Conferences save date for $2.6M impact on Grand Rapids


The Heartland Travel Showcase, a conference for travel industry professionals, hosts a weekend networking event. Photo via

Two conferences have marked their calendars to bring thousands of visitors to Grand Rapids, where they’ll spend an estimated $2.6 million during their stays.

Experience Grand Rapids said that Job’s Daughters International and Heartland Travel Showcase have committed to host conferences in Grand Rapids in 2016.

“Both of these meetings have a significant impact on our community, and we are excited to show them what Grand Rapids has to offer,” said Doug Small, president and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids.

Small added that the groups will be exposed to “our friendly city” and its arts, culture and farm-to-fork fare.

Job’s Daughters International

The Job’s Daughters International Annual Supreme Session will bring more than 1,500 visitors to Grand Rapids on July 24-30, 2016, spending an estimated $1,880,308.

Job’s Daughters International was founded in 1920 to provide an opportunity for young women to work together, learn about themselves and help others. Job's Daughters is open to girls and young women ages 10 to 20, who have a Masonic heritage. Members are from the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Philippines and Brazil.

According to Tammy Dankenbring, sales manager at the Amway Hotel Collection and a past-honored Queen of Job’s Daughters International, the Michigan Job’s Daughters have been holding their state conference at the Amway Grand Plaza since the early 1950s, with regular attendance of approximately 400 people.

“Being selected to host Job’s Daughters International demonstrates the value of our hometown champions, people like Tammy Dankenbring, who advocate for their groups to visit Grand Rapids,” Small said.

Heartland Travel Showcase

Heartland Travel Showcase will bring 650 visitors to Grand Rapids on Feb. 5-7, 2016, spending an estimated $747,923.

Heartland Travel Showcase comes to Grand Rapids through a successful bid by Experience Grand Rapids to the board of Ohio Travel, which made the selection.

The attendees will include tour operators, representatives of destination marketing organizations, attractions and hotels.

Experience Grand Rapids is looking forward to the exposure the conference will give the city to travel industry professionals.

During the conference, attendees will participate in education sessions and exhibitor showcases to assist tour operators in promoting and packaging successful tours.

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