Knifemakers Guild Show Moving to Louisville, Kentucky in 2009
The Knifemakers Guild has just announced that 2008 will be their last show at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Florida. I for one am thrilled with the move. Not only because it is my hometown but I really do think Louisville will make an excellent and much more centrally located home for the Guild Show.
The Guild has had a nice long run in Orlando and I am sure there are some Floridians who will be disappointed but the Guild is trying to move in new directions and I think this is a very positive step. When I heard that the Guild was looking for a new home, I asked "Why not Louisville?". Guild President, Gil Hibben, was reluctant to suggest Louisville as the new home since he lives only about 20 miles outside of Louisville and he feared it would appear to be self-serving.
I did some research comparing Louisville to some of the other cites being considered including Orlando, Atlanta, St Louis, Kansas City, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Denver. The facts kept shining through that Louisville is one of most centrally located cities in the country. That is why numerous conventions and trade shows have moved here from other cities and it is why UPS decided to located their hub here.
See for yourself. I started out by looking at a 500 mile radius of various cities. I figured 500 miles was about the maximum for a good 1-day drive and a reasonable flight. Looking at Louisville compared to Orlando, it is obvious that MANY more people are conveniently located to Louisville.
A 500 mile radius of Orlando includes: ALL of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina; MOST of Alabama; and PART of North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee.
In contrast, a 500 mile radius of Louisville includes: ALL of Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina; MOST of Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas; and PART of Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Canada.
Numerous major conventions have moved to Louisville from other convention cities such as Las Vegas, Atlanta, St Louis, Kansas City and Indianapolis because of Louisville's great central location, easy traveler access, and plenty of affordable lodging and dining opportunities.
There are at least 25 cities with populations over 100,000 within 500 miles driving distance of Louisville and 12 of the top 50 cities in the US by population are within that 500 mile range. There are over 12 million people within a day's drive just counting the city dwellers. 7.5 million are within a 300 mile radius.
I don't think there is anyplace outside of New York or Los Angeles that can make that claim. As far as exposure potential, Louisville makes a very good case. There are good population centers in EVERY direction that could be attracted to Louisville.
Positive points of consideration for Louisville:
Other Nearby Local Attractions: Bring the family for a mini vacation.
So again I ask "Why not Louisville?" It make good sense and is a GREAT location. As a lifelong resident, I can attest that this is a great city. When the NRA held it's national convention here a few weeks ago I heard only good things about this town from everyone I talked to.
I am very pleased that the Guild listened to my, and others, wishes. The Guild also consulted an experienced professional meeting planner and they came to the same conclusion that Louisville was a very good fit for the Guild Show.
The Guild then sent a party to Louisville to look at some venues. The one they chose will knock your socks off! I will leave it to the Guild to announce the exact location at this year's meeting but I will tell you that it is magnificent! Dripping with luxury, elegance and history. Adjacent to, or close to, outstanding dining, entertainment and attractions. I am confident that the Guild Members and show attendees will be thrilled.
Anyway, that's the scoop. I must say that I never imagined that staging a show like this, or even finding a venue, was so complicated. There is a lot more to consider than I would have imagined. My hat is off to Gil and Linda Hibben, Lowell and Mary Bray, and everyone else who worked so hard to pull this together.
No location is going to please everyone and I am sure there will be some grumblings about leaving Florida but several Guild members had voiced their displeasure with the current location. The Buena Vista Palace isn't really doing the Guild any favors either while the new location is bending over backwards to accommodate them. This is a good move and I applaud it. I hope see you all in my hometown next year!.