DES MOINES, Iowa (July 21, 2021) – After more than a year of weathering the complicated landscape of travel and events amidst a global pandemic, Catch Des Moines says the metro has started to turn the corner, with a summer of events that rivals pre-pandemic levels.

“We are hosting major, citywide events, that we’d be proud of in our peak years,” says Trina Flack, VP of Sales at Catch Des Moines. “We’re seeing the pent-up demand to travel begin to manifest itself, and people are ready to meet face-to-face. We’ve proven that there’s no better, or safer, place to do that than in Greater Des Moines.”

On the convention side, Flack mentions that the metro benefitted from remaining relatively open throughout the past year, helping to secure some events that may have not considered Des Moines in the past. Now that the rest of the country is opening, Greater Des Moines retains a competitive edge, having shown they can safely host events no matter the circumstances.

Already this summer, Des Moines has hosted numerous events including:  

  • World Pork Expo, the world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show bringing together pork producers and industry professionals from around the world.
  • Dew Tour, the only U.S.-based Olympic qualifier for skateboarding.
  • Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN 70.3 Des Moines, a first-time event for the city.
  • National Junior High Rodeo Finals, a six-day run at the Iowa State Fairgrounds with contestants from around the world; marking the first time since 2015 Des Moines has hosted that event.
  • The Global Insurance Symposium, the first major insurance event since the pandemic.
  • National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
  • U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup, featuring 48 regional championship teams from across the country.
  • BBI International
  • USA Racquetball National Junior Championships and Adult Team Qualifying moved to Des Moines from St. Louis.
  • Battle of the Best and Capital City Classic elite basketball tournaments, featuring hundreds of teams and college coaches from around the country.

In addition to these events, annual events like the Des Moines Arts Festival, the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market, Principal Charity Classic, and the Iowa State Fair have all returned or are returning, all of which are huge visitor attractions that draw big crowds and mean big money for the hotels and restaurants who struggled through the last year. 

“Like they say, “When one door closes, another opens”, says Greg Edwards, CEO at Catch Des Moines. “Although this was a tough time for everyone in our industry, it’s allowed us to showcase our community to entirely new audiences. Right now, we are in a good spot, because Des Moines offers all the amenities of a larger city, without some of the restrictions or hassles, and we’ve shown we can remain flexible and host events responsibly.” 

Looking forward to the rest of the summer, Flack mentions the following events to come, including the Ag Tech Hub, U.S. Grains Council Annual Board of Delegates Meeting, and the United Pentecostal Church International Midwest Youth Convention.

About Catch Des Moines

Catch Des Moines is the official destination marketing organization promoting and representing Greater Des Moines to leisure travelers and meeting/sports planners. Our focus is to increase visitors to the metro and elevate the visitor experience to drive economic success and enhance the quality of life in the 15 local Greater Des Moines communities we represent. For more information, visit