It is a rite of passage each September—the acts of the Cleveland Airshow leave town after Labor Day and the participants in the Content Marketing World Convention make their way here.
What started in 2011 with what organizers hoped would be 100 or so participants, has grown to draw in seven short years more than 4,000.
"We've got people from around the world, you know 60 different countries are represented here today," said Content Marketing Institute General Manager Stephanie Stahl.
Content Marketing involves the creation of content; video, blogs, social media, that generates interest in a product or brand.
"You can think of it almost like a brand becoming a publisher," Stahl said. “A brand instead of creating traditional advertising that can sometimes be a little loud and in your face, we use content to get messages out to make brands appear more human, to bring a loyal audience in.”
For Melissa Nix of Washington, D.C. this is her first time attending, she’s a content producer for a health information technology company. “So part of my job is figuring out how to create great content that attracts and retains a national audience."
Melissa is a first-time visitor to Cleveland and said she’s impressed with what she’s seen and wishes she had more time to explore during her stay.
June Pinyo, of Chicago, is also a first-time attendee who is marking her first time in Cleveland.
"Seeing all of the old architecture and the sculptures it's being really actually surprising and I'm actually kind of looking forward to some time off so I can walk around," Pinyo said.
Their comments driving home one of the side benefits of a convention like this, beyond the economic impact of 4,000 visitors there is the added benefit of the social media reach that comes with a gathering of content marketing producers.
“Cleveland is such a charming city and we like to tell attendees and show off the best of it too,” Stahl said. “We tell them about all of the great museums and the local restaurants and people leave here with such a warm feeling,” she said. “it’s great for the city.”