Destination Cleveland Meetings and Conventions Update: Q1 2018

December 18, 2017

Northeast Ohio welcomes sporting events, industry expos and craft brewers conference in the New Year

CLEVELAND (Dec. 18, 2017) - Northeast Ohio's 2018 meetings and conventions hosting starts strong with more than 20 meetings and events and 57,000 associated visitors throughout January, February and March. The events range from nationally recognized sporting events to a statewide craft brewers conference to industry-specialized conferences and expos.

"As a result of the hard work of the Destination Cleveland sales team and collaboration with partners in the region, more organizations are recognizing Cleveland as a meetings and conventions destination," said Mike Burns, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Destination Cleveland. "Next year is shaping up to be big with new conventions and events coming to Northeast Ohio and return business from meeting planners choosing to bring their event back to Cleveland. And the pipeline for future years also continues to grow - with our team handling a monthly average of 70 sales leads for potential future business."

Highlighted below are several meetings throughout the first quarter that have significant attendance, chose Cleveland as a host city because of visitor-related developments in Downtown Cleveland or are returning to Cleveland to host a meeting or event. The estimated economic impact of just the seven events listed below is more than $33 million.

Jan. 6-7               Varsity Spirit Corporation Cheerlebrity 2018

About: In its fifth season of competition, the Varsity Spirit Corporation's Cheerlebrity event brings hundreds of cheerleading and dance teams (and their families and friends) from across the country into one venue for an all-star competition. Cheerlebrity is judged by a traditional scoring panel of judges and a special Cheerlebrity panel consisting of all-star athletes, coaches and choreographers from across the country. Awards are given out for best choreography, stunts and tumbling.

Significance: Cheerlebrity was held in Cleveland in 2016 and has chosen to return to the region for this year's competition.

Estimated Attendance: 1,000

Headquarter Hotel: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center

Primary event venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Jan. 13-14             Junior Volleyball Association Rock ‘N Rumble Tournament

About: The Junior Volleyball Association will host its two-day Rock ‘N Rumble tournament, which will gather 325 girls volleyball teams and their families from various regions of the United States. The event is open to the public.

Significance: The Junior Volleyball Association is returning to Cleveland for its third year and has committed to hosting tournaments in Northeast Ohio through 2021. This event was secured through the work of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

Estimated Attendance: 5,000

Headquarter Hotel: City wide

Primary event venues: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and Cleveland Public Auditorium

Jan. 30-31          Ohio Craft Brewers Association Conference

About: The annual Ohio Craft Brewers Association Conference gathers brewers and brewery owners from throughout the state into one location for educational seminars, panel discussions and networking opportunities. Industry speakers will lead sessions that range from starting a brewery to sensory training to analyzing sales data. The conference will hold its official receptions at Great Lakes Brewing Company and Market Garden Brewery Production Facility in the Ohio City neighborhood, and breweries around Cleveland will host attendees at additional events during the conference.

Significance: The space available at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland offers the conference the opportunity to expand its trade show. Hosting the conference in Cleveland also allows the region to showcase its growing brewery scene to industry peers from around the state.

Estimated Attendance: 500

Headquarter Hotel: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center

Primary event venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Feb. 7-10            National Pavement Expo & Conference

About: The National Pavement Expo & Conference hosts more than 200 leading brands from the paving and paving maintenance industries and brings together contractors, engineers, inspectors, consultants and other vendors and contractors from the asphalt and concrete paving industry. Guests can attend 55 different conference sessions, which focus on topics like asphalt design, leadership strategies and operator performance and safety. They also have the opportunity to participate in a leadership boot camp and network with other paving professionals. A special evening event for attendees will be held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Significance: Planners chose Cleveland for the National Pavement Expo & Conference due to the downtown developments, including the recently opened Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

Estimated Attendance: 5,000

Headquarter Hotel: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Mar. 7-8             Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo

About: The Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo attracts engineers and executives from Ohio and Michigan and features hundreds of regional suppliers in advanced design and manufacturing technology, education courses and networking events for attendees. The expo will include five leading roadshows: Design & Manufacturing, Automation Technology Expo, Medical Design & Manufacturing, PLASTEC and Pack.

Significance: This event is returning to Cleveland for its second year.

Estimated Attendance: 3,500

Headquarter Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown - Lakeside

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Mar. 9-10           NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships

About: Downtown Cleveland will welcome some of the nation's top student-athletes to compete for a Division III NCAA National Championship. This two-day event, hosted by Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Baldwin Wallace University, features four sessions with 180 competing student-athletes, 100 coaches, as well as spectators from across the country. The event is open to the public.

Significance: This event will bring thousands of visitors from across the country to Northeast Ohio. It was secured through the work of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Baldwin Wallace University.

Estimated Attendance: 5,000

Headquarter Hotel: City wide

Primary event venue: Cleveland Public Auditorium

Mar. 15-17         NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships

About: Just one week after the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, Downtown Cleveland will welcome more of the nation's top student-athletes to compete for a Division I NCAA National Championship. This three-day event, hosted by Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Mid-American Conference, features six sessions with 330 competing student-athletes and 500 coaches. The competitions will take place in front of sold-out crowds at Quicken Loans Arena. In conjunction with the Championship, a fan fest will be held at Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. The free fan fest will be open to the public between sessions at The Q and will feature autograph sessions, a memorabilia show, USA Wrestling National Team practice and a NCAA Finals Preview show.

Significance: This event will bring thousands of visitors from across the country to Northeast Ohio. It was secured through the work of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the Mid-American Conference.

Estimated Attendance: Over 30,000

Headquarter Hotel: City wide

Primary event venue: Quicken Loans Arena

To learn more about Destination Cleveland or to keep up-to-date on new developments and activities, please visit www.thisiscleveland.com, follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and subscribe to our channels on YouTube and Pinterest.

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ABOUT DESTINATION CLEVELAND: Destination Cleveland is Cleveland's convention and visitors bureau. This private, non-profit organization's mission is to drive economic impact and stimulate community vitality for Greater Cleveland through leisure and business travel. Cleveland welcomes 18 million visitors annually. For more information, visit www.thisiscleveland.com.

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