The OMEA is the third largest of the 52 federated state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). OMEA hosted 2,900 registered music educators and a total attendance of more than 9,000 at its 2012 annual conference, ranking it as one of the nation's largest state conferences.
The OMEA Professional Development Conference will be held in Cleveland Feb. 5-7, 2015, Feb. 1-4, 2017, and Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2019. The 2013 OMEA conference, titled "Tuning Up for Change," will be held at the Columbus Convention Center Feb. 7-9, 2013. Future conferences will also be held in Columbus (2014) and Cincinnati (2016).
"This three-year commitment with OMEA once again signifies that Cleveland is back on the map as a convention destination, within the state of Ohio, the Midwest, and across the nation," said Tony Prusak, Senior Director of Convention Sales, MMPI. "We're delighted to welcome thousands of music educators from throughout the state of Ohio to our facility in the heart of a city and region with a rich and varied musical history."
Attendees at the 2015, 2017, and 2019 three-day OMEA conferences will fill more than 2,575 hotel rooms in downtown Cleveland in a Thursday-Sunday pattern during January/February with a direct economic impact expected to exceed $2.8 million. OMEA is expected to utilize more than 80,000 gross square feet of exhibit space in the new Cleveland Convention Center, scheduled to open in July, 2013.
"The Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio's largest music education professional development organization is very pleased to return to Cleveland with our State Conference in 2015," said Patricia Meeks, president, OMEA. "This annual event, attended by over 2900 music teachers from all instructional levels throughout Ohio, will provide educational sessions on music teaching and performance, concerts by Ohio's finest youth ensembles, a trade show of over 170 companies/institutions in 250 booths with support services/products and a networking opportunity that is unmatched for professional development enrichment. We are very excited to schedule this event at the new Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center site in 2015 and anticipate record attendance of our membership. Our thanks to MMPI for making this site a reality to the benefit of us, Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and even the entire State of Ohio. BRAVO TO YOU!"
The OMEA Annual Conference provides attendees with educational sessions, symposia, poster presentations, and other learning opportunities, along with professional networking opportunities with music educators. The OMEA Conference and Expo is also expected to draw approximately more than 170 exhibitors in 250 booths, including more than 30 colleges and universities.
"Bringing the Ohio Music Education Association conference back to Cleveland is a real win for this community," said David Gilbert, president of Positively Cleveland. "With over 2,000 guests in downtown Cleveland for an entire week, our restaurants, hotels, and other amenities will be filled with guests who will be impressed with the quality and quantity of entertainment, dining, and sight-seeing options."
CMMCC now has commitments for 42 conventions. The Convention Center facility is scheduled to open July 1, 2013.