What You Need to Know

Thank you for choosing The Owensboro Convention Center for your event! Since this is probably the first event that you have planned at the convention center, we wanted to make sure that we try to cover everything upfront so that you understand our policies and procedures and that your event is exactly what you are expecting. Below is a short list of some things that you need to know about planning an event at the Owensboro Convention Center.

COVID-19 Update:  Due to COVID-19 and the additional health restrictions in place, there may be items temporarily unavailable as well as additional expenses that may incur in order to provide a safe environment for your attendees.  Please talk to your Event Manager regarding any additional charges that may need to be assessed.

Room Rental:  Room Rental typically includes a one-time set of tables and chairs, up to a 12-hour rental, and standard podium (if available).  Rental for table top displays or vendor tables are not included in the rental and may be an additional charge. If you need more time than 12 hours, rental can be available on a pro-rated basis. The times listed on the contract are your contracted times for your event and need to include any setup and teardown time for you or your vendors (such as decorators, DJ, etc.). If you need additional time over your contracted times, there will be an additional labor charge. Typical operation hours are 6a-midnight.

Contract:  Contracts must be signed by all events occurring within the building and returned by the due date listed on the agreement. Typically, the due date is 2 weeks after the contract has been sent. Once the contract has been signed by you, and the deposit has been made, our GM will sign the agreement and we will send a copy of the signed agreement with both signatures to you. If the contract is not signed and the deposit received by the due date listed on the contract, your space will be held as a 2nd Option and another group may come in and contract for those dates.

Deposits and Payments:  A deposit is required to accompany the signed contract. We can accept checks, credit cards, cashier checks or cash. All estimated expenses must be paid prior to event move-in, unless approved for direct billing by the General Manager. A payment schedule will be based on the type of event listed on the contract. HINT: Sometimes the easiest thing to do is fill out a credit card authorization form for the deposit and check the box to keep it on file for all expenses including day-of additional requests. No additional requests will be made without a credit card authorization form filled out for day-of expenses.

Security:  We require the use of our security guards for any event that is serving alcohol. Our standard guideline is 1 security guard per 250 guests and this labor charge will be added to your estimated expenses. There is a 3 hour minimum on all labor.

Labor:  All labor should be ordered no later than 21 days in advance. For certain types of events, such as an expo, we may require additional labor such as ticket sellers, ticket takers, or security. This would be added to your estimated expenses that are due 5 business days prior to your event. There is a 3 hour minimum on all labor.

Audio Visual:  You are more than welcome to bring in your own AV equipment with no additional fees. However, if you would like to rent certain equipment, we have a list of several items that you can rent on a daily basis.  All AV should be ordered no later than 21 days prior to the event or may be subject to an additional charge.  All items on the Event Price List excluding labor are subject to a Management Fee (currently 21%) and KY Sales Tax (6%).  If you bring in your own equipment or rent it from another vendor, we are not allowed to service or assist in the setup or operation of the equipment. In addition, any electricity needed for outside equipment will be subject to a charge.

Insurance:  Like the majority of other facilities across the nation, we require all events in the building to carry liability insurance and list us as additionally insured. We have an example of what the Certificate of Liability should look like that we can send to you and the specifications are listed in the contract. Most organizations have their own liability insurance that will provide a certificate of liability insurance with the agent that offers event insurance, such as E.M. Ford, or we can handle obtaining the certificate for you at a cost of $1 per person. If you purchase the insurance through us, this charge will go on your total event expenses that are due prior to the event. Insurance is due 30 days prior to the event. If no certificate is on file 30 days prior to the event, we will add the cost of insurance to your estimated expenses. It will be removed if a certificate is submitted by 5 days prior to the event.

Food and Beverage Exclusivity:  The Owensboro Convention Center maintains the exclusive right to provide all food and beverages and concession services at The Owensboro Convention Center. Any exceptions must be requested and obtained by prior written approval of the General Manager and follow the Outside Catering Guidelines. Like most venues, there will be an additional charge for bringing in outside catering. Food items may not be taken off the premises in to-go boxes; however, excess prepared food may be donated under regulated conditions to agencies feeding the underprivileged at The Owensboro Convention Center’s sole discretion.  Due to State Alcohol Regulations, no outside alcoholic beverages can be consumed on the premises at any time.

