CLEVELAND — Destination Cleveland this week rolling out a new ad campaign that celebrates the diversity, the culture, the amenities of the city, 'The Land.' It refreshes the theme they've been using since 2014 and with good reason," said President and CEO David Gilbert. “We're also a different place than we were eight years ago."
“Many of the underpinnings are the same, but it's critical that we keep refreshing what we do to make sure that it meets the consumers where we are. The fact is we are a very diverse community in so many different ways and it’s important that all of our marketing truly effects who we are.”
Eight years ago this week came a decision that marked a turning point for Cleveland the landing of the Republican National Convention.
"I got to tell you if you haven't been to Cleveland lately it's a real surprise how beautiful it is down by that lake,” then RNC Chair Reince Priebus announced to the world in naming Cleveland as host city.
It was a decision that would showcase $4 billion in economic investments downtown that started with Gateway and expanded to a new convention center and the addition of tons of new hotel rooms. The fact that Cleveland pulled off the convention successfully six years ago is what then set the stage for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game, the 2021 NFL Draft and this year's NBA All-Star Game.
And as Cleveland's Convention and Visitors industry continues to outpace the national post-pandemic growth rate they have their eye on their next big year, 2024. That’s when we’ll see the return of the Women's Final Four and the Pan American Masters Games but also the American Society of Association Executives or ASAE convention, one you most likely never heard of but a gathering that is one of the biggest gets in the industry because it's a convention of convention planners.
“It's as big in as many ways as the RNC. It is by far the biggest gathering of meeting and convention planners and decision makers in the country,” said Gilbert. “Research shows that somewhere between $200 million and $500 million in new future convention business will be booked as a direct result of those people coming to Cleveland, seeing it for themselves and making a decision that this is a place that they want to be."
Those visitors will see a Cleveland that didn't exist in 2014 and research shows they'll see something else as a result of the city being on the big stage in recent years, another reason for the new ad campaign, they'll see an attitude in Clevelanders that didn't exist either.
“ I think a big part of it is the confidence in the community by Clevelanders has changed. I think we were a little more apologetic back eight years ago,” Gilbert said. “We still love that underdog mentality, it's who we are, it keeps us going, that fighting spirit of Cleveland but there's no apologizing for it, there's no apologizing for who we are in any way, shape or form and we think that really shines through."