensils. If supplies are needed that require guests to bring their own materials, let them know well ahead of time so they aren’t scrambling and show up stressed to your festive party.
Planning a holiday party in Kansas City for your business or extended family can be daunting. It is important to ask for help when delegation is needed and start thinking about your plans now to organize a successful get together. Follow our tips to land on the nice list with your guests this upcoming holiday season.
So, you’re planning your organization’s next trade show or convention. Look for a stress-free solution for your event and reserve a space at KCI Expo Center. With our convenience, amenities, and proximity to the vibrant Kansas City area, you will be sure to host a successful event for your attendees. Read more to see what makes us stand out among other convention centers in Kansas City and take full advantage of all that Kansas City and the KCI Expo Center have to offer.
If you or your attendees are expecting to travel from out of town, you will find that transportation is convenient with only a five-minute drive from the KCI Airport. Even if you or your guests are not traveling by air, our Expo Center is located right off of I-29. A quality stay for visitors can be found adjacent to the KCI Expo Center at the Holiday Inn KCI Airport. Not only is everything you need centrally located with our convention center, but you will also find that it is more cost-efficient in comparison to facilities in the nearby downtown area.
Utilize a Full-Service Conference Space and Convention Center
With the KCI Expo center, you are given the tools and assistance needed to host your trade show or conference event. Our facilities are flexible and equipped with amenities to ensure that events run smoothly. We house 70,000 square feet of exhibit space, decorative services, full-service catering, and technology-supported rooms.
If this is your first event, have no fear. Our team partners with Liberty Exposition Services Inc. to give you a professional and experienced team at your service. This full-service team will provide creative and affordable solutions to meet the goals of your trade show or convention. Liberty Exposition Services Inc. will be readily available and assist in any questions or concerns throughout planning the entire process.
Dine at Our On-Site Restaurant
Located next door to the KCI Expo Center, you can enjoy delicious cuisine at Burger Theory. This local restaurant serves signature menu items, craft beer, and endless opportunities with specialty burgers and a “Create-Your-Own” menu. Burger Theory offers carry-out and casual dine-in experiences to fit the busy schedules of guests. With the vision of building genuine relationships and meaningful experiences, Burger Theory is a great place to further network and connect after your trade show or convention event.
Explore Beyond Your Trade Show or Convention
Whether you are visiting for a short time or you are looking for ways to be a tourist in your own city, Kansas City is the perfect place for you. Celebrate your successful event and encourage attendees to explore the downtown Kansas City area. In almost 20 minutes, you can transport yourself to a diverse spread of citywide events, local restaurants, rooftop bars, museums, sporting events, and more!
Take advantage of free transportation with Kansas City’s Streetcar, hitting local attractions like the Power and Light District, Crossroads Art District, and Crown Center, just to name a few. No matter what age or interests your group might have, you will find something for everyone in the growing Kansas City area.
What are you waiting for? With a convenient location, support in planning, and nearby Kansas City attractions, the KCI Expo Center will WOW your guests and allow your organization to shine. Check out our calendar of upcoming events and secure a spot for your next convention, tradeshow, or meeting space with KCI Expo today.
Planning board meetings for your organization can seem customary when you have been leading and arranging events for an extended amount of time. However, it is important that you never lose sight of the basic elements of creating a meeting space that is helpful toward achieving your goals and keeping your team engaged with key topics. Here is our list for the top 5 things for you to remember when planning your next board meeting:
1. Secure a Top Notch Location
The first thing to consider when you are planning an event or meeting is the environment in which you will be hosting your board of directors. It is important that you secure a space that is convenient, promotes good communication, and fits any specific needs of your organization.
You should keep in mind the travel time of your board members for their convenience. Pick a location that will be central to where the board members currently work/live so that they feel refreshed for the day of the meeting. When you book your next event at KCI Expo Center you will find that there is not only ease with the airport centrally located to your space, but also many hotels and restaurants. The Kansas City International airport proudly services all major U.S. air carriers with an average of 400 flights daily and free shuttle services. This makes it easy for directors and teams to get exactly where they need to be.
Size Of The Space
With any event space, you also need to make sure that the size of the space matches the size of your group well. Taking into thought size will show board members that you are organized and professional on the day of the meeting. This will also allow for successful communication on the day of your board meeting. When looking at events and meeting spaces it may be possible for you to tour the facilities ahead of time. This may be a good option for you if it is done in advance.
Another specific need to consider when reserving your meeting space might include available catering options for the meeting. KCI event and meeting services take pride in their “Best in the Industry” food and beverage services provided by Heart of America catering. With this partnership, event and meeting directors will find a wide selection of catering packages and options. Take note of the food preferences and any dietary restrictions that your board members might have while ordering with any catering service, especially new board members that were just added.
2. Inform Board Members of Details and Nearby Attractions
Nobody likes feeling like they are left in the dark. Failing to update members as needed will only create frustration and confusion before the meeting. Once you have secured your date, time and location invite your board members and give them all of the necessary details in order to get to the meeting successfully and on time. This includes parking/transportation information, building information, room specifics, and more. If they are new to the area where the meeting is being held, take the extra step in making them feel welcome and introduce them to what attractions the city has to offer. For Kansas City attractions, you can visit the KCI list of local hot spots and attractions within the Kansas City area.
3. Set Goals and Create a Meeting Agenda
Now that you have reserved and informed your board members of the details for the event, it is time to plan your agenda to have for yourself and the members. The purpose of this agenda should be to keep the meeting focused on the most important topics and to make sure that you are being respectful of time for all who are present. Organize and prioritize what you wish to accomplish on a document that can be distributed prior to and on the day of the meeting. When planning this agenda, keep in mind which topics may need more time to review. Points should be discussed fully, but not exhausted. As the leader of your organization, you are the moderator and must make sure that the meeting is an efficient and good use of the company time. Set goals before the meeting and ask your team if they have any additional points that they feel are vital to discuss while everyone is present. Lastly, it is important, especially for longer meetings, to also set aside break times (restroom, lunchtimes, necessary email responses, etc.). This will ensure that everyone in the room is fully engaged and without distractions.
4. Plan Ahead for Technology Usage
Including technology is a necessary component of being efficient and thorough with your meeting. While planning it is important that you are aware of the technological tools given by the meeting space. On the day of the meeting, it is important that you test all technology items prior to your board arriving. That way, if there are any issues you can consult the event and meeting services and adjust as needed. Being unfamiliar with the technology that you plan to use will result in headaches at the last minute. KCI Expo Center provides quality sound systems, LCD projectors, microphones, in each of their meeting rooms for the convenience of users.
5. Make Your Board Members Feel Welcome
When you make meetings interactive and begin with introducing new board members everyone involved will feel welcome and heard. One way that you can engage in a more interactive board meeting is by breaking up into smaller groups to discuss topics, possible scenarios, and values that are important to each person. Following small group settings, it is important to re-group and discuss the interactions at large. This interactive exercise will foster stronger relationships and allow you to see in a different light what goals the board members see for the future.
When you reserve an optimal location, keep individuals informed, follow a planned agenda, prepare for technology usage, and make your board members feel welcome, you will be sure to win the hearts and minds of those present. Follow these 5 tips in planning your next board meeting and find ease in reserving your space with KCI Expo Center today!