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JCVB Blog

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

New, Renovated, and Unique – Meetings in JoCo

New, Renovated, and Unique – Meetings in JoCo

Updates and Renovations


Meet outside the city and outside the ordinary when you plan a conference, trade show, or other gathering in Johnston County. Our location next to the Triangle, 45 minutes from RDU International Airport, and at the convergence of I-95 and I-40 make Johnston County an ideal place to hold a meeting.

With historical downtown areas and rural farmland, meeting planners have a unique mix of urban, modern, and rustic locales to choose from. Venues and services are being added and expanded upon in the county all the time. In 2016 Brick & Mortar, downtown Clayton’s event space and catering company, announced it will remodel their interior to provide events for up to 220 people. Broadslab Distillery in Benson, NC announced plans to open a meeting and wedding venue by Summer of 2017 that will hold 330 people.


Secluded and Beautiful Venues 


Due to the number of beautiful scenic farms, Johnston County also offers off-the-beaten-path venues for meeting planners looking for an experience removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Locations like Camp Nellie, Lazy-O Farms, and Portofino offer venues by ponds, in horse barns, and under the southern night sky stars.


Amenities and Assistance

There are hotels with varying amenities and price-points spread throughout the county, many of which are close to meeting venues. In addition, locally-owned and chef-operated restaurants provide catering services that will wow your meeting guests with surprising twists on southern staples.

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau is a great resource during the initial stages of your meeting planning. We are ready to help with all your groups needs and can provide you a comprehensive view of the area and help you find the right fit for any size gathering.

Contact us for complimentary help with:
•    Securing accommodations for your attendees
•    Navigating through service provider options available
•    Providing your attendees local information to enhance their visit

For assistance planning your meeting in Johnston County, contact the JCVB at 919-989-8687. Our Sales Manager, Sarah Campbell will gladly assist you.

For a full list of Johnston County meeting venues please click here to download our Meetings and Facilities Guide.

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Weddings in Johnston County - Expos and Expectations

Weddings in Johnston County - Expos and Expectations

Locals and visitors alike seek to make Johnston County their wedding destination. A JoCo wedding can be rustic, unique, elegant, outside in a vineyard, or inside a whimsical historic home. And with the right team, it can be all those things at once.

I have worked on the fringes of the wedding industry for years. Never as a planner, but as a provider of wedding services and a member of an association comprised of event planners. Weddings can be exceedingly elaborate or frugally modest. I have never been married, but I have lived through some weddings, let me tell you, and I have two pieces of advice.

The first tip is this: designate a wedding planner. Notice that I did not say hire. I said designate. Wedding planners are angels from God sent to organize chaos into control, cheer in your corner, wipe the sweat from your brow, fight some of the harder battles for you, and make it look like walking on air. This makes them exceedingly qualified to get you from "She said yes!" to the post-reception send-off with supreme grace. This can also make them expensive depending on the level of service you are asking of them. You certainly get what you pay for (in the best possible way). However, in the event that you cannot hire a wedding planner, designate a trusted friend or family-member (not an immediate family member) who you trust to be honest, organized, and un-biased. If it helps, call them a wedding coordinator. They will help you coordinate all the details that you can't quite accomplish on your own. After all, someone has to tell the wedding party when to walk down the aisle while you stand out of sight of your groom.  

The second piece of advice is this: go to a wedding show held within the geographical region that you wish to get married. This holds especially true for destination weddings. If you are not familiar with the area, a wedding show will introduce you to vendors within the local wedding industry. If you live in the area you want to be married in, you're not off the hook. Even if you have been planning your wedding since you were 5 years old (twice-over now that you have a Pinterest), you don't know what you don't know until you attend a local wedding expo. How many cake makers, reception venues, florists, transportation companies, caterers, and wedding planners are in your area? You don't know. Because even though you live here, you've never gotten married here. Or maybe you have... this is a judgment free zone.


The excellent news is that there are 2 up-coming wedding expos in Johnston County.


