Destination Cleveland Meetings and Conventions Update: Q2 2017

March 23, 2017

Northeast Ohio Welcomes Several Citywide Conventions, Some New To North America

CLEVELAND (March 23, 2017) - Northeast Ohio's hot streak continues as Cleveland will play host to more than 50 meetings and conventions and more than 22,000 associated visitors during the months of April, May and June. Many of these events, commonly called citywide conventions, will utilize a combination of venues including three or more hotels.

"Our expanded hotel package for meetings and conventions both Downtown and throughout the suburbs positions us to offer more convenient options for citywide groups," said Mike Burns, senior vice president convention sales and services, Destination Cleveland. "Housing all of the attendees in close proximity to the meeting venue and fellow conference-goers is a benefit that allows us to greatly enhance their experience."

Highlighted below are some of the meetings throughout the second quarter that have significant attendance, attendees who offer potential to attract future meetings or whose organizers specifically noted the developments in Downtown Cleveland as a major factor in their decision. The estimated economic impact of just these meetings is more than $12 million. One particular meeting of note is the World Union of Jesuit Alumni Congress, which will host its meeting for the first time in North America and will welcome more than 2,000 visitors from around the world.

April 4-5           Eby Expo East 2017

About: Eby-Brown, a leading convenience store supplier and wholesale food distributor of tobacco, candy and convenience products, will host 200 vendor/partner exhibitors and more than 1,200 customers at its expo to conduct business, see the latest items on the market and network with fellow attendees.

Significance: Planners chose Cleveland to host this expo due to the amenities available at Hilton Cleveland Downtown.  

Estimated Attendance: 1,500 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Primary meeting venue: Hilton Cleveland Downtown 

April 4-6          Forging Industry Association Forge Fair 2017*

About: The Forge Fair is North America's largest event dedicated to the forging industry. This manufacturing process forms metal into high strength parts known as forgings, which are used by a variety of trades including aerospace, automotive, construction and national defense. This year's event will bring together the industry's top forging professionals including executives, plant managers, forging industry suppliers and engineering and maintenance supervisors. Attendees have the chance to see new products, make purchasing decisions and listen to exhibitor presentations. 

Significance: The Forging Industry Association chose Cleveland as its 2017 host city after a Cleveland-based association member championed the city as a desired meeting destination. Hosting the Forge Fair in Cleveland pays homage to the prominence of the manufacturing industry in the region.

Estimated Attendance: 1,500 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: The Westin Cleveland Downtown

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland 

April                Hockey Time Productions

About: After hosting five successful tournaments in the first quarter of 2017, Hockey Time Productions will return to Cleveland to host its Rock ‘N Roll Cup Tournament Series over two weekends this spring. The Rock ‘N Roll Cup Tournament Series brings athletes and their families from Detroit, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Erie, Columbus, Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati and Southern Ontario to the Northeast Ohio region.  

Significance: The Hockey Time Productions Tournament Series provides a stream of business throughout the year. The two weekends of activity (April 7-9 and April 21-23) will each bring 1,000 attendees to the Northeast Ohio region.

Estimated Attendance: 1,000 attendees per tournament (2,000 total)

Headquarter Hotel: Multiple suburban hotels 

Primary meeting venue: Barons/Lakefront Arena and Gilmour Academy

April 25-27       Ceramics Expo 2017*

About: The Ceramics Expo brings together facilitators and decision makers to promote advances in ceramic manufacturing. The free-to-attend event offers more than 300 exhibits, 60 speaker sessions and discussions focused on ceramic and glass manufacturing, forming technologies and automation, and medical applications. Networking receptions will also be held.

Significance: The Ceramics Expo is returning to Cleveland for its third consecutive year. The expo is held in Ohio because it is home to the American Ceramic Society and considered a center for science and industry.

Estimated Attendance: 3,500 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: Cleveland Airport Marriott

Primary meeting venue: I-X Center

May 8-10         Manufacturing and Technology Conference & Expo*

About: The Manufacturing and Technology Conference & Expo, an event produced by Penton Media's IndustryWeek magazine, offers attendees the chance to discuss manufacturing operations and opportunities for improvement. On the expo floor, conventioneers can compete in the drone racing circuit and experience the power of augmented reality while checking out the latest gear and tools. Industry leaders will speak at keynote sessions and additional breakout sessions will focus on topics such as manufacturing technology strategies, smart manufacturing and leadership. Cleveland-based companies like ArcelorMittal, Lincoln Electric and MakerGear will host plant facility tours, and a special evening reception will be held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Significance: While Penton Media is headquartered in New York City, the company's Manufacturing & Supply Chain group, which includes IndustryWeek, is located in Cleveland. Planners viewed hosting the event in town as a win-win based on familiarity with the layout of the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, Downtown hotel developments and ease of getting around the city.

Estimated Attendance: 800 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

May 17-19       Foundation Software, Inc. Users Conference*

About: Foundation Software, Inc., which produces job cost accounting and construction management software, will host its Users Conference to promote networking for Foundation Software's staff, clients, vendors and partners from around the country. New product demos and educational opportunities will be provided. Attendees will also enjoy an evening event held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  

Significance: This is the first year that the Cleveland-based company will host its Users Conference in Downtown Cleveland.

Estimated Attendance: 700 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

May 22-24       Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit 2017*

About: The Patient Experience Summit is the world's largest, independent conference devoted to improving the patient experience. This annual national event brings together patient experience leaders, healthcare CEOs, nursing leaders and other major medical stakeholders to discuss topics such as care technology and innovation, design and architecture, quality and safety, and operations and support services. The summit offers attendees the opportunity to listen to expert speakers and panel discussions, participate in workshops, tour the Cleveland Clinic facilities and enjoy an evening of entertainment at the House of Blues.

Significance: The Patient Experience Summit is returning to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland for the fourth year.

Estimated Attendance: 1,200 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Primary meeting venue: Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

June 28-July 2  2017 World Union of Jesuit Alumni Congress*

About: The 2017 World Union of Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) Congress will bring  together friends and alumni of Jesuit educational institutions from 50 countries to John Carroll University's campus in University Heights. Held every four years, WUJA celebrates Jesuit education and Ignatian spirituality and features world-renowned speakers, liturgy services, a Jesuit ministries fair and networking opportunities. Attendees will enjoy an evening reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Significance: This is the first time that the World Union of Jesuit Alumni Congress will be held in North America. Cleveland was presented as a potential meeting destination in 2014 by a resident champion and John Carroll University alumna.

Estimated Attendance: 2,000 attendees

Headquarter Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cleveland East Beachwood and Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland Beachwood

Primary meeting venue: John Carroll University

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*Citywide convention

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