Economic Development, Nonprofits, and Travel & Tourism

Conference books $6.4M impact on market

February 18, 2014
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Conference books $6.4M impact on market
Attendees of the Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference line up at the Amway Grand Plaza. Photo via

Grand Rapids’ plethora of entertainment options has helped the city secure a statewide association’s annual conference for three more years, bringing more than 10,000 visitors to the market.

Experience Grand Rapids said today that the Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference has signed on for 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Each of the three conferences will bring an estimated 3,500 attendees and 2,700 room nights to Kent County.

The total business sales of this group will result in a $6,450,984 impact on the community over the period, according to Experience GR.

The association

The Grand Rapids-based Michigan Reading Association is a nonprofit that promotes literacy in education and beyond.

The conference consists of interactive technology workshops, guest author speakers and luncheons with the authors and illustrators.

Positive on downtown

The conference has returned to Grand Rapids repeatedly over the past 50 years, and its positive experiences have kept the conference coming back.

“Our attendees tell us that Grand Rapids is a city with a lot of fun things to do when not attending sessions, from great food, shopping, museums and even butterflies to help round out the ultimate conference experience for them,” said Laura Guzman, business manager for Michigan Reading Association. “The downtown area is constantly changing and growing, providing something new for returning attendees each year."

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