Kansas City

Kansas City Sees Surge in Meeting and Convention Sector Amid Infrastructure Upgrades

The City of Fountains is experiencing a substantial upswing in its meetings and conventions sector, driven by recent infrastructure improvements and concerted marketing efforts by Visit KC. In a testament to this resurgence, industry titan Cvent has recognized Kansas City as a leading convention destination in the United States.

During the first half of 2023, Kansas City hosted a total of 185 events, including major assemblies for renowned organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the Building Owners and Managers Association. These three conventions alone brought almost 22,000 attendees to Kansas City, generating an estimated economic impact exceeding $27 million.

Kansas City’s appeal as a destination for major bookings is on the rise, with three significant conventions slated to attract more than 15,000 attendees and an estimated economic impact of nearly $24 million over the coming years.

Kansas City looks forward to welcoming the following key events:

  • The National Baptist Convention, USA is scheduled to host its 2023 Annual Fall National Convention in KC, expecting over 5,000 attendees and a projected economic impact of nearly $4 million.
  • The United States Conference of Mayors, brought to Kansas City through a partnership between Mayor Quinton Lucas and former Mayor Sly James, is set to welcome almost 1,500 high-profile attendees next summer.
  • The National Education Association, the largest professional employee organization in the U.S., will host its 2029 Annual Meeting in Kansas City, drawing nearly 9,000 attendees and estimated to generate an economic impact of over $18 million.

“The strong start to the year in convention sales, with more than 290,000 future room nights confirmed in the first half of the year, is a testament to the outstanding amenities Kansas City offers, both at the Convention Center and throughout the city,” said Nathan Hermiston, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales and Services at Visit KC.

He noted that these major bookings owe much to last year’s voter-backed GO Bond, which is currently investing $45 million in maintenance and capital improvements to the Kansas City Convention Center. Upgrades underway or completed include new carpeting, escalator replacement, bathroom facilities upgrade, and a comprehensive enhancement of wireless and technology infrastructure.

Moreover, Kansas City has embarked on extensive improvements to the city’s infrastructure, including the unveiling of the new single terminal at Kansas City International Airport in February and the addition of 1,100 new and renovated hotel rooms in the Central Business District. Major projects on the horizon comprise the expansion of the free KC Streetcar route, set for completion in 2025, and the 2024 opening of the Kansas City Current Stadium, which is poised to be the first women’s professional sports stadium in the world.

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