can use the entire space. Although
the space is not a sterile area, and
function attendees do not have to
pass through security, groups are
required to hire airport security
guards to staff events.
Groups renting the space also
must work with HMSHost to cater
the event. To meet the unique needs
of catering to outside patrons, the
airport concessionaire brought on
two companies to handle event
staging and planning.
Groups renting the space have
been very pleased with HMSHost
as caterer, Hamm-Neibruegge said.
They are able to develop menus as
elaborate or as simple as each group
desires. Hamm-Niebruegge said
the latest Art of Travel fundraiser
featured individual stations with
gourmet food cooked by celebrity
chefs from all over the country as
Hamm-Niebruegge said that
airport staff works very closely
with groups renting the concourse
and with HMSHost to ensure that
all goes smoothly. The airport has
a volunteer team to assist with
groups. One or two team members
attend each event and are on hand
to deal with any issues that arise.
Business has been good,
Hamm-Niebruegge said, with
several groups on the books over
the coming months, including
neighboring community St. Charles’
fashion week, a three-day event that
is expected to draw 800-900 people
per day; and business networking
and non-profit organizations with
attendees of more than 1,000.
Earlier this year, the facility
hosted its largest event to date — a
1,500-attendee fundraising event for
a local non-profit group. Following
the event, the group booked the
venue for next year's function.
In addition, a number of couples
have considered the space for
weddings. The airport’s business
development group currently is
working on a promotional plan to
showcase using the space for that
purpose and expects to have the
program in place this fall.
“Airports today are looking for
ways to engage the public and
generate more non-aeronautical
revenue,” said Hamm-Niebruegge.
“Our offering of the B concourse
as a venue for special events has
garnered great interest and very
positive results. The space has
been booked for several occasions
throughout the year, and our clients
absolutely love the uniqueness it
brings to their special event.”
Holly Ackerman is associate editor of Airport
Magazine. She may be reached at holly.