The Oklahoma City Convention Center currently under construction was designed to provide a venue better equipped than the city's existing offerings to host major national conferences. Judging by the events that are already booked, the convention center is already proving its worth, almost a year before it's scheduled to open its doors.
According to the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, seven national and international organizations have signed contracts to hold their events in the $288 million venue, scheduled to open at the end of 2020. Together, these bookings account for more than 37,000 room nights and an estimated $20 million in direct economic impact. The OKCVB's leaders trumpeted these commitments as proof that enhancing the city's infrastructure has already helped generate more meetings business.
"It's an honor to be the host city for such high-caliber conferences," said Mike Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The new venues and infrastructure throughout downtown show OKC's commitment to the meetings and convention industry, and we can now provide a unique attendee experience for even larger events."
Set west of Oklahoma City's Scissortail Park and adjacent to the 605-room headquarter hotel from Omni Hotel & Resorts (scheduled to open in 2021), the new Oklahoma City Convention Center will offer almost 275,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space. It broke ground in the summer of 2018 and is expected to open late this year, now taking bookings for 2021 and beyond.
The events highlighted by the OKCVB, which have already been contracted to take place at the Oklahoma City Convention Center, are:
- 2021 National Brownfields Training Conference for the International City/County Management Association
- 2021 Annual Convention for American Association of Meat Processors
- 2022 Annual Conference for International Economic Development Council
- 2022 and 2024 International Convention for LegalShield
- 2023 Annual Conference for International Conference on Mission
- 2024 Annual Conference for National Sheriffs Association
- 2024 Annual Convention for Athletic Equipment Manufacturers Association
Northstar Meetings Group, parent company of Meetings & Conventions, will host its TEAMS '22 Conference & Expo in the convention center as well. Taking place Oct. 10-13, 2022, it will make use of the new facility and the adjacent Omni Hotel, leveraging the newest infrastructure for an event that otherwise could not have been held in Oklahoma City.