This week marks the start of a summer filled with high-profile conventions in Cincinnati, beginning with the Sigma Pi Phi Grand Boulé, June 22-26. The Grand Boulé will draw more than 1,200 visitors to Cincinnati with an anticipated $1.15 million spent by attendees. Major conventions throughout the summer are expected to bring more than 15,000 attendees and generate more than $8 million in visitor spending overall.

“A strong summer convention season has become a Cincinnati tradition,” said Julie Calvert, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s a critical driver of our regional visitor economy – welcoming waves of leisure travelers and convention attendees who invest in our hotels, restaurants, attractions and other businesses. This year is no different, and we’re excited to roll out the red carpet with our hospitality partners across the region.”

The Grand Boulé is the annual gathering for Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, the oldest African American Greek-lettered organization. The fraternity, known as the Boulé, has more than 5,000 members, and has included notable members like Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois and Arthur Ashe. The 54th Grand Boulé in Cincinnati will welcome prominent figures like U.S. Senator Cory Booker, TV chef Carla Hall, Cincinnati native Bootsy Collins and more.

Events for the Grand Boulé will primarily be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center, with other programming opportunities at various venues such as Paul Brown Stadium, the Belle of Cincinnati riverboat, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and various downtown hotels.

Vibe Cincinnati, an initiative of the Cincinnati USA CVB, will host various free activations and experiences on Fountain Square this week in conjunction with the Sigma Pi Phi Grand Boulé. Vibe Cincinnati is the CVB’s multicultural platform, which connects locals and visitors to Cincinnati’s mix of cultures through performances, local art and retail vendors and immersive multicultural experiences. Grammy-nominated Carl Thomas is among the performers scheduled to participate in Vibe’s programming this week.

A complete schedule of Vibe events can be found here.

“We are honored to host the distinguished men who represent the Grand Boulé and their families as they celebrate their rich history in our city that does the same,” said Jason Dunn, Vice President of Multicultural and Community Development for the CVB. “We’re looking forward to carrying on the celebration through Vibe events this week that will connect the Boulé members to the energy and diversity of the Cincinnati region.”

The Grand Boulé is the first of several notable events that Cincinnati will host throughout the summer. Over the next few months, Cincinnati will be home to national and regional events for the following organizations:
  • Daughters of the Nile Supreme Temple (June 24-28, 2018)
  • Church of the Brethren (July 4-8, 2018)
  • National Fragile X Foundation (July 11-15, 2018)
  • International Cake Exploration Societé (July 26-29, 2018)
  • General Grand Masonic Congress (July 27 – Aug. 3, 2018)
  • Pure Romance (Aug. 1-5, 2018)
  • Tastefully Simple (Aug. 4-12, 2018)
  • Delta Sigma Theta (Aug. 15-19, 2018)
“When our region's convention business is strong, there’s an incredible ripple effect across our community,” added Calvert. “More meetings and conventions means more visitor spending, more jobs and more tax revenue. When visitors have great experiences here, our destination reputation gets that much stronger and we win more conventions. It’s a cycle of impact and success that our region is committed to continuing.”

About the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
The  Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau is a sales, marketing and service organization whose primary responsibility is to positively impact Hamilton County's and the City of Cincinnati's economy through convention, trade show and visitor expenditures. The travel and tourism industry traditionally has been a $5 billion industry in Cincinnati USA, employing 77,000 people in a variety of fields and bringing 26.1 million visitors to the region annually. Visit for more.