Conventions and Events Business Full Steam Ahead in 2022

Jul 21, 2022 | 0 comments

Conventions and Events Business Full Steam Ahead at the Dayton Convention Center Amid a Major Transformation of the Facility and Downtown Core

How is the Dayton convention and event business doing as it rebounds from the pandemic? Officials affiliated with the Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority, the new owner of the Center, used phrases like “coming back strong”, “there is a positive buzz around the new DCC “, and,” we are excited to welcome back groups that had to delay or cancel”, after a 14– month shut down and transfer of ownership from the City of Dayton to the Authority.

The convention business, predicated on having large groups of people from all over the region and country gather indoors, was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and derailed by government-mandated gathering limits. The MCCFA saw business start to bounce back in 2021.

“We are excited to welcome back local and regional events that had to delay their programs, as well as new groups that have booked at DCC. We have hosted sporting events, weddings, comedy shows, meetings, banquets, trade shows and many others”, said Pam Plageman, MCCFA Executive Director/CEO. Plageman stated, “the new guest journey will be a positive experience at DCC with our partners ASM Global, a nationally recognized venue management and hospitality expert, at the helm”.

Plageman shared, the Dayton Convention Center has hosted several new and returning events in 2022, such as WGI, the Big Hoopla and Jurassic Quest. We proudly hosted the National Watch and Clock Convention in June 2022. 1500 attendees gathered at DCC, enjoyed hotel accommodations, and dined at local restaurants. Turbine Engine Technology Symposium will return in September 2022 with over 800 attendees. Programs such as these are vital to sustaining a vibrant, healthy facility.

Jacquie Powell, Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau President/CEO, and an MCCFA Board Member, stated, The Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau team is excited to be able to promote the planned $31 million Dayton Convention Center renovations to meeting planners

across a variety of segments from state, regional, and national associations, to faith-based, hobby, sports planners and more. The planned renovations coupled with the return of post- COVID group events bodes well for the Dayton Convention Center and our community. According to the recent (June) U.S. Travel Associations Semi-Annual Forecast Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Research Firm – ‘on a spending basis, business travel this year will be at 74% of 2019 levels and 91% in 2023 and 95% in 2024.Additionally, Longwoods International, another travel research firm, predicts that with new post-COVID protocols have come new expectations customers care strongly about price and service as well as cleanliness and safety.Collectively we as a hospitality community are eager to deliver to the best of our ability on all fronts.

Kelli Donahoe, DCC General Manager, added “The entire DCC team is simply thrilled to welcome our guests with heartfelt hospitality. We understand the importance of safety for every visitor that walks through our doors and will work diligently with Messer Construction to deliver the highest standard of care during their visit. Our Sales & Services Team will approach each event with individualized attention to ensure minimal disruption at every turn, so our clients are able to execute a successful and memorable event.

What can guests expect when they visit the DCC and how will construction affect events? Plageman said, “Our design team partners, LWC/LMN Architects and construction partner, Messer Construction, have been hard at work refining the project scope. The creativity and ability to pivot is exciting and impressive. With costs escalations in 2022, the Master Plan will be refined, however additional scope will be continuous, and a long-term strategic plan will be developed to both maintain the facility and enhance spaces ongoing. The 5th street skywalk roof is being replaced this week. The exterior work for DCC will begin with the removal/repurpose of the front entry metal sculpture beginning 8/17, and the work will begin on the new 3rd floor terrace, pavers/concrete work, and landscaping to create a park-like, fresh air space through- out Q-4. Cleaning, sealing, and recoating the entire exterior with new 3-tone contemporary colors should be complete in September 2022. An alternate entryway will be created as we host events. Full restroom renovations for DCC, including additional family restrooms, will go out to bid in Q4. We will keep the community updated through social media platforms, newsletters, and drone/video opportunities. The project is still slated for phase 1 completion mid-2024 and we will be planning a community open house in the future. We are grateful for the support of State, City and County leadership that has allowed the MCCFA to lead this important project that will have a significant positive impact for generations!

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