Three hours before it was slated to start on Thursday, ONA’s opening night reception venue changed because of a double booking.
ONA and Crimestoppers, a local crime prevention nonprofit, had both reserved Generations Hall for Thursday night. ONA’s conference team was notified about the double booking late Wednesday night, ONA spokesperson Trevor Knoblich said. It became clear mid-morning that ONA would need a new venue.
Over the course of a couple of hours on Thursday, ONA was able to secure Mardi Gras World, the world’s largest float building facility, according to an ONA email about the change. The location was actually originally vetted for the reception, Knoblich said.
“We really liked it,” he said. “It was basically our second choice, and we basically really lucked out that they were not booked tonight and could staff and support the venue change.”
Mardi Gras World was the ONA’s second pick for a couple of reasons, one of them being it is not as close to the conference as Generations Hall. According to an ONA email, it is not a walkable route from the conference hotels. Shuttles will be running every 15 minutes from 6 to 9 p.m. to transport convention-goers to the opening reception.
Generations Hall will be paying for overages and shuttles, Knoblich said. He said this has not happened before.