The world’s largest network of business events professionals to come to Columbus

COLUMBUS – Columbus has emerged as one of the top destinations in the country for meetings, conventions and trade shows. Today, PCMA announced the city will host its Convening Leaders 2023 event. The announcement comes on the heels of hosting the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus.

“I have no doubt that the overwhelming success and positive response of ASAE 2019 played an important role in PCMA’s confidence and selection in Columbus,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “Convening Leaders is a highly coveted event among top-tier convention cities, and we are thrilled that it will be in Columbus, where it will have a lasting impact locally on social and economic development, image and quality of life.”

As PCMA’s annual signature event, Convening Leaders is expected to draw 4,200 attendees, generating 14,650 room nights and an estimated $6.2 million in direct visitor spending. From Jan. 8-11, 2023, the world’s top business events professionals and suppliers will travel to the Greater Columbus Convention Center for three days of senior-level education and unparalleled networking opportunities.

“Columbus is a trailblazer in using business events as a platform to develop economic opportunities that drive prosperity for its residents. The city is a natural fit for PCMA and our strategic mission that business events drive global economic and social transformation,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, president and CEO of PCMA. “We look forward to partnering with Experience Columbus for our flagship Convening Leaders event in 2023, demonstrating innovations and insights that propel sustainable growth throughout all industries.”

Within the meetings industry, ASAE’s Annual Meeting and Exposition and PCMA’s Convening Leaders are recognized as the two most prestigious and sought-after events due to the ongoing impact they have in generating future business. ASAE members are executives who exclusively represent associations, while PCMA members are comprised of business event professionals for a broader, more diverse group of meetings, including corporate, nonprofit, trade shows and some associations.

“After attending PCMA’s Convening Leaders in Nashville and Pittsburgh, it became clear that we needed to bring this event to Columbus,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Winning PCMA solidifies our city as a major meetings destination. We look forward to showing off the best of our region, from the newly renovated and expanded convention center and new hotels, to walkable entertainment districts and warm hospitality you can’t find anywhere else.”

While the immediate impact of hosting Convening Leaders is great, the ongoing impact will be even greater. Nearly 78% of PCMA members identify as key decision-makers in their roles as meeting planners and have a significant influence on the location of their own future meetings. According to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, within less than two years since hosting Convening Leaders, the organization has seen an ROI of $110.7 million in direct visitor spending for future events.

“We are thrilled to welcome PCMA and the thousands of professionals attending Convening Leaders into our community,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown, president of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. “We know once they come to Columbus, they will want to come back and share with their colleagues and businesses why they chose this inclusive, friendly, thriving and progressive community to host their meetings and events.”

“Securing major conventions in the heart of Ohio is another instance of Columbus working together to accomplish big things,” said Council President Shannon Hardin. “But beyond bragging rights, this conference will bring new business to budding entrepreneurs and continue pushing Columbus forward.”

Based in Chicago, IL, PCMA is a membership organization of more than 7,000 business events professionals and industry partners, with an audience of 50,000 across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. PCMA is the global leader in business events, with 17 chapters in 30 countries around the world. Nearly 52% of its members are business event planners, while 48% are suppliers. The event will have a lasting impact on Columbus’ local economy and national image.

“This large gathering of business event professionals will provide tremendous exposure to the great assets of Columbus. This is a big win as we continue to raise Columbus’ profile and work to achieve our vision to be the most prosperous region in the country,” said Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership.

PCMA also announced that the location for the 2022 Convening Leaders Convention will be at CAESARS FORUM Caesar’s Forum in Las Vegas. Click here for the video announcement.

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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 41.9 million trips to Greater Columbus, spending $7 billion and supporting nearly 78,000 jobs. For more information, visit