DES MOINES, Iowa (September 8, 2021) – Des Moines is set to host the largest USA/Canada Lions Forum in ten years at the Iowa Events Center, September 9 - 11, 2021. Around 1,500 attendees from the U.S., Canada, Caribbean Islands, and even Africa, are registered for the 45th Annual USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum.

The event is a long time coming, with the construction of the Hilton Des Moines Downtown serving as the turning point in a recruitment process that dates back five years. Having an attached convention hotel paired with the world-class Iowa Events Center, along with the walkable downtown and transportation options made Des Moines a practical and attractive site for the group.

“The Iowa Events Center is an amazing facility with the right size of rooms, features, and accommodations that supports the specific needs for our event,” said Wendy Cain, General Chair for 2021 USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum. “The hotels and the convenience of the skywalk system is an appealing aspect to a lot of our members.” 

The forum is two and a half days of leadership, friendship, and service. The Lions Club is the world's largest service club with clubs in nearly every community. Every Lions Club is unique and serves in its own way based on the needs of their community. Keynote speakers include motivational speaker Jessica Cox, thought leader Michelle Ray, and international president of Lions Club Douglas X. Alexander. 

The Catch Des Moines sales and event experience teams hosted numerous site visits, putting together customized itineraries and helping curate authentic events for the group so that they can experience all of the dining, attractions, and culture of the metro safely and responsibly.
“We have the physical features necessary for our event and that’s been covered in spades. We are looking forward to attending an Iowa Cubs, as well as visiting art murals, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, and exploring the Des Moines Riverwalk,” said Cain.

The USA/Canada Lions Forum is expected to bring in $1.2 million in direct economic impact.

“This forum is a big win for Greater Des Moines. We are able to bring in 1,500 visitors from all over the USA and Canada to experience our metro’s great amenities,” said CEO and President of Catch Des Moines Greg Edwards. “The USA/Canada Lions was a group that years ago told us they wouldn’t book Des Moines until we had a convention center hotel. Once the Hilton was built, they kept their word and here they come. These events are especially important right now and will help boost our local economies, especially hotels, restaurants, retail, and attractions. Let’s give a big ROAR to the Lions!”


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