Exchange Companion Program

If your significant other is attending the Exchange, they can take in the sights and flavors of New Orleans through the companion program, put together by the New Orleans Host Advisory Council.

Get-Acquainted Party

Saturday, March 9, 7-11 p.m.

Attend this year’s kick-off party at Generation’s Hall; located In New Orleans’s eclectic warehouse district, just a couple blocks from the Convention Center and close to many of the Exchange hotels. Network with fellow attendees while experiencing a bit of Louisiana. This year’s party features an interactive Crawfish Boil, a full NOLA inspired buffet, entertainment and more! Originally built in the early 1820’s as a sugar refinery, Generations Hall has ample space to enjoy the delicious drink, food and conversation that this party has to offer.

A complimentary shuttle will be available from 6:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. circulating between Generations Hall, the Convention Center and the Exchange Hotels. Admission includes two drink tickets for beer/wine.

Admission includes two drink tickets. This event is included in the attendee and companion full registrations and can also be purchased a la carte.

Fun Run/Walk

Sunday, March 10, 6 a.m.

Start the morning and Exchange off on the right foot and head out for a refreshing 5k run along the Mississippi River.

This event is free for all registered attendees and companions.

Companion Welcome Brunch

Sunday, March 10, 9:30-11:15 a.m.

Kick off the Exchange 2019 Companion Program with some of the charm of the New Orleans’ French Quarter. A caricaturist will skillfully create a one-of-a-kind likeness of you and a typewriter poet will draft a personalized poem just for you. Make memories with your friends and bring home some fun mementos!

The welcome brunch is included in all companion registrations.

Expo Grand Opening

Sunday, March 10, 11:15 a.m.

Join fellow attendees following the Idea Exchange for a New Orleans style jazz band performance. This super high energy jazz and dance performance is sure to get you dancing and parading to ring in the grand opening of the GEAPS Exchange 2019 Expo!

This event is free for all registered attendees and companions.

Taste of Vieux Carre Tour

Sunday, March 10, 1-4 p.m.

Start the afternoon with a walking tour en route to the New Orleans Cooking School. Then, relax while you sip on some libations and enjoy an entertaining narrative about life in New Orleans. Our lively chef will teach you the steps in preparing traditional creole delicacies like gumbo, andouille jambalaya and bread pudding with whiskey sauce. You will sample these and other delicacies during lunch. You will not leave this day hungry! Treats and recipe cards will be provided to help you bring the taste of New Orleans home to your kitchen.

* Group will meet at the Hilton Riverside lobby promptly at 1 p.m. and will walk over to the cooking school together. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing for this fun-filled event.

This event is included in the companion full registration and can also be purchased a la carte.

Welcome Reception

Sunday, March 10, 4-6 p.m.

This Expo Hall event is open to everyone – all registered attendees, exhibitors and companions. Enjoy a networking event with drinks and snacks while you stroll through the hall. The Welcome Reception is a great opportunity to network and explore the hall as the first day of the Expo comes to a close.

This event is free for all registered attendees.

The “Big Easy City” and Louisiana Swamp Tour

Monday, March 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy a full day of history and fun. Begin the day with sultry tales of the French Quarter and learn where the term the “Big Easy City” comes from.

Visit St. Charles Avenue’s mansions, Saint Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square and journey down to Esplanade Avenue to experience the uniqueness of the “Cities of the Dead.” The next stop is the famous Parkway Bakery and Tavern to indulge in a delicious New Orleans style Po-Boy.

Following lunch you’ll tour the bayous of Louisiana. On this meandering cruise, the captain, a native of the region, will provide an interesting and entertaining narrative of the history of the massive swampland while pointing out a number of animals that inhabit the area.

* Group will meet at the Hilton Riverside lobby. Buses will load at 8:45 a.m. and depart promptly at 9 a.m. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be outside a lot.

This event is included in the companion full registration and can also be purchased a la carte.

President’s Reception and Banquet

Tuesday, March 12, 5-8:30 p.m.

Delicious food, great conversation, and recognition of outstanding industry leaders make this closing event at Exchange highly memorable. The event will begin with a cocktail reception (drink tickets will be provided with purchase of a banquet ticket), followed by a three-course meal and an experience of a traditional Mardi Gras Parade with a variety of entertainers. The live entertainment features song, dance and crowd interaction which are sure to delight!

Banquet tickets are included in attendee and companion full registrations and can be purchased a la carte. 

Post Conference Tour

Wednesday, March 13, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Join other Exchange attendees as you take a trip to tour the Zen Noh Grain Facility. The tour will last about 2 hours and give you an insight to one of the great export facilities in New Orleans region.

* Group will meet at the Hilton Riverside lobby promptly at 9 a.m. and a bus will take everyone to the facility. Wear closed-toed shoes. Hard hats and safety glasses will be provided by the facility.

Tickets for this event can be purchased a la carte.