2020 Snapshot

A word from our general manager

“While 2020 brought us new accomplishments, the year was anything but normal. We were named Best Customer Service & On-Site Support in North America by EXHIBITOR Magazine. We were the second convention center in the world to achieve the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ Facility accreditation—a critical first-step on the path to ensure the health and safety of our employees, clients and attendees.

I’m incredibly proud of these milestones, but make no mistake, this was a devastating year for the convention center. We experienced loss in so many ways, however I am mindful of the small wins we did achieve when others were not as fortunate.

With that said, we present to you our 2020 annual report. A candid snapshot of our trying, at times frustrating, year that we have taken great strides to overcome. Despite the heartache we’ve faced this year, we do see a light, a bright glimmer of hope for events and our industry in the future.

I am grateful for my team—the very best in the industry. There is no one like them. If there is one thing I know for sure, it is their grit, determination and invincible commitment to our clients. And no matter what we face in years to come, we will continue to elevate, improve and rise to the standard that is expected at the Overland Park Convention Center.”

Events: 105

Attendance: 113,561

Revenue: $3,919,328

Expenses: $(6,599,782)

January

Catholic Charities: Snow Ball Gala

January 28, 2020

The 46th Annual Snow Ball raised more than $3.1 million for Catholic Charities Foundation of Northeast Kansas.

The inspiring evening highlights the people, stories and impact of Catholic Charities in the community. Since its founding, Snow Ball has become one of the largest philanthropic galas in the Kansas City area.

Your staff was great, especially during set up time. They knew what they were needing and also made sure we were taken care of. It was very nice!

Theresa G., Catholic Charities of Northeastern Kansas

Overland Park Boat Show

January 23-26, 2020

The Overland Park Boat Show is the premiere boat show for enthusiasts from all over the Midwest.

For over a decade, thousands of visitors have come to the Overland Park Convention Center to see the latest in cruisers, performance boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, docks, boating accessories and more at the region’s largest boat show.

All of the staff from sales, events, security to housekeeping are professional and treat us like we are the most important person there.

Mike K., Lake of the Ozarks Marine Dealers Association

February

JOCO Home & Garden Show

February 21-23, 2020

Over 10,000 attendees came to the 2020 Johnson County Home & Garden Show to gain helpful insights and fresh inspiration from hundreds of home and product experts all located under one roof.

This three-day event showcases all things home improvement and outdoor landscaping from trusted local businesses.

Great venue to hold our 3 annual events, I wish all the venues we rent made it this easy to run our events!

Marc G., Marketplace Events

Hometown Champs

Overland Park Convention Center staff (from left to right): Director of Events, Scott Riesterer; General Manager, Brett C. Mitchell; Receptionist, Tracey Lentfer; Food & Beverage HR, Tina Maicher; Accountant, Vicki McQuain; Accounting Clerk, Lynn Long; Sales Manager, Barb Silin; Director of Sales & Marketing, Tracy Roberts; Marketing Manager. Britaney Wehrmeister; Director of Operations, George Middleton

#WinningTogether is the BEST!

In 2020, the Overland Park Convention Center was named Best Small Convention Center in North America by EXHIBITOR Magazine. Oh yeah, and our Kansas City Chiefs took home the Super Bowl LIV trophy!

To celebrate both impressive titles, we delivered championship gear and OPCC swag to all of our SUPER clients. Letting them know our success is their success, and winning is always better when we’re together.

March

Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo

March 5-8, 2020

Over four days, thousands of automotive professionals from 43 states, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, and Zimbabwe gather together to expand their technical knowledge.

With an estimated 2,323 room nights, VISION Hi-Tech Training & Expo created an economic impact of $2,171,054 for the City of Overland Park.

The Overland Park Convention Center is dedicated to our process and consistently delivers high-quality and over the top customer service for our events before, during and after the event.

