After a successful 2017 which saw Greater Des Moines host the wildly popular Solheim Cup and land the bid for the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Catch Des Moines is carrying the momentum over into 2018 as it gears up for the spring opening of the new 330-room Hilton convention center hotel downtown. Having recently hosted the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the Iowa Pork Congress, Greater Des Moines has secured 10 major events with an economic impact of over $57 million. January bookings include:
- USA Track & Field - Outdoor Track & Field Championships - June 2018
- USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals - October 2018 & October 2019
- American Business Women's Association Central Region Conference - April 2019
- Reserve Officers Association National Convention - September 2019
- US Jaycees - Board Meeting – September 2018
- National HS Rodeo Association Junior High Finals - June 2024 and 2025
- Christian Church Disciples of Christ General Assembly - July 2019
“Word is getting out that Des Moines has the infrastructure, know-how and unique amenities that are the prerequisites to successfully hosting events and conventions, both big and small,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of Catch Des Moines. “Over the past few years, some of these high-profile events have really added credibility to Des Moines as an event destination, which opens a lot of doors and gets people to give us a second look.”
Eight additional groups recently visited Greater Des Moines as they consider the metro for a future event. These groups included the National Association of Workshop Directors, National Veteran’s Creative Arts Festival, BIO World Congress and Nursing Organization Alliance. Decisions are expected in the coming months.
In addition, Catch Des Moines has been preparing for the opening of the Hilton Des Moines Downtown for three years and the efforts are seeing great results. Marketing and sales efforts are ongoing as the team meets with prospective groups from across the country on sales calls and at trade shows, including the Professional Convention Management Association Convening Leaders and Event Service Professional Association Conference and the American Bus Association Conference.
“While it’s often bigger events that get the headlines, we pride ourselves in the diversity of the events that we bring to the city,” Edwards said. “From arts and culture events to basketball and wrestling; to swine and rabbits; it’s clear that Greater Des Moines truly does have something for everybody.”