City to play host to the “Super Bowl” of association meetings

COLUMBUS – Columbus is emerging as the next big destination for meetings, conventions and tradeshows. Today, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) selected the city to host its 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition.

The annual conference will draw over 5,000 attendees to the Greater Columbus Convention Center August 10-13, 2019, filling 16,800 hotel rooms and generating over $16 million in direct visitor spending.

“This is a game-changer for our community,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “Hosting ASAE puts Columbus on the map with key decision makers and influencers planning meetings for their national associations. Our community should be very proud of the collaborative effort put forth to win this conference. We look forward to wowing attendees when they come in 2019.”

“This will be the first time ASAE will hold its Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus. Columbus is a great convention city, and they are excited to welcome the association community. Columbus has planned unique and exceptional events that will surprise and delight our members. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is also undergoing some renovations to its meeting and exhibit space that will provide meeting planners with more flexibility. We're looking forward to working with the city of Columbus and can’t wait for our members to experience everything it offers,” said John H. Graham, IV, FASAE, CAE, ASAE president and CEO.   

While the immediate impact of hosting ASAE is great, the ongoing impact is even greater. Of the more than 5,000 attendees, a majority are the final decision makers or have significant influence on the location of future meetings. Past host cities of the ASAE Annual Meeting found that 20 percent of association executives who attend the Annual Meeting will book their own meeting in the host city in the next five years, representing $500 million in revenue for the host city.

“Columbus is excited to host the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Conference,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Conference attendees will experience first-hand our vibrant, smart and open city with all the amenities meeting planners are looking for in a convention destination city.”

“This large gathering of influential meeting professionals will provide a tremendous amount of exposure to all the great assets of Columbus. This is a big win, as we aggressively work to raise Columbus’ profile,” said Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership.

“The Franklin County Commissioners have supported investments in promoting Columbus/Franklin County as a premier convention destination, including the ongoing expansion of our convention center,” said Franklin County Commission President John O’Grady. “Landing this conference is validation of our work and the collaborative spirit of our community. We look forward to making this convention a success for ASAE and our community.”

Based in Washington, DC, ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners, representing 10,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. ASAE members plan over 376,000 meetings, expositions and seminars that reach over 200 million attendees annually.

# # #

Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending that is generated by conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure visitors.  Annually, visitors make more than 37.9 million trips to Greater Columbus, generating $8.7 billion in economic impact and supporting more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit