Tuesday Talk: helicopters, b-ball and more

Mar. 12, 2019

Tuesday Talk rounds up the latest Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) news you might have missed and also points forward to upcoming events on our campus.


Exhibitors and attendees at last week’s HAI HELI-EXPO, the helicopter industry’s largest trade show held for the first time at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), gave thumbs up to Atlanta and the 3.9-million-square-foot convention center – and look forward to returning to the Peach State’s capital.

“With attendance comparable to prior years, thousands of attendees participated in over 150 education courses, technical briefings, workshops, forums, meetings, and seminars; and walked the over 1 million square feet of exhibits and meeting space throughout the week,” Dan Sweet,
Director, Public Relations and Communications, Helicopter Association International (HAI), said via press release. “As a first time at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) for HAI HELI-EXPO, exhibitors and attendees alike experienced one of the largest facilitates HAI has used for the show allowing for a better show floor flow, and with the opportunity to continue to grow further in years to come.”

That growth Sweet referenced is specific to the GWCC’s in-progress $55 million expansion project. The under-construction 100,000-square-foot B/C Exhibit Hall, when completed, will connect exhibit halls in Buildings B and C, allowing events to utilize 1 million square feet of adjoining exhibit space.

When HELI-EXPO returns to the GWCC in 2023, that additional space will be at the show’s disposal. And the GWCCA’s on-site Signia by Hilton hotel is expected to be complete by then, along with a reimagining of the campus’ gateway, Andrew Young International Blvd.

Meanwhile, Sweet provided some other data regarding the 2019 HELI-EXPO, which ran March 4-7:

  • 57 aircraft were flown or trucked into the convention center and on display.
  • 480 attendees enhanced their skills through the Professional Education Courses.
  • More than 200 attended the Military to Civilian Workshop.
  • 2,880 took the Rotor Safety Challenge.
  • More than 400 sat in on Manufacturer Technical Briefings.


The entertainment lineup has been set for the McDonald’s All-American FanFest on March 24 at Centennial Olympic Park, a free event to get folks fired up about the McDonald’s All-American Games featuring some of the nation’s top high school basketball players at State Farm Arena on March 27.

The FanFest’s lineup, hosted by Big Tigger, includes singer/songwriter/actress Keri Hilson, DJ Drama, and Atlanta rapper Lil Baby (“Yes Indeed” and “Drip Too Hard.”)

According to a press release, the free festival is “offering activities for the entire family, artist performances and delicious McDonald’s food.”

The event runs from 2-6 p.m.

Stay tuned as unConventional will have more details as the festival draws closer.


  • It’s no rest for the weary as the Atlanta United, coming off Sunday’s home-opening 1-1 draw against FC Cincinnati, return to action at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) on the GWCCA campus. But this time, it’s not an MLS opponent, rather the Five Stripes take on Mexican powerhouse C.F. Monterrey in the second leg of the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Champions League competition quarterfinals.
  • The defending MLS Cup champs are back on the pitch Sunday at MBS to take on Eastern Conference foes the Philadelphia Union, capping off a stretch of five matches in 15 days. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Sunday.
  • More than 5,000 educators from more than 110 countries converge on the GWCC from Wednesday through Friday for the 2019 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. “The world’s largest event of its kind, the annual convention is organized by TESOL International Association, the professional association for more than 10,000 teachers of English to speakers of other languages,” according to a press release.
  • On Thursday, The Coca-Cola Company hosts Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ second State of the City business breakfast at the GWCC’s Georgia Ballroom. The event is from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Registration is no longer available via eventbrite.com.
  • On Sunday, the Publix Atlanta Marathon returns to the GWCCA campus, beginning and ending at Centennial Olympic Park. The event features a full marathon (26.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 5K (3.1 miles).

Posted by
Kent Kimes   Sr. Staff Writer
on Mar. 12, 2019
A metro Atlanta native, Kent joined the Authority in 2015. He is your digital tour guide to the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world. His customer service approach is summed up by the Little River Band track "Help Is On Its Way."

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