Blog Post

Home > Blog > Best Trade Show Venue in Kansas City

Best Trade Show Venue in Kansas City

Best Trade Show Venue in Kansas City

When an event planner is looking for the best trade show venue for his or her client, there are a few key principles they look for.

In Kansas City, OPCC is a longstanding institution and an award-winning event center that provides the best trade show experience in the midwest. Read on to discover more about what can set apart the best trade show venue from the rest.

What to look for in a trade show or consumer show venue

Does the trade show venue have the capacity I need? What’s the size?
This is the first question an event planner asks when looking at a venue for their client. If the venue is too small, they cannot be certain of the success of your event. However, a venue being “too large” is not necessarily a problem. Many trade show venues and convention centers are designed to accommodate a massive number of guests. From there, the venue creates a variety of room options with varying sizes. So whether you’re expecting 20 guests or 2,000, you shouldn’t have to worry about finding that “sweet spot.”

(In case you were wondering, the size of OPCC is 262,000 sq. ft.)

Where is the venue located?
Chances are, the attendees of your upcoming trade show are not local. They’ll be traveling to a central location to meet and collaborate with other industry professionals. You’ll want to ensure your event planner selects a trade show venue that is easily accessible by all major forms of transportation – including by car, train, or plane.

OPCC is happy to be in an easily accessible location via The JO (Johnson County Transit), and RideKC (Kansas City Metro Bus Route). There are also ride-sharing services readily available in our community, including Uber, Lyft, and more.

Beyond transportation, though, there’s so much more that goes into the location of a trade show. The best trade show venues will also be surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and other fun activities.

OPCC is located near a variety of amenities, including:

  • Park Place, a charming community offering retail and boutiques, dining, office, and residential space with year-round activities
  • Topgolf Overland Park, the premier entertainment and golf destination in the area
  • Prairiefire & Museum at Prairiefire, a rich area full of shopping, world-class exhibitions of natural history and science, and even a guided tour through the wetlands
  • And more

Does the trade show venue accommodate my client’s needs?
Does your trade show require a lot of setup and tear down? Will you need a loading dock? How involved will the the venue staff be in this process? This question often makes or breaks a venue’s ability to provide excellent service to its customers.

(OPCC has two loading docks with 10 total bays available for our clients’ convenience.)

Another accommodation to keep in mind is internet access. If your venue does not provide at least 10Mbps of internet service for you and your guests for free, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Does the trade show venue have a sustainability plan?
Convention centers and trade show venues have a longstanding reputation for producing a lot of waste in a short amount of time. With the influx of possibly thousands of visitors in a matter of days, it can be difficult to manage waste during and after an event.

The last thing any guest or client wants to see at a trade show is a lack of proper waste management. Most event venues follow industry standards regarding their practices. However, it’s also reassuring to know when your venue is responsible with that waste after it’s out of sight.

In addition, keep an eye on whether that venue reports any sustainability programs regarding their energy consumption. After all, the higher their utility bills, the more a venue may have to charge clients to cover those costs.

(Since 2017, OPCC has received energy consumption upgrades to help reduce costs and be more responsible with how we treat our environment—in the ballpark of $2 million. Learn more about the sustainability initiatives at OPCC → )

Does the trade show venue have a helpful, welcoming staff?
The best trade show venue will not just be superior because of the location itself. It’s the people that make the difference. Taking a tour of the venue will give you the best glimpse into the friendly faces you can expect to see at your trade show in Kansas City. Are they friendly and helpful? Do you feel welcome? It may not be quantifiable, but the feeling you get at the venue from its staff can speak volumes to the kind of service you and your guests will receive at your trade show.

If photography is a priority for the event, is the venue attractive?
Many trade show venues are purposefully designed to be versatile to meet a wide range of aesthetic needs. However, while decorations and displays can be transformative, there are certain features you should look for if you’re interested in finding a beautiful trade show venue in Kansas City. Is the reception area warm and inviting? Does the venue have an entertainment area for guests to lounge when they’re not attending the trade show? Again, taking a tour will give you the best idea of what to expect during your event.

Keep in mind, a trade show venue may not always look like a trade show venue. It may be a banquet hall, convention center, performing arts venue, hotel, or open grounds (outdoors). However, with the right staff and creative team, you’ll see your venue transform into exactly what you need, when you need it!

Contact the best trade show venue in Kansas City

Looking for the best trade show venue in Kansas City or elsewhere in the midwest? Or are you looking for the perfect place to host a different kind of event?

OPCC is a great place to start.

Overland Park Convention Center is an award-winning event venue in Kansas City. Here, you’ll find a highly experienced, welcoming staff waiting to greet you and help you make your trade show your best ever!

Recently, we were named “2020 Center of Excellence” by Exhibitor Magazine. We were also listed in the 2019 Best Convention Centers of North America by Business View Magazine!

Contact us today and discover our award-winning service—from your very first phone call or email.

Event Planner Tool