Virtual Concessions Program Meet and Greets Scheduled for New Terminal at Kansas City International Airport (KCI)

As a next step in developing the Food and Beverage and News and Gifts Concessions Program in the $1.5 billion New Terminal at Kansas City International Airport (Build KCI), the Kansas City Aviation Department and its partners ICF and Phillips West are organizing two Virtual Concessions “Meet and Greets” January 12 and 13, 2021.

The overall vision for the Build KCI Concessions Program is to have a program that is customer-centric, provides a sense of place, engages useful technology and integrates a true spirit of Kansas City.

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Those who participate in the virtual Meet and Greets will be able to walk around the virtual room and easily network with other people.

The team planned on holding in-person Meet and Greets to bring together major national and multinational airport concessions operators and smaller operators to give them the opportunity to discuss possible partnerships in the new terminal. The COVID-19 pandemic created the need to find a way to bring people together, but not in person. The original goal was to have the entire group together and then hold private breakout sessions. This dual goal is not possible with most virtual meeting platforms with which business people are accustomed during the pandemic.

Through some research, the team identified Virbela, a virtual-reality like platform that accommodates large group discussions as well as private, one-on-one meetings. Participants even create their own avatars to use while in in the meetings. They will be able to walk around the virtual room and easily network with other people. They will be able to visit with all vendors at their virtual booths and even share their company’s brochure or other virtual media.

The Virtual Concessions Meet and Greets will be open January 12, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and January 13, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Aviation Department invites interested companies to register at After registering, company representatives will be able to schedule private, 20-minute meetings with companies of their choosing. During the Meet and Greets the Aviation Department will share information about the Request For Proposals and buildout processes. The City of Kansas City Human Relations Department will be “there” to help with ACFBE or MBE/WBE/DBE applications.

Earlier in the development process, the Aviation Department asked various business, civic and minority organizations and leaders to participate in public discussions to inform local community businesses of various ways that they may actively participate in the Concessions Program. Next, the team sought input for potential upgrades from residents through a series of listening sessions hosted by business, neighborhood and community groups throughout the metro. The sessions reflected the spirit of communication and collaboration by discussing the Concessions Program and its potential opportunities with the business community.

KCMO Aviation Director, Pat Klein, said:

The airport is the front door to the community and the New Terminal needs to provide that sense of place for visitors and locals alike. The right Concessions Program is key to achieving this.

The Aviation Department is striving to achieve the following program goals: opportunities for real local participation through a variety of means; no limits on how local operators participate; competition among locations; reasonable prices; regionally inspired; offer the highest levels of customer service; make use of cutting-edge, useful technology; and be truly unique.

This article was originally published by the Kansas City Aviation Department.


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