Mother of God Church exterior

Mutter Gottes Kirche, aka Mother of God Church, in Covington, Ky.

Even though Covid put a damper on in-person events for nearly two years, one meetings segment that remained strong throughout for Northern Kentucky was faith groups. Using social distancing and outdoor spaces as safety solutions, many congregations, fellowships, and other assemblies got creative and made things work in person so that members could stay connected, energized, and inspired.

When things finally returned to normal across America, Northern Kentucky saw an additional surge of meeting interest from faith groups, who understand that this region has so much to offer their attendees. Here’s just one example of Northern Kentucky’s appeal: A faith group that used the Northern Kentucky Convention Center for its July 2023 annual gathering opened attendee registration in the spring with three hotels in its room block—but by the time the meeting began, attendees had filled six hotels.

According to Christy Staten, convention sales executive for the Northern Kentucky CVB, a combination of factors makes the region especially attractive not just for attendees but also for planners and leadership teams among faith groups who want a simplified experience as they build out their events.

The exterior of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center showing the main entrance

First, “many meeting groups use what we call our Riverfront Package, which includes the convention center as well as the two hotels right next to it, the Marriott and the Embassy Suites,” she notes. “But we also have a group of other hotels on and near the riverfront that we can expand into based on group size.” The Northern Kentucky Convention Center’s 100,000 square feet of useable space along with the available space at the two hotels next door can handle the vast majority of faith-based meetings in the country.

So Many Choices for Faith Groups in NKY

That’s one reason why many faith groups return to Northern Kentucky on a regular basis. But there’s another compelling reason: The variety of off-site options for attendees and their families is ample enough that visitors only see a small part of the region’s offerings each time they visit.

creation museum

For instance, two of the biggest draws for faith groups are the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. Set 20 miles west of the convention-center district via Interstate 275, the Creation Museum is designed for families to understand the intersection of faith and science through fascinating exhibits, dinosaur bones, fossils, botanical gardens, a planetarium, and a zoo. And to bring a rush of adrenaline to kids and adults alike, there’s a zip-line course and other activities.

Image is of the Ark in the distance with elephants that have been sculptured from bushes on the right.

Then there’s the Ark Encounter, just a 35-minute drive south of the convention district via Interstate 75. There, visitors will encounter a full-size Noah’s Ark, built to the dimensions given in the Bible: 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high. This modern engineering marvel amazes visitors of all ages. Further, a daily programming schedule features expert speakers, hands-on educational activities, and more.

The outside of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, modeled on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, with a rainbow in the background

As a Kentucky native with more than 25 years of experience in the meetings and hospitality industry, Christy Staten knows all the local attractions that would appeal to attendees of faith-based meetings and their families. In fact, she recommends the stunning Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption—another of the 10 attractions that are part of the Kentucky Faith Trail—which is less than one mile from the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.

freedom center

One other inspiring attraction Staten recommends is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center just across river in Cincinnati: “We’ve seen a lot of interest in this museum from the faith groups we’ve hosted,” she notes.

Hope this gives you some good reasons to consider NKY when planning a faith-based trip or meeting. Learn more about the Faith-based attractions offered in Northern Kentucky.