NAACP Selects Cincinnati for its 2016 Annual Convention
Last here in 2008, NAACP cites vibrant downtown and Ohio’s swing state status as key factors in selecting Cincinnati for Presidential election year gathering
CINCINNATI, OH, December 2, 2014 – The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – along with the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the City of Cincinnati – have announced that Cincinnati USA has been selected as the host city for the NAACP’s 107th Annual Convention in 2016.
“The NAACP National Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 107th Annual Convention of the Association will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the U.S. “Cincinnati was an outstanding host city for our 99th Annual Convention in 2008 and we are sure that everyone involved will work to ensure that our experience in 2016 will far surpass that memorable event. Cincinnati is an excellent location to work to inspire the current generation of civil rights change agents.”
Planned for July 9-12, 2016, the NAACP Annual Convention is expected to draw nearly 10,000 attendees, a multi-generational group of delegates, observers, exhibitors and other advocates. Visitors are expected to use 7,550 hotel room nights and deliver an economic impact of more than $2.2 million to the region.
National Influencers Expected “By selecting Cincinnati USA, the NAACP is placing its most important annual event in one of the nation’s pivotal 2016 Presidential election swing states,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “We welcome the important dialogue that will happen here in Cincinnati as part of the NAACP convention and appreciate the opportunity to host the national influencers and leaders who will be driving those conversations.”
The NAACP last held its Annual Convention in Cincinnati in 2008, as part of a breakthrough convention year that helped the city re-emerge as a sought-after meeting destination. Then-Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain visited Cincinnati to address attendees over the course of the five day event. In 2016, presidential candidates – as well as other national political, civic, religious and business leaders – are expected to attend. “This opportunity is another chance to showcase Cincinnati on the national stage,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “It shows that we’re committed to economic viability and attracting the most prestigious events in the world. And it shows Cincinnati is a place that values diversity and celebrates the African American heritage and culture that so deeply defines our region.”
In the past 10 years, Cincinnati has hosted or booked 15 of the top 25 largest multicultural conventions in the U.S. These meetings combined represent more than 140,000 room nights in the Cincinnati USA region and $42 million in attendee spending.
‘A Pivotal Year’ “2016 will be a pivotal year in our nation’s history and we believe there is absolutely no better venue for our 107th Convention than Cincinnati,” said Cornell William Brooks, NAACP president and CEO. “The city’s history as a major station on the Underground Railroad coupled with its location in the center of the Ohio Valley provide an excellent backdrop for a convention that will attract candidates who want to serve as the leader of the free world. It will also be attractive to our members who will be keen to help develop the policies and programs that will continue the effort to achieve a just and equitable society. I look forward to working with local leaders in Cincinnati to make this convention a great success.”
In July, a small group of local leaders traveled to Las Vegas to pitch Cincinnati to the NAACP Selection Committee. The group included Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell, Sean Rugless, President & CEO of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce, State Representative Alice Reece, Hamilton County Judge Tyrone Yates, Dan Lincoln and Jason Dunn of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as local and state NAACP representatives. Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati also was a partner in the effort.
‘Proud to Return to Cincinnati’ Members of the NAACP Convention Planning Committee, including Leon Russell, vice chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors, also traveled to Cincinnati November 5-7 for a site visit and previewed the city’s event venues, dining, and hotels. What they found helped solidify Cincinnati as the ideal choice.
“As Chairman of the NAACP Convention Planning Committee, I am pleased that we will once again be able to work with city leaders and the Cincinnati community in bringing our 107th Annual meeting to town,” said Russell. “The Freedom Center, Fountain Square and historic Cincinnati were excellent venues for Convention activities in 2008 and with two years to work on our plans, 2016 will provide the perfect backdrop for a discussion about the type of person who should be the next President of the United States. It is also a perfect location to talk about how Law Enforcement and the Communities they serve can work together to make our cities safer and respectful for all who live and visit. The NAACP is proud to return to Cincinnati.”
Regional Collaboration The announcement comes in the midst of ongoing economic development and urban revitalization successes throughout downtown Cincinnati and across the region.
“Hosting high-profile events like the NAACP convention is possible because our region collaborates so well to create a great visitor experience,” said Sue Graves, president of the Cincinnati Hotel Association. “From 2008 to 2016, we will have added more than a dozen new or renovated hotel properties and dozens of new restaurants and attractions. That foresight and aggressiveness is part of what makes us attractive to NAACP, and it’s what will position our region to continue the positive momentum for years to come.”
With thousands of attendees coming to Cincinnati for the convention and local NAACP-related events, the economic impact will be felt by businesses throughout the region.
“The benefits of hosting the 2016 NAACP Convention extend far beyond Cincinnati’s downtown core,” said Hamilton County Commission President Chris Monzel. “Hotels and restaurants certainly, but also our retailers and other small businesses throughout Hamilton County and on both sides of the river will enjoy both increased visitor traffic and the positive media attention that the NAACP brings to Cincinnati.”
At the end of the selection process, the NAACP Convention Planning Committee had already worked with many key local and regional leaders who played an important role in bringing the convention to Cincinnati.
“We would like to express our thanks to Mayor John Cranley and Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell for their support of Cincinnati’s efforts to bring our convention back to the city,” continued Russell. “Likewise we want to salute the outstanding work of Dan Lincoln and Jason Dunn of Cincinnati USA along with the folks at the Duke Energy Convention Center and the hotel partners who put together the outstanding bid package. All these folks working together made this a successful effort.”
About the NAACP Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.
About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau The Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is an aggressive sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County’s and the City of Cincinnati’s economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $4.1 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 94,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 22.7 million visitors to the region. For more information, click here.