The 3rd Annual Bridal Expo is happening at The Farm January 29th from 11AM to 4PM. They will have several vendors from the wedding industry, including photographers, videographers, caterers, bakeries, florists, DJ's, travel agents and more! Advanced tickets are $7/person and tickets at the door will be $10 (cash only). The Farm also be giving tours of their venue throughout the day.

The 2017 Clayton Wedding Expo is on Saturday, February 4th, from 10AM to 2PM at The Clayton Center. Discover the latest bridal trends as you chat with 35+ vendors about everything from venue selection to catering and from bridal fashions to honeymoon destinations. The event also will feature food tastings, giveaways, and door prizes. The Clayton Wedding Expo is free and open to anyone planning a very special event in the coming months. Pre-registration for the Expo is not required, but it is highly recommended. The first 100 pre-registered brides will receive a free gift bag. Pre-register here.

You can also browse a list of wedding venues in each town within the county at any time at the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website here. We are all here to help you say I Do in Johnston County.

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Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Say I Do in JoCo


Locals and visitors alike seek to make Johnston County their wedding destination. A JoCo wedding can be rustic, unique, elegant, outside in a vineyard, or inside a whimsical historic home. And with the right team, it can be all those things at once.

I have worked on the fringes of the wedding industry for years. Never as a planner, but as a provider of wedding services and a member of an association comprised of event planners. Weddings can be exceedingly elaborate or frugally modest. I have never been married, but I have lived through some weddings, let me tell you, and I have two pieces of advice.

The first tip is this: designate a wedding planner. Notice that I did not say hire. I said designate. Wedding planners are angels from God sent to organize chaos into control, cheer in your corner, wipe the sweat from your brow, fight some of the harder battles for you, and make it look like walking on air. This makes them exceedingly qualified to get you from "She said yes!" to the post-reception send-off with supreme grace. This can also make them expensive depending on the level of service you are asking of them. You certainly get what you pay for (in the best possible way). However, in the event that you cannot hire a wedding planner, designate a trusted friend or family-member (not an immediate family member) who you trust to be honest, organized, and un-biased. If it helps, call them a wedding coordinator. They will help you coordinate all the details that you can't quite accomplish on your own. After all, someone has to tell the wedding party when to walk down the aisle while you stand out of sight of your groom.  

The second piece of advice is this: go to a wedding show held within the geographical region that you wish to get married. This holds especially true for destination weddings. If you are not familiar with the area, a wedding show will introduce you to vendors within the local wedding industry. If you live in the area you want to be married in, you're not off the hook. Even if you have been planning your wedding since you were 5 years old (twice-over now that you have a Pinterest), you don't know what you don't know until you attend a local wedding expo. How many cake makers, reception venues, florists, transportation companies, caterers, and wedding planners are in your area? You don't know. Because even though you live here, you've never gotten married here. Or maybe you have... this is a judgment free zone.


Experience a Wedding Expo


The excellent news is that there will be 2 wedding expos in the month of January in Johnston County. Locals are welcome. Non-locals are also welcome. If you live in the Triangle area, or in any area surrounding JoCo, but you don't want a Raleigh wedding, or you want a little hint of a destination wedding without having to travel so far... come get to know JoCo. We've got bride-choice wedding venues and southern hospitality at the ready.

The 2nd Annual Bridal Expo is happening at The Farm this Sunday January 10 from 11AM to 4PM. This event is FREE but to save time, plan on registering here before you come. There will be dozens of vendors on site for you to talk to about your upcoming big day! The Farm itself is also a venue and tours will be conducted every hour beginning at 11:30AM.

The 2016 Clayton Wedding Expo is on Saturday, January 23, from 11AM to 4PM at The Clayton Center. Discover the latest bridal trends as you chat with vendors about everything from venue selection to catering and from bridal fashions to honeymoon destinations. The Clayton Wedding Expo is free and open to anyone planning a very special event in the coming months. Pre-registration for the Expo is not required, but it is highly recommended and can be done here. The first 100 pre-registered brides will receive a free gift bag.

You can also browse a list of wedding venues in each town within the county at any time at the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website here. We are all here to help you say I Do in JoCo!

