Our Curated List of Not-So-Tourist Attractions for the Idea-Seeking Event Marketer
Traveling on business? Have a half-day to yourself? In this series, we explore popular event destinations and mine our sources for lesser-known sites of inspiration, from unbelievable food and beverage adventures to immersive entertainment to, as you’ll see below… luxurious restrooms. Consider it a dose of professional development for the experience builder.
With the sold-out CMA Music Festival taking place in June, in addition to Bonnaroo (in Manchester, TN, about an hour away), we decided to focus on Music City to uncover a few high notes worth hitting if you’re in town. The tour of Nashville for the event marketer begins now.
Location: 2211 Bandywood Dr., Green Hills District
What it is: For an escape from the traditional Nashville bar scene with music and dancing, visit the Greenhouse Bar at The Food Company restaurant, which has been around for more than 20 years. This lush environment offers an assortment of terracotta couches with comfy cushions, reclaimed wood tables and benches, lush greenery, a fire pit, a sizeable bar and a real greenhouse-style roof. It’s also open all week, 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Cheers.
Experiential nods: Environment, furniture, food & beverage
More info: thefoodcompanynashville.com
Hatch Show Print
Location: 224 5th Ave., South Nashville
What it is: It’s one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, founded by the Hatch brothers in 1879, and it has printed posters for the likes of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks. Located in the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum building, the shop offers group tours for coworkers, colleagues and clients you can book in advance. You can watch staff crank and create posters and perhaps get inspired to create some authentic, vintage-inspired signage for your next event.
Experiential nods: Signage, vintage, analog
More info: hatchshowprint.com
Location: 2500 West End Avenue
What it is: Located in Centennial Park, this venue is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition and today is an art museum and event venue that is the backdrop for theatre productions of classic Greek plays in the summertime. Be sure to check out the replica of the Athena Parthenos statue installed in 1990.
Experiential nods: Venues, art, history
More info: nashville.gov/parks-and-recreation/parthenon
The Hermitage Hotel Men’s Bathroom
Location: 231 6th Ave., N.
What it is: It’s voted one of the best restrooms in America. That’s right. The five-star Hermitage Hotel men’s bathroom, with its art deco style, lime green and black tiles, shoeshine station and a Sultan telephone connected to the front desk is quite famous. According to a plaque commemorating the space, “the room has been the site of several music videos and numerous legislative deals.” To get there: head inside the Hermitage Hotel, turn right, go down the stairs toward the Capital Grill and Oak Bar and voilà!
Experiential nods: Style, luxury, offbeat
More info: thehermitagehotel.com
Location: 2208 Elliston Place
What it is: We’re going to skip over Music Row and Honky Tonk Highway and saddle up next to Vanderbilt University to check out where the college kids go to cut loose—Exit/In. It has a rich history, too, having opened in 1971. As the venue describes, Jimmy Buffet got his start there; Red Hot Chili Peppers hung out there; everyone from Avril Lavigne to Etta James to Talking Heads have performed there. It’s prime-time for a little extra credit in millennial marketing.
Experiential nods: Millennials, college marketing, music
More info: exitin.com