For nearly 30 years, Bonnie Boyd and her team at BBC Destination Management Company, have made sure that conference and convention attendees and incentive travel participants experience the best of The Big Easy. Here are five things she’s looking forward to sharing with planners and their groups when the good times start rolling again. (Photo top of page by Todd Coleman. Used courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
Direct flights from Toronto, Montreal and other international destinations in and out of the new, state-of-the-art Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
Opened in November 2019, the new, $1 billion terminal complex at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport completely replaces the old facility. It features three concourses, 35 gates, a consolidated checkpoint for ease and efficiency going through security, and an in-line baggage system allowing passengers to drop their checked baggage at ticket counters. In addition to the usual f&b suspects (Starbucks, Shake Shack, Panda Express), the concourses offer eats from local icons like Emeril’s, Fleurty Girl, Dirty Coast and MoPho. What hasn’t changed is the New Orleans band welcome in Baggage Claim. (Photo by J. Stephen Young. Used courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
The return of world-class festivals where the food, music and experiences flood your senses.
In addition to Mardi Gras, New Orleans’ most renowned and revered celebration, some 130 festivals are held annually in the city. That’s roughly a festival every three days. The city’s portfolio of good times includes the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Crescent City Blues & Barbeque Festival, Satchmo Summer Fest, Voodoo Music Experience, Essence Festival, Cajun-Zydeco Festival, Oak St Poboy Festival and more. (Photo by Zack Smith. Used courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
“Second Line” parades where revelry connects with exclusive street closure, marching bands, go-cup cocktails and masked jesters.
These brass band parades are an integral part of New Orleans’ history and culture. Here are three things you should know about second lines. 1. Traditionally organized by Social, Aid and Pleasure Clubs (SAPCs), they can be held nearly any day of the year and often include stilt walkers, dance troupes and custom costuming. 2. The “second line” refers to the people who fall in behind the band, dancing, singing and interacting with the community. 3. A party in the street, they are an authentic way to move event attendees from one venue to the next. (Photo courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
The NFL New Orleans Saints back in the Superdome with decibel breaking sounds of fans chanting “Who Dat”
Winners of the 44th Super Bowl (2010), the New Orleans Saints have been entertaining, energizing and sometimes outraging fans since 1966. Today they call the Mercedes-Benz Superdome home, and when they aren’t using the facility, groups can. Sit-down banquets, game days and mega cocktail parties are just some of the on-field activities allowed when The Saints are out of town. (Photo by Paul Broussard. Used courtesy of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
Opening private doors to homes in the Garden District and travelling upriver to visit seldom see and prestigious plantations where time stands still.
New Orleans’ Garden District is home to one of the best-preserved collections of historic mansions in the southern United States. Take a ride on the St. Charles streetcar and check out grand mansions, quaint cottages and verdant gardens. For a deeper dive into the past, head up the Mississippi and spend an afternoon exploring a plantation home and grounds. (Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.)
BBC Destination Management is a full-service DMC offering special event planning, tours and activities and program logistics. It is represented in Canada by Select Group Marketing (SGM).