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Trent Lassiter- JoCo's Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Trent Lassiter, who is widely known in Johnston County as the general manager of Springhill Outfitters, has built the county’s largest banquet hall and entertainment complex on his family's farmland near Selma. Trent is a 2009 graduate of Mt. Olive University, which recently presented him with the Young Alumnus Achievement Award for his exceptional business achievements. The Farm is a one-of-a-kind venue located on approximately 10 acres on Batten Road just off I-95 Exit 101 beside Springhill Outfitters.

Trent had the idea for this building after hosting the Farm Fest concert in 2012, as he needed a facility that would provide space for bands, staging, and for indoor events as well.  He also knew of other needs for a large meeting space in the county. As a member of Duck's Unlimited, their annual dinner needs space for 400+ people so he made sure the facility could accommodate a crowd that large.  Trent also saw a need for a facility for weddings in the county, and the banquet space was built with a dance area in the middle of the floor with that in mind.  Overall, the building is 10,000 square-feet and can be utilized for multiple types of events like weddings, banquets, concerts (indoor and outdoor), birthday parties, and business seminars and retreats.  One of the more unique features is the patio space with a fire pit and outdoor lights.

The outside portion of The Farm can handle up to 5,000 people for concerts and has ample space for exhibitions/shows which will also bring people to the county. Construction of The Farm was completed in October 2013 and this year's concert series will begin on May 31st with one of Trent's friends, Scotty McCreery, American Idol Winner taking the stage with Eric Paslay, Blake Kearney Band and special guests Sadie and John Luke Robertson from Duck Dynasty on A&E.

“There is nothing like this anywhere in the county,” he said. “I think people are really going to like it.”

Trent has had the idea for The Farm for several years, but seriously decided to make it happen for two reasons; he said he has always had a love of the concert-type entertainment industry, and really believes that The Farm is something that will be good for the county. He hopes visitors will stay in local hotels, eat out, shop and come back to visit another time.

We agree Trent, and we thank you for having the vision and dedication to make it happen!

Needing a Meeting Facility? For booking information at The Farm please contact Anna Evans, the venue manager, at 919-750-5464 or visit thefarmnc.com.

 

 

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Needing a Meeting Facility?

New county-wide Meeting Facilities Guide printed in 2014. New county-wide Meeting Facilities Guide printed in 2014.

We've got you covered. Not just for your normal business meetings, we have many unique venues for weddings, family reunions, conferences, and outdoor spaces for shows, concerts, and expos.

One of our new marketing pieces is the Meeting Facilities Guide, a printed piece promoting Johnston County as a prime meeting destination in the Triangle. Why not try something new, convenient and affordable? Here are a few reasons why you should plan your gathering in our county.

    •  Just 30 minutes from the Triangle area.
    •  Conveniently located along interstates I-95 and I-40.
    • Unique venues such as historic homes, wineries & breweries, and outdoor spaces.
    • A variety of hotels, restaurants, and shops to entertain your guests.
    • Venues are affordable and accessible.
    • The Visitors Bureau is here to help assist planners with site inspections, bids for space, leads for group hotel rates, and conference services (a MAJOR plus!).


Johnston County's largest auditorium space is the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium in Smithfield that seats 1,000 and for sit-down meals the Ag-Center in Smithfield and The Farm outside of Selma hold approximately 400 people. If you aren't looking for a large space, there are several intimate venues such as the newly opened Brick & Mortar in Clayton and the Preston Woodall House in Benson.

As the demand for meeting space grows, local business leaders are expanding to accommodate inquiries. On our part, we plan on attending more meeting related tradeshows to make connections with planners in a variety of regions. To receive a copy of the Meeting Facilities Guide or to learn more about meeting in Johnston County, please contact us at 919-989-8687 or search our website, www.johnstoncountync.org.

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

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Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.

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Meeting Planners

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Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?

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Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.

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Hotel Packages

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We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.

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FREE TRAINING

 

Check out what other travelers say about Johnston County, North Carolina on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor
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