Springfield lands second tourism conference

Springfield has won a bid for a second tourism related conference, and this one will bring more than 100 people to the city in September.

The Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus has chosen Springfield as the location for its 2013 Annual Education Conference and MIDDY Awards event, which will take place Sept. 18-19 at the Courtyard by Marriott.

This comes after the announcement that Springfield will host the Ohio Travel Association’s annual conference in 2014, which will bring more than $200,000 in revenue to the local economy.

The OACVB looks at host proposals from cities across the country in February to see who offers the most affordable hotel room rates and conference spaces, said Molly McKee, OACVB director of communications.

“And after (the executive committee) eliminates the ones who can’t compete, they then look at the local (Convention and Visitor Bureau) involvement and enthusiasm,” McKee said. “That’s why Springfield was picked. They looked like they were really going all out to make a great conference.”

Clark County CVB director Chris Schutte said that although the OACVB conference would not have a significant economic impact in the community, the opportunity to present the city to tourism officials from across the country is invaluable.

“There’s not a significant economic impact, but any impact is obviously good,” Schutte said. “We’re bringing another group of tourism professionals to Springfield and exposing them to what Springfield has to offer. In the CVB ranks, we co-promote each other too.”

McKee said the event has educational programs to help CVB’s run programs better, as well as the MIDDY Awards, which rewards excellence in marketing. Schutte said that the Clark County CVB won a record of 10 awards last year.

While the bulk of conference events happen Sept. 19th, executive CVB leaders will have a private tour of the Wescott House and a wine tasting.

“It gives us a physical opportunity to take them to one of our best attractions. Those kinds of opportunities are pretty rare,” Schutte said.

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