Sheri H., President of Hamilton & Associates

Pandemic Timeline

March 16

Kansas Executive Order banning all gatherings of over 50 people

 

March 21

Johnson County along with the ‘CORE 4’ regional counties announce stay-at-home order effective March 24

March 23

Kansas Executive Order limiting all gatherings to a maximum of 10

 

March 24

OPCC halts in-house operations with employees working remotely

April

April 15

Kansas announces statewide stay-at-home order extended until at least May 3

 

April 30

Johnson County announces county stay-at-home order extended until May 10

An example of how the planet can flourish with the help of a green event venue in Overland Park

May

Checking In

When the pandemic struck, the convention center’s offices closed, in-house operations ceased and our employees started working from home. Then, with the event industry crumbling all over the world, employees were placed on temporary leave.

With the change of scenery came uncertainty.

Our company culture has always been that of resilience, hardwork and positivity, encouraging our employees to rise to every challenge. In the face of the unknown, our employees made the best of what they were given.

So we celebrate our employees, even when they are not here at our facility. We celebrate what makes them unique, what drives their creativity and what makes them who they are.

Here are just a few of their new found discoveries during this time.

Masks By Joanie

Joanie Douglas, Administrative Assistant

“My mother taught me to sew as a young girl. When everything shut down and masks were required, I broke out my fabric scrap box and whipped up my first batch of masks for family, neighbors and friends. The first masks I made were from leftover fabric from Halloween costumes, napkins, curtains and dresses for my girls from over 25 years ago.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed sewing. I have been making baby blankets for my new grandson, curtains and lots of masks. It’s time to replenish my scrap box with new projects.”

Veg-To-Table Garden

Luis Izurieta, Banquet Manager

“I started gardening because I wanted to make something natural and organic from scratch. I cook with most of the vegetables and herbs, mainly salads and sauces, and the rest I give away to family and friends.

Homemade meals always taste better, especially when the ingredients are grown in your own backyard. Freshness makes all the difference…you can taste it.”

Macrame Master

Jessica Corona, Director of Food & Beverage

“I’ve always been interested in woven art but never thought it was something I could actually do. With the pace of life slowing drastically during the pandemic, I decided to try macramé wall hangings.

It’s been such a rewarding craft that allows me to work through whatever I may be feeling at the moment, and then channel those emotions into a beautiful piece of art. I feel so much joy looking at a completed project.”

June

 @CUL_DE_SAC_COTTAGE

Barb Silin, Sales Manager

“I’ve been collecting these antiques since I was a kid really, I spent many summers at my grandmother’s house surrounded by her antiques and in her antique store. And with her guidance, it’s become a much loved hobby over the years.

Each piece tells its own story. I try to recreate and enhance that story when I’m assembling and placing each item within my home. It’s really all about the details, and that’s what I try to capture on my Instagram page.

@cul_de_sac_cottage shares my love of antiques with the world.

Some of my treasures I inherited from my grandmother’s collection, others are items I’ve found on my own. None of these treasures cost much I assure you, but they are priceless to me.”

Fishing Therapy

Brian McCollum, Food & Beverage Experience

“I’ve been fishing for years, but during quarantine it became more than just a hobby. It’s a quiet getaway. Just me, the boat and the sound of nature.

With so much going on, it really helps me clear my head and relax. There’s no better therapy.”

July

Reopening Timeline

July 1

OPCC is the second venue in the world to achieve the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR Facility accreditation, the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities

 

July 6

In accordance with all federal, state & county guidelines…

Overland Park Convention Center reopens to the public.

GBAC Star Accreditation

July 1, 2020

The Overland Park Convention Center achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR Facility accreditation, the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.

Under the guidance of GBAC’s scientific advisory board, the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention are implemented within the facility. Following a risk assessment, the program establishes mitigation strategies through the use of scientifically approved protocols, equipment, chemicals and training, which are continually measured, audited and improved, to ensure a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verifies Overland Park Convention Center implements best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

Open for Business

July 6

Talent on Parade Dance Competition features dance schools from across the nation. Over a seven-day period, total attendance for the event was 4,000 plus.

