Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) has announced a three-year agreement to host the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Professional Development Conference at Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center (CMMCC) in downtown Cleveland in 2015, 2017, and 2019. The OMEA is the third largest of the 52 federated state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). OMEA hosted 2,900 registered music educators and a total attendance of more than 9,000 at its 2012 annual conference, ranking it as one of the nation’s largest state conferences.
“This three-year commitment with OMEA once again signifies that Cleveland is back on the map as a convention destination, within the state of Ohio, the Midwest and across the nation,” said Tony Prusak, senior director of convention sales for MMPI. “We’re delighted to welcome thousands of music educators from throughout the state of Ohio to our facility in the heart of a city and region with a rich and varied musical history.”
The OMEA conference will be held in Cleveland on Feb. 5-7, 2015; Feb. 1-4, 2017; and Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2019. The 2013 OMEA conference will be held at the Columbus Convention Center on Feb. 7-9, 2013. Future conferences will also be held in Columbus (2014) and Cincinnati (2016).
Attendees at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 conferences are expected to fill more than 2,575 hotel rooms in downtown Cleveland with a direct economic impact expected to exceed $2.8 million.
“The Ohio Music Education Association is very pleased to return to Cleveland with our state conference in 2015,” said Patricia Meeks, president of the OMEA. “This annual event, attended by over 2,900 music teachers from all instructional levels throughout Ohio, will provide a tradeshow of over 170 companies in 250 booths and a networking opportunity that is unmatched for professional development. We are very excited to schedule this event at the new Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center site in 2015 and anticipate record attendance of our membership.”
OMEA is expected to utilize more than 80,000 square feet of exhibit space in the new Cleveland Convention Center, which is scheduled to open in July, 2013.
“Bringing the Ohio Music Education Association conference back to Cleveland is a real win for this community,” said David Gilbert, president of Positively Cleveland. “With over 2,000 guests in downtown Cleveland for an entire week, our restaurants, hotels and other amenities will be filled with guests who will be impressed with the quality and quantity of entertainment, dining and sight-seeing options.”
The CMMCC now has commitments for 42 conventions. The center is scheduled to open July 1, 2013.