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PODCAST: How one conference could bring in half a billion dollars for Ohio’s economy

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

What’s the impact of Ohio hosting the annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives earlier this month? Potentially half a billion dollars for the state’s economy in the years to come.

“It's a game changer,” said Scott Wiley, CAE, president and CEO of The Ohio Society of CPAs on the latest episode of The State of Business podcast. Wiley was chairman of the ASAE board of directors when Columbus was selected as a host city.

During the three-day event, he said nearly 5,400 professionals attended the meeting in Columbus, and it is projected they had a direct economic impact of more than $16 million for the capital city. Of those attendees, 80% are directly involved or have influence over associations activities and 20% of those individuals will be involved in selecting a site for a meeting in the future.

“Many of those groups will bring back their own meetings here over the next decade, and that is projected to have an economic impact of about half a billion dollars or $500 million plus,” Wiley said. “That's real money. And it impacts frontline workers, housekeepers, and bartenders and servers, it's not just going into the pockets of a business. It actually is helping the economy; it's helping people's wages.”

Organizations such as the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association attended the conference, and ASAE organizers said they received overwhelmingly positive feedback. It’s another strong showing from Ohio when It comes to holding large-scale events, such as when Cleveland hosted the Republican National Convention in 2016.

Wiley said conferences such as these offer an opportunity for CPAs to find their clients who work in these spaces to make connections, strengthen relationships and better understand their clients.

“I think this only speaks positively to the opportunity that is here for all of us who call it home,” Wiley said. “But for all those who might consider bringing a business here or are thinking about raising a family here. It's just another opportunity to demonstrate Ohio has a lot to offer.”

Listen to the episode now.