 

July 13

Just Between Friends is a four-day consignment sale. Gently-used kids clothes, shoes, toys, books, games, furniture and more can all be found in one clean, organized place. Over 1,600 attendees came out to snag these amazing deals.

 

July 16

Interface technology conference takes a look at the everchanging IT infrastructure. The day-long event features software solutions, along with local experts and organizations to help educate, advise and connect individuals to resources to help them reach their goals.

 

July 18

Congratulations to the 2020 graduating class of Research Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology. Friends and family gathered to watch the graduates accept their diploma and walk across the stage at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Fortino Wedding Reception

July 25, 2020

“I know this event was difficult to plan because of the ever changing circumstances, but it was an excellent event and it would not have gone off as it did without the team at OPCC. [We] could not be happier with the end result! We will (and have) absolutely recommend your facility to others.”

Cont’d

Planning an event during these challenging times is like trying to catch the wind…yet the OPCC made it happen. The reception for our daughter’s wedding was incredible and we appreciate all the safety protocols the OPCC put in place for our guests. Amazing event!

Paul M., Fortino Wedding Reception

August

 

Safe Planning Resource Launch

We created our Safe Planning Resource by event type to help our clients safely plan and visualize their events, showcasing socially distanced setups, creative food and beverage options, and much more.

Using these pages as a tool and a guide, the plans are then completely customizable and scalable to support the clients specific event needs.

Banquets & Galas

Page Highlights

We’ve got food and beverage covered (literally) with our updated packaging and creative plating arrangements.

Our safe solutions for plated entrees, hand-passed hors d’oeuvres and even buffets were all designed to focus on personal safety so clients don’t have to be limited by food selection.

With socially distanced tables of three, four or six attendees, and customizable food and beverage, banquets continue to be centered around what fits the client’s needs best.

Trade & Consumer Shows

Page Highlights

New protocols encourage shows to schedule vendor move-in/move-out, in addition to socially distancing vendor booths and creating wider, directional aisles to promote the safety of exhibitors and attendees.

Increased crowd control measures include reemphasized event signage, stanchioned boundary areas, sanitizer stations, and touchfree payment for ticketing and concessions.

Meetings & Conferences

Page Highlights

All breakfast, lunch and dinner plated menu options can be placed on grab and go stations and individually packaged with clear lids for easy pick up. Or have items delivered directly to attendees during sessions to limit guest interaction.

Socially distanced seating options for both classroom and theater sets can be customized based on event and space needs.

Oh, and don’t forget about our hybrid event options! (More on that later.)

Ingram’s Best of the Best

Highlighting the best Kansas City and the surrounding region has to offer, Ingram’s Magazine Best of Business awards let’s their readers vote on their favorite businesses, services, products and more.

For the last 17 years, the Overland Park Convention Center has been named Best Meeting & Conference Facility. With an unfathomable year for most companies, Ingram’s decided to eliminate the voting process and instead feature those businesses who they consider to be the very Best of the Best.

Out of well more than 1,000 companies that have received the votes of tens of thousands of readers over the decades, we’ve narrowed our Best of the Best to roughly three dozen companies that enjoyed massive success in this market. In doing so, they have shown all of us the qualities that define achievement at the highest level: incredible attention to detail, wholesale commitment to customer service, unwavering devotion to consistent performance, and retention of employees who drive the culture among them.

INGRAM’S, Kansas City’s Business Magazine

Corporate Regional Meeting

August 24-25, 2020

Over a two-day period, 1,000 plus attendees gathered for their regional corporate meeting. With a socially distanced classroom set-up spanning the entire exhibit hall and directional lunch buffets staggered in the ballroom, this event truly utilized the venue’s spacious layout.

While the event itself focused on highlighting their company successes, hosting this large annual meeting served as a true indicator of success for the convention center team.

September

Visit Overland Park Meeting

September 9, 2020

Each year, Visit Overland Park draws thousands of visitors not only to Overland Park, but to the greater Kansas City area.

Ready to reclaim tourism for the year ahead, this small planning meeting focused on destination development with community partners.

