COLUMBUS – For the first time, the Southern Baptist Convention will hold its Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting in Columbus. The conference and meetings will take place June 14-17, drawing 10,000 attendees to the city.
“We’ve long looked at Columbus to host our Annual Meeting. What changed things was the announcement in 2010 that Columbus was building the new Hilton Columbus Downtown,” said Roger “Sing” Oldham, vice president, convention communications and relations for the SBC Executive Committee. “Thanks to the gracious invitation from the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio and the hospitality of leaders and staff from the City of Columbus and its convention center, we look forward to a wonderful time of fellowship and celebration in Columbus with Southern Baptists from across the country.”
The organization was the first group to book a meeting in Columbus once the Hilton Downtown Columbus broke ground, underscoring the importance of strategic hotel development in attracting large national associations, tradeshows and sporting events. The addition of the Hilton property to Columbus’ downtown convention package enabled the city to accommodate the thousands of people who attend SBC’s national conference and related meetings each year. The 2015 Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting will generate an estimated $6.7 million in visitor spending and represent approximately 10,800 hotel room nights.
“We are very pleased to welcome the Southern Baptist Convention to our city,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “We’ve anticipated this conference for many years and look forward to introducing attendees to our community’s walkable downtown, local food scene, and family-friendly attractions.”
The Southern Baptist Convention has been in existence for nearly 170 years and grown to be a network of more than 50,000 churches with 16 million members. During their time in Columbus, attendees can participate in Crossover for Columbus, a series of community service projects, and attend the Pastors’ Conference, June 14-15, and the Annual Meeting, June 16-17.
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 37.6 million trips to Greater Columbus, generating $8.7 billion in economic impact and supporting more than 71,000 jobs. For more information, visit experiencecolumbus.com.