COLUMBUS – Columbus has been selected as the host city for the 2018 National Urban League Conference. The event will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in August 2018 and is expected to bring 5,000 visitors to Columbus and add $3.6 million to the local economy.

“I am very pleased that the National Urban League has chosen Columbus to host its national convention.  Conferences such as these help to solidify our city’s place on the national stage to host such large conventions,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.  “I want to thank the Columbus Urban League, former National Urban League Trustee, CEO, Steve Rasmussen and Nationwide along with Experience Columbus for their work in landing this convention.”

The Columbus Urban League’s hard work and desire to have a national conference in Columbus was integral to getting the event.

“We are honored to have been selected for the 2018 national conference. What we already know of Columbus, the nation will soon experience in the goodwill, good work and good hearts of our city,” said Stephanie Hightower, President of the Columbus Urban League. “Alongside Nationwide, Experience Columbus and our Mayor, we put our best foot forward to showcase all the Columbus has to offer. Now, the preparation for 2018 as a community of corporations, businesses and partners in the mission of living empowered and being a world class conference host begins.”

The booking represents the latest under Experience Columbus’ “Make it Columbus” initiative designed to encourage locals with connections to national associations to bring their groups to Columbus.

“Nationwide is proud that Columbus will host the National Urban League Conference in 2018. For decades, we have partnered and supported the mission of the National Urban League, and its affiliates, as we collectively make a difference in the lives of others,” said Gale V. King, Nationwide Chief Administrative Officer and National Urban League Trustee. “As home to Nationwide world headquarters, we look forward to joining our other corporate partners as we welcome the thousands expected.”

The National Urban League Conference will be held in Baltimore in 2016 and in St. Louis in 2017.


As the convention and visitors bureau for Ohio’s capital city, Experience Columbus’ mission is to sell, market and promote the best of the destination to visitors. For more information about all Columbus has to offer for meetings, conventions and trade shows, go to