TOPS Louisville: MEPS 2020

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Meeting, & Party RESOURCE GUIDE


Event Catering


Private Dining

Meeting Spa Board Meetings

Celebrations Weddings Office Outings Group Parties Large Family Dinin Intimate Spaces Brunch Grand Ballroom Banquets

Conferences Outdoor Spaces Scenic Views




For details, contact our Director of Sales & Marketing Lance George,, 502-569-4475 140 N Fourth Street • Louisville, Kentucky 40202 •


THE MEETING, EVENT AND PA RT Y R E S OU RC E G U I DE Choosing The Perfect Venue For Your Next Event...................................................... 6 How to Book a Speaker................................................. 10 Food is a Must: How to Choose a Caterer for Your Event................................................ 14 Creative Event Spaces With Belle Noble Entertainment Group, LLC............................................ 16 Savor The Experience With Savor at River House..................................................... 20

TOP Marketing Group 100 Executive park, Suite 101 • Louisville, Ky 40207 (502) 780-7825 • The views and comments expressed by the authors are not always that of our editors or publishers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, TOP Marketing Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors, omissions or resultant consequences, including any loss or damage arising from the reliance on information in this publication. All images contained in TOPS Louisville magazine are subject to the copyright of the artist or photographer as named, but not limited thereto. Reproduction of any part of this magazine without prior written permission is prohibited.

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new year means many things to your organization, but most of all, it’s time to start (or continue) planning your next big event. Whether it’s raising money for a cause or gathering like-minds to create plans for a better future, your organization’s perfect event is just around the corner. First, and most importantly, you’ll need to choose a venue.

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The venue space is critical for attendees to have a pleasurable time at your event. You need to consider three things when thinking about the venue, which you will need to choose at least four to six months before the big day.

B U D GE T: How little or how much are you willing to spend? This will greatly narrow down your choices in the city.

Do you need a stage, red carpet, a runway or tables for eating? The event space will need to know how many people will be in attendance to fulfill the food and beverage count. If your venue offers food and/or beverages, they may set a minimum food and beverage spending amount. Does the location have a kitchen, chairs, tables and linens. Does it have a set-up or cleanup crew? What about AV equipment for the host? Layout of the location: When you’re narrowing down your choices, be sure to look at floor plans. Make sure the flow of traffic for activities, like registration, keynote speakers and auction items, is sufficient. This is also important for accessibility for all attendees, especially those who have special needs. Acoustics: Sound is extremely important for attendees who may be gaining knowledge about or donating to your foundation. Do you need to bring additional equipment or move your chairs closer to the stage? Low ceilings create a louder effect, while a warehouse will result in echoes. When searching for your perfect venue, try a few different search sites like:

Estimated event size: Are you thinking 75 people or 2,000 people? You’ll need to know the room capacity of the venues because spaces have fire and safety codes that they have to abide by, and therefore, going over the allocated amount of attendees is unacceptable.

• Cvent: This website can help you find an event location set to your needs, including floor plan.

Location: Is this a local event? Does it require a certain neighborhood? Don't forget to consider traffic, transportation, and parking options. You may think of providing attendees with driving and parking or valet directions. If attendees take Uber or Lyft, you should look into discount codes.

• Aventri: On this site, you can do a map-based venue search, and filter your results by the type of venue you’re looking for.

When you’ve figured out these things, next you need to move on to more specific requirements for a space.

• LiquidSpace: Looking for a smaller space? This site shows what meeting places are available on the spot. 

• Kapow: This is an online platform for booking and managing memorable, scalable and essential corporate events. You can see availability and book events at the touch of a button.

• Eventup: Type in “Louisville” and EVENTup will bring you to a comprehensive marketplace for event venue sourcing. Browse venues with specific filters and review detailed information about availability and features.

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How to Book a Speaker An event is just around the corner for your organization, and you’ve chosen your venue, so what’s next? You need a hook to grab additional attendees, which is most easily found in your guest speaker. Finding a speaker can be stressful and expensive, but with these tips, you’ll be able to save time––and hopefully––money. BY TAYLOR RILEY INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED BY BUSYCOF.COM, FORBES AND WILDAPRICOT.COM

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A good speaker is valuable, because they offer educational and inspirational value, as well as are great for networking when mixing and mingling with attendees.

W H AT ’ S FIR ST? : You’ll need to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on a speaker. More experienced orators can be costly but can draw in a crowd. Should your speaker be local or do you want to outsource? Do they need to be an expert in the field or someone who has a heart-felt story?

FIND Y OU R NEX T EMCEE: • Go online: Review profiles on LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Use the National Speakers Association website to find professional speakers; you can even book them through the site. Speaker Match is another good tool that has thousands of profiles of speakers to whom you can reach out. • Look for speakers in your area: Organizations like Toastmasters and Certified Speakers Organizations provide training for their members. Local chapters will have available speakers, too.

• Are there geographical constraints? You need to allocate travel and meal costs for your speaker.

• Issue a call for proposals: Abstracts give potential speakers the chance to direct their ideas to you. You can assemble a panel to review the proposals.

• What technology will you need? Do you need AV equipment for your event, like projectors, screens or Wifi?

• Chamber of Commerce: Louisville’s many townships have Chambers to organize businesses in your area. You can then find local leaders to speak at your event.

• Will you have time constraints? Speakers will need to know how much time they have on the stage and points they need to make.

• Check universities: Louisville’s many universities will have professors that will be ideal guest speakers skilled in communication and education.

EAST LOUISVILLE’S Premier Event Space Located in the historic town of Pewee Valley the property circa 1880’s has served the Interurban Railroad and The Southern Bell Telephone Exchange. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer or to schedule a viewing!

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ONCE YOU’VE CHOSEN A FEW SPEAKERS FOR YOUR EVENT, YOU’LL NEED TO NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES. HERE’S HOW: • Uniqueness: Is your speaker going to deliver something your audience won’t find elsewhere? Ask your speakers what they will bring to the table. • Be cool: Will your speaker stick around to mingle with audience members? If they’re particularly popular, i.e. members of the media or athletes, you’ll want them to chat with attendees. • Helpful: Will your speaker be willing to promote the event? It’s important that they’re excited about the event and share it with their contacts. • Authenticity: Will the speaker’s content connect to the audience? The speech should be real and align with the goals of your organization. • Flexible and reliable: Make sure this speaker has good reviews, and you can count on them to be where they should be on time. 

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The Possibilities ARE ENDLESS... THE PERFECT VENUE F O R YO U R I M AG I N AT I O N The Calluci Event House is a unique venue located in the Crescent Hill neighborhood

THE PERFECT VENUE FOR: Pop-Up Business or Retail Creative Work Space for Corporate Meetings Showers and Birthday Parties Private Lunch and Dinners Cocktail Events WITH FULL SERVICE C AT E R I N G P R OV I D E D BY D I V I N I T Y F I N E C AT E R I N G

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hen you have an important event for your organization on tap, some may argue that food and drink is the most important portion of the event experience. This means that choosing the right caterer for the event is a must. The quality and quantity of food and drink will make or break attendees’ good time, but it can be the most costly part of planning. So, how do you choose the right company? Have no fear. We’re here to help. First, take a moment to picture your guests’ experience. You should choose food and drink based on the elements and design aesthetics you wish to create an impact. This also means the food has to represent your brand. Attendees will post on social media if your food looks oh-so-good.

EX P ENSES: As was said before, you need to allocate a specific amount of money for food and drink at your event. Do you want to have a four-course meal or just apps? A full, open bar or cash-only? These things add up, so be sure you know what you’re getting into. Also, weigh the options of in-house catering at your venue versus outsourcing; which will give you what you want and need for your guests to have the best time.

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E V EN T R E ADY: Make sure the caterer you choose is able to provide food and drink for an event of your organization’s magnitude. Not every company specializes in corporate events or fancy parties. You may want a more low-key event that requires barbeque or a high-end event that has a filet on the menu. This also calls for the company to know if the venue has a kitchen, or if they need to bring hot food and cold drinks.

F L EXI B ILITY: Make sure the company is flexible to your attendees’ needs. Do you have some vegetarians or those with food allergies attending? Make sure the company has separate menu items to make those with special needs happy, too.

Birthday Parties can be FUN and INSPIRING! Celebrate with Minecraft Magic, Blast Off to Space, or Build Your Own STEAM Quest Birthday Party with your child’s favorite Zaniac Programs! Your designated party host is also an Instructor at Zaniac and will engage your child and up to 20 friends!

• Tutoring Center • Game-Based Learning • After School Camps • Summer Camps • Parents’ Night Out

TAS T I NGS: What’s the best way to make sure the food is actually tasty? Well, taste it! Some companies will allow you to sample.

T H E L ITTLE THINGS : Things like contracts can be intimidating, but they’re important. Make sure you write up a cancelation policy, insurance rules and complete explanation of goods and services. You also need to make sure the company is reliable and has good reviews.

AL CO H OL: When it comes to alcohol, there are additional items to consider. You may be planning a nonprofit event in which you will be selling or giving out alcohol, so you don’t want to find yourself with a lawsuit. Be familiar with Kentucky’s social host liability laws. Kentucky has no state law allowing an injured person to seek damages from a social host if an intoxicated adult causes injury after being served alcohol at a private function. You do, however, have to require a picture ID anytime someone asks for a drink or require them to wear a wristband. Figure out who is going to serve the alcohol: There are companies that specialize in bartending events. They have trained and certified their bartenders and carry liability insurance. Otherwise, you’ll need to figure out insurance yourself. 

