Meetings & Conventions
Nationwide, meetings and conventions makes up nearly a $300 billion industry with millions of convention goers attending tradeshows, expos, annual meetings, corporate gatherings and more across the country. Competition against other destinations is fierce in this arena, so it’s important that Charlotte can differentiate itself from the rest of the pack of similar sized cities such as Nashville, Indianapolis, Austin and others.
The structure of the CRVA is one of its strongest attributes in its efforts to secure meetings and convention business. As an “umbrella” organization that houses venue management of its brands including the Charlotte Convention Center and NASCAR Hall of Fame as well as destination promotion on the sales and marketing side with Visit Charlotte, meeting planners have the benefit of a consolidated effort that works cohesively on their behalf. The team here calls that “One CRVA” at work, where the organization is continuously striving to create efficiencies that tear down silos and make the customer experience a more enjoyable and memorable one overall. Meeting planners have the benefit of working with salespeople, convention center employees and other CRVA touchpoints who all have the same common goal in meeting and surpassing the expectations of the client.
There are several competitive advantages for Charlotte that encourage planners to bring meetings and events to the region. This represents areas such as the motorsports concentration in the Charlotte region, which serves as a one-of-a-kind, dynamic selling point that inspires site selection and generates excitement for visiting groups at places like the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Furthermore, the city’s compact, walkable cityscape, accessibility and convenience at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, climate, affordability and the city’s safety are all distinct competitive advantages that influence meeting planners to choose Charlotte.
Once Charlotte has been selected as a meetings and conventions destination, that’s where the community impact is felt. More than 325,000 attendees came to Charlotte via convention center events or through meetings that the Visit Charlotte team booked. While these visitors may utilize the center or CRVA venues for their designated purpose, they’re also staying at area hotels, experiencing the city at local attractions, dining in restaurants or taking advantage of services ranging from florists to dry cleaners to printers. Those visitors are generating millions in direct spending along the way, not to mention the powerful trickle-down effect felt by other industries impacted by this new direct spending (i.e. a restaurant increases its order with a produce supplier based on the volume of convention attendees in town).
This economic impact advances the entire community and drives the visitor economy. Without the economic activity that visitor spending creates, Charlotte wouldn’t have been able to create some of its most defining assets – BB&T Ballpark, the renovations at Bank of America Stadium, The Westin Charlotte, Charlotte Convention Center, Levine Center for the Arts, NASCAR Hall of Fame and more. From the 2012 Democratic National Convention that produced $164 million in economic impact to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority 66th Boule that generated $22 million in economic impact, each of the hundreds of events the city hosts continue to deliver positive results that make the community a better place to live, work, play and visit.