Speaking of community partners, we are proud to count Visit Overland Park as one of ours!

Thank you–we had a very productive series of meetings. Dana M., Visit Overland Park

Other Partners

October

Advice & Aid Annual Gala

September 9, 2020

The annual Advice & Aid Gala raises funds to support women and their families by providing resources and education through Christ-like compassion.

This was a spectacular hybrid event experience with on-site attendance around 400 and 340 virtual attendees live-streaming from the comfort of their own homes.

The convention center really helped us to develop a plan to keep everybody safe. From the very beginning they were very good at listening to us and listening to our concerns so that us as a staff could feel safe and comfortable first as we made steps to plan our event. When we were working with the staff and they came up with different ideas on how to host the event, it actually made me and my planning team very excited. The people that felt comfortable enough to come in came and those that wanted to watch from home and felt more comfortable doing that participated from home but everybody was very, very grateful that we were able to host the event. And I have to say, a lot of the ability to have it was because of the help of the staff at the convention center.

-Ruth T., Advice & Aid

Hybrid Event Planning

Offering fully interactive and engaging virtual experiences to supplement in-person events, the Overland Park Convention Center became the all-encompassing hybrid event venue.

Live-stream your banquet to increase fundraising efforts by reaching on-site and virtual audiences. Engage with more members at your next meeting or trade show and increase your bottom-line with hybrid events.

Options are customizable and possibilities are limitless.

November

EXHIBITOR Magazine: North America’s Top 30 Centers of Excellence

For the second consecutive year, the Overland Park Convention Center was named one of North America’s best convention centers for trade shows and events. Small, medium and large convention centers throughout North America were considered and evaluated using an objective algorithm and rigorous grading scale.

Last year, EXHIBITOR announced an initiative to identify and recognize North America’s best convention centers for trade shows and events. The recognition considers criteria categorized into five primary areas: Facility & Functionality, Location & Accommodations, Service & Execution, Expansions & Upgrades, and Awards & Industry Participation.

These facilities have proven their ability to host trade shows and events of all shapes and sizes while providing world-class service and state-of-the-art accommodations.

-Travis Stanton, EXHIBITOR Magazine

December

7,000 Toys Collected for Toys for Tots Foundation

Each year we are proud to serve not only our local community, but the greater Kansas City area. The annual Toys for Tots drive is always a staff favorite, and in 2020 we had our biggest donation year yet with 7,000 toys collected. We couldn’t be more proud of our team and community.

2020 Charitable Giving

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
Archdiocese of Kansas City
Blue Valley Education Foundation
Harvesters Community Food Network
HopeKids Kansas City
Johnson County Community College Culinary Scholarship
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
Vision Hi-Tech Training Expo

Considered the most prestigious award in the Centers of Excellence competition, Best Customer Service and On-Site Support scores facilities regardless of size to the level of service they provide to exhibit and event managers, by using an algorithm to identify and recognize the best centers in North America.

Travis Stanton, EXHIBITOR Magazine

Why We Won

Experienced Employees

Although small in numbers, the convention center staff is high in achievement with five Certified Meeting Professionals, one nationally selected Connect Association 40 Under 40 recipient, one Certified Technology Specialist, one Certified Venue Executive and six Speciality Rigging Accredited team members.

Award Winning Chef

Executive Chef Tim Freeman’s accolades include working alongside Chef Wolfgang Puck; defeating celebrity Chef Bobby Flay on Food Network series, Beat Bobby Flay; cooking at the White House for former President Bill Clinton and the Ohio Governor’s Mansion.

 

GBAC Star Accreditation

Overland Park was the second convention center in the world to achieve the GBAC STAR accreditation, the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.

Event Safety & Security

The Overland Park Convention Center was selected as one of two pilot venues to review and assess the best practices and safety guidelines developed by the Industry Security Council in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, created to protect the millions of people who work, exhibit at, and attend meetings, conventions, and trade shows each day.

2020 Snapshot

We can’t thank you enough for your support during an unimaginable year.

Here’s to us being together again, and brighter days ahead.