COLUMBUS – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has selected Columbus as the site for its 2020 Annual Conference.

The annual conference will convene September 12-17, 2020 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. An estimated 2,000 attendees are expected to fill 5,447 hotel room nights and generate over $3.1 million in direct visitor spending.

“As the home to one of the top-ranked zoos in the country, we’re thrilled that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums chose Columbus for their annual conference,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “I want to especially thank Tom Stalf for his leadership and collaboration, which was pivotal in winning this conference.”

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. More information on the initiative and other groups that have been booked through it can be found at

“It’s an honor for the Columbus Zoo and the City of Columbus to be chosen to host this prestigious national conference for the third time,” said Tom Stalf, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium president and CEO. “We look forward to showing our colleagues what’s new at the Zoo thanks to the generous support of our community.”

Columbus last hosted the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Annual Conference in 2003. Founded in 1924, the association is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation.

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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