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Creative Event Spaces with belle noble entertainment group, llc The times they-are-a-changin’.… Louisville’s special events arena, for sure. BY KEVIN GRANGIER • COURTESY PHOTOS


n the past five years the availability of event space in Louisville has nearly tripled. No longer limited to the traditional spaces to which one might be accustomed, event and meeting planners, social committees and brides-to-be today are exposed to not just more venues, but more unique and colorful ones, at that. The financial impact one’s choice of a venue can have on an event is no secret. Both the physical cost of the space as well as the dollars associated with its success. A venue to which an audience is accustomed can drive a far different outcome than one might experience in a more non-traditional location that offers a different scene that ultimately drives a

different experience. So how does this menu of newly unearthed spaces play out in Louisville? And how does it play in the same sandbox with our tried-and-true more traditional local venues? From newer event rooms such as the 200-person Italian Piazza offered at Grassa Gramma Italian Restaurant in Holiday Manor Shopping Center, to farms and barns as far away as Huber’s Orchard in Starlight, Indiana, desired outcome vs. venue flexibility is the key. Couple this with the size and scale of the event being planned, and you can determine pretty quickly the category of space that works best for you, and thus the length to which you can go to create an event that serves

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as both an attraction and an experience for attendees.

can become, not necessarily what it currently is.”

In addition to local hotels and conference centers that offer tremendous spaces for tremendous events, consider thinking differently about how you might achieve strong results with either a more senior event that has evolved over many years, or a newer one that could just now be finding its way.

Hicks further explains that locations capable of creating interactive experiences, high ceilings, for example, that allow for spectacular lighting or light shows, also open the doors for creativity. “Open spaces such as barns and warehouses, and even Le Moo’s Blue Moo and Grassa Gramma with their 25-40 foot ceilings, allow for creativity above and not just around the guest,” she says.

Location. Many spaces outside of traditional locations such as city centers have made their way onto Louisville’s event space scene. According to Laura Hicks, director of events for Belle Noble Entertainment Group which owns Grassa Gramma, Le Moo and the Village Anchor, finding an open-minded partner is critical. “It’s easy to walk in a location and dismiss it quickly simply because one can’t envision the possibility,” Hicks said. “For the many guests who approach me about our spaces, whether it be a rehearsal dinner for 25 at Le Moo or 55 on the outdoor Lanai at The Village Anchor, my first job is to empower the guest to look at what the space

Other considerations can play a role in a venue’s selection while also offering unique opportunities for creativity. If a message of sustainable thinking and social awareness is important to you, for example, consider disposable bamboo or rice fabrics for table coverings, napkins, dividers and sound barriers. Large sheets of these fabrics can somewhat easily transition monotone walls to art galleries. Opting for vegetables and fruits as table design over nonsustainable materials can serve as a theme for a vegan or vegetarian event, while adding color and showcasing creativity at the same time. 

I N L O U I S V I L L E A N D I TS S U RRO U N DI N G A REA S YO U WI L L F I N D MA N Y N O N -TRA DI TI O N A L I N S PI RI N G O PTI O N S THAT C A N PL AY THEI R RO L E I N A S U CC ES S F U L EV EN T: Local locations that offer views and green space such as hill-tops, gardens and forests. Among many of these outdoor locations in Louisville is Huber’s Orchard and Winery in Indiana which offers a variety of settings for creative outdoor initiatives. Attics and lower levels of historic buildings or warehouses. Cracking brick and concrete walls offer their own unique beauty that lends itself to creativity. Spaces that offer natural light. Natural light can affect engagement, mood and even return attendance of event goers. Consider atriums, greenhouses or even commercial garages with open doors, each of which can move light and air into an otherwise stuffy or gray location. Regardless of your direction, venues all over the city are creating inspirational spaces that play a key role in an event’s success, however it is that it’s measured.

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A s Ea s y a s

1, 2, 3 !

A unique customization experience, the Color Bar™ is where personal style meets instant gratification.

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“The best thing about the Color Bar™ experience is being able to design custom pieces with your friends ... from all the laughs to the countless times we asked, ‘Which color do you like better?’ ”

Because there’s nothing better than custom jewels and a day spent with your friends. Choose from three packages, all of which include a reservation at the Color Bar™ for three or more guests, one piece of custom jewelry per person, a private styling consultation, and bubbly to enjoy.

502.221.3056 7900 SHELBYVILLE ROAD S U I T E B-10, O X M O O R M A L L

“I enjoyed seeing everyone’s personalities come out in the different pieces that were created! It’s a great opportunity to create something that is very YOU!” - DA RB Y W .


For 20 or 200, the private event spaces at Le Moo, The Village Anchor and Grassa Gramma are among the most beautiful and accommodating in our City. Your guests will marvel over the spectacular spaces designed to make your experience both fashionable and memorable. To better understand our menu and service offerings and unique, personalized spaces, please contact our experienced meeting and events director, Laura Hicks, who will explore with you the many options to ensure that your meeting, dinner or special event is second-to-none.

Laura Hicks Director, Sales & Events 502.408.8891

Savor the Experience

For those in search of a special event venue in Louisville, a remarkable new option just opened in November 2019. Award-winning chef and restaurateur John Varanese has added Savor at River House to his already impressive and memorable portfolio of local restaurants, such as Varanese and Levee.




ith its premier riverfront location and unobstructed views of riverside scenery, Savor is most certainly a cut above the typical banquet hall. Food services are restaurant-quality, not run-of-the-mill catered fare. Savor’s expert team can help design and plan any event, from an intimate cocktail party to business conferences, and luncheons to weddings of almost any size.

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According to Chef Varanese himself, "We are all very excited to create a beautiful social gathering environment that, along with our exquisite cuisine, will have you savoring every moment. With the scenic views of the river, Savor at River House will be the premiere event location in Louisville." Savor is just another feather in the cap of this successful chef and business owner, who was recognized as one of the nation’s top chefs by Best Chefs America and was named Restaurateur of the Year by the Kentucky Restaurant Association. Menu inspirations for Savor are taken from Chef Varanese’s other restaurants, from simple cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to sumptuous buffets to formal plated dinner service. No matter what time of day the event is held, Savor can handle brunch, lunch, snacks, and/or dinner. Savor at River House is located at 3015 River Road and boasts available event spaces of up to 11,000 square feet, plus 1100 square feet of outdoor decking. Menus and set-ups can be tailored to any organization, event, or function. The venue can be used as one expansive main event space, or easily and quickly subdivided into as many as four separate spaces. The finishes, decor, and commissioned

artwork reflect the riverside setting with neutral colors and pops of serene, nautical-inspired blues. The overall effect is elegant and luxurious, yet still feels comfortable, while allowing the unparalleled views to deliver their significant wow factor. As impressive as the views and square footage options are, Savor at River House aims to please at every level of detail. The experience begins with expansive available parking, complete accessibility, ramps for equipment load-in of nearly any kind, and easy set up. This secondfloor venue welcomes guests into a premium bar and lounge area with a wide-screen television. The main event space is lit with four chic, modern, oversized crystal chandeliers, to be used all at once, or one or two at a time for smaller divided spacing needs. In addition to a custom dance

floor and lighting, Savor comes complete with the latest in technology, sound, and audio-visual equipment. But that’s not all. Savor at River House also offers a private meeting room seating up to 12 and reminiscent of a cozy fine wine cellar. This room also includes wide-screen television on one side, and its own private balcony on the other. For brides or hired entertainers, a lovely and spacious dressing room with lighted mirrors, dressing tables, and seating is conveniently located adjacent to the restrooms. Fancy an outdoor wedding? The meticulously manicured and landscaped lawn at River House has a lovely riverside vista of its own. With so many possibilities, you’ll want to keep Savor in mind now and in the future, for events large and small, business or social. To book now, visit savor. 

Copper & Kings provides a unique perspective to Kentucky’s distilling heritage by focusing primarily on the production of brandy, absinthe and gin. The Modern design of the facility is home to both indoor and outdoor spaces for your next corporate event or private function. Located just 8 minutes east of downtown, Copper & Kings offers elegant amenities, signature cocktails, and distillery tours/tastings for a one-of-a-kind experience. Our customizable mixology courses with world-class instructors are perfect for team building or unwinding with coworkers and friends. ALEX&NDER, our stunning ooftop restuarant and bar provides luxurious libations & delicious cuisine paired with an unbeatable view of the skyline.




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H O S T U P T O 200 G U E S T S

for a unique reception or a formal seated banquet in our private space, The Spire. With magnificent sweeping views of downtown and the Ohio River, The Spire is one of the most eye-catching venues in all of Louisville.


Because The Best Weddings Are Beautiful Ones


MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT HISTORIC Entertain your friends and colleagues at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. We offer a stunning setting for special events under the iconic Twin Spires. Louisville’s must-visit venue will transform your event into an experience your guests will never forget.

TO PLAN YOUR EVENT visit or call 502-638-3896.



HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY Finding your person in life is worthy of celebration, no matter what day it is. But this Valentine’s Day, let them know how special they are with a toast of Four Roses Small Batch in their honor. Cheers. • Four Roses Distillery LLC • Lawrenceburg, KY • Be mellow. Be responsible.