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Detroit Metro CVB announces recent convention bookings, including FIRST® Championships

April 21, 2015

Detroit, Mich. — Thousands of young science and technology students will convene in Detroit for the US For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Championships in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) announced today. Due to the continually increasing interest and participation in FIRST® programs and the annual FIRST Championship the group decided it would host two championship events starting in 2017 and Detroit would be one of the host cities for the 2018-2020 championships.

FIRST pioneered the use of robotics to inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in 1992. As the world’s largest robotics competition for students, with more than 400,000 students participating in four programs spanning K-12, more than 17,000 students are expected to participate in the FIRST Championship in St. Louis at the end of this month.

“We are proud to be chosen as one of the two host cities for FIRST Championships in 2018-2020”, said Larry Alexander, DMCVB President and CEO. “The timing couldn’t be better; renovations at Cobo Center will be complete and new development continues throughout the city, including the new M-1 Rail and District Detroit, which will both be up and running when FIRST is in Detroit. Also significant are the knowledgeable experts and resources in the STEM field located right here in Detroit.”

Each championship event will host competitions for all four FIRST robotics programs and is projected to generate as much as $30 million in annual economic impact. The inaugural championship to take place in Detroit will be April 25-29, 2018 at Cobo Center and the DMCVB estimates 25,000 attendees.

FIRST joins four other major groups that have booked Detroit recently. These groups include:

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International
April 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020
12,000 attendance each year
$6,351,480 direct spending each year
This year marks 82 years that SAE has hosted its event in Detroit and the group recently committed to a six year deal through 2020.

National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
July 2018
9,000 attendance
$14,161,962.50 direct spending
Based in Washington, the NALC was founded in 1889 and came to Detroit in 1894 for its second national convention. NALC has met in Detroit four times over the years, but has not come back to Detroit since 1966. The union’s national archives are housed at the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

National Black MBA Association, Inc.
September 2018
12,000 attendance
$22,618,440 direct spending
The National Black MBA Association, Inc. was founded in 1970 and is dedicated to developing partnerships that result in the creation of intellectual and economic wealth in the black community. The last time the group hosted their annual convention in Detroit was in 1998, which will mark 20 years when the group returns in 2018.

October 2019 and 2020, and November 2021
15,000 attendance each year
$4,918,890 direct spending each year
Youmacon is one of the top anime conventions in the country and has been hosted in metro Detroit since 2005.

Detroit is on a winning streak hosting more conventions than ever. This year alone convention business is bringing in 200,000 new visitors and an estimated $214 million in direct spending to the region. Major conventions coming to town in the coming months include: USA Volleyball, May 2015, attendance 10,000; National Baptist Christian Convention USA, Inc., June 2015, attendance 25,000; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, July 2015, attendance 36,000; National Medical Association, July 2015, attendance 2,000; American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), August 2015, attendance 6,000; and Youmacon, October 2015, attendance 10,000.

The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel and as a film location to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities. 

More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB's membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com

CONTACT: Renee Monforton, DMCVB
313-202-1951; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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