Food & Beverage Menu:  Choose a menu from our OCC Catering Menus or have us custom design a menu for your particular needs. Menus for food functions should be finalized at least 21 days prior to the event. Additional charges may be incurred for menu items submitted after the 21 day deadline. Menu prices cannot be guaranteed until 6 months prior to event. All menu prices will be subject to a catering management charge (currently at 21%) and KY Sales Tax (6%).  Food and beverage functions also include standard table linen, place settings, glasses, and linen napkins (standard colors) if applicable to the menu chosen.  Meeting only functions will include a water cooler.

Dietary Restrictions:  The Owensboro Convention Center’s Food Services are happy to address special dietary requests for individual guests with a five day advance notice. The Owensboro Convention Center will automatically prepare 1% vegetarian dinners for Plated Dinners.

Tastings:  If you are having trouble determining your menu, please contact your event manager to schedule a tasting.

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Guarantees:  Preliminary Projected Event Attendance and Menu Selections are due to The Owensboro Convention Center 21 days prior to the event date. A final guarantee of attendance is required 5 (five) business days prior to all food and beverage events. After the final guarantee has been provided, billing will be based on either your final guarantee (even if fewer guests actually attended) or the actual guest count, whichever is greater. The final guarantee can be increased after your event guarantee date, but will incur a 20% surcharge on each additional meal. The Owensboro Convention Center will prepare the following number of meals over the final guarantee:

0-200 guests – 4% over the final guarantee

201-500 guests – 3% over the final guarantee

501 and above – 2% over the final guarantee

Dietary Restrictions: The Owensboro Convention Center’s Food Services are happy to address special dietary requests for individual guests with a five day advance notice. The Owensboro Convention Center will automatically prepare 1% vegetarian dinners for Plated Dinners.

Guarantees: Preliminary Projected Event Attendance and Menu Selections are due to The Owensboro Convention Center 30 days prior to the event date. A final guarantee of attendance is required 5 (five) business days prior to all food and beverage events. After the final guarantee has been provided, billing will be based on either your final guarantee (even if fewer guests actually attended) or the actual guest count, whichever is greater. The final guarantee can be increased after your event guarantee date, but will incur a 20% surcharge on each additional meal. The Owensboro Convention Center will prepare the following number of meals over the final guarantee:
0-200 guests – 4% of the final guarantee
201-500 guests – 3% of the final guarantee
501 and above – 2% of the final guarantee

Bars and Concessions:  Setup fee for all bars (cash or hosted) and cash concessions will be $100 per bartender based on a 4 hour service time.  If each bartender meets $500 in sales, then the setup fee will be waived.  Bartenders may be available longer than 4 hours, but will incur an additional setup fee of $25 per hour and minimum would increase by $125 for each additional hour in order to be waived.

Décor:  Decorations, signs, banners, etc. may not be taped, nailed, stapled, or otherwise fastened to the ceilings, walls, doors, painted surfaces, or columns without prior written approval from facility management.

No lighter than air (helium, etc.) are permitted in the building. The only way to use balloons is if they are filled with air (not helium) and attached to a structure such as PVC pipe. We also do not allow glitter to be used on the tables or floors. Before you decorate, it is best to run through all decorations with your Event Manager to see if there are any conflicts. Good rule of thumb – if it takes more than a vacuum to remove from the floor, there will be an additional charge for cleanup.

Typical Time Frame of an Event:  Your Sales Manager will work with you on the front end to discuss your event needs and help create an estimated dollar amount for your event. They will send you a contract that includes these details and collect the initial deposit and signed agreement

After signing an agreement, an Event Manager will be assigned to your event and they will assist you in executing the contract as well as fine tuning the details for your event such as the menu planning, room layout and much more. They will become your best friend the last 2 weeks of planning! When you send your final guarantee 5 days prior to the event date, they will send you the final invoice and collect the full payment as well as any additional documents that may be required such as the certificate of liability insurance. The Event Manager will draw a diagram based on your setup and require you to sign off on it.

If there are any changes to that setup once it has been signed, a re-set charge will apply.  An Event Manager will also be on-site the day of your event in case any questions arise and to assist you with any additional requests.