Did the 2016 RNC change people's perception of Cleveland? Definitely, maybe

The RNC impact on Cleveland
Published: Aug. 2, 2017 at 9:42 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2017 at 10:41 AM EDT
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DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Northeast Ohio residents are starting to get an idea of the 2016 Republican National Convention's impact on the Greater Cleveland area, both in terms of money and perception.

Jobs and spending and tax revenue, oh my: Breaking down the RNC's $188.4 million economic impact in NE Ohio

Along with the economic benefit numbers, perception study data was released this week. Cleveland State University conducted a micro analysis downtown, using 296 questionnaires to provide a view of what convention-goers thought of Cleveland.

Before attending, those at the 2016 RNC would have used the following words to describe Cleveland, according to the micro analysis:

  • Rust Belt
  • Dull
  • Boring
  • Dangerous

The analysis suggests a dramatic change in the visitors' way of thinking after the event, and below are the post-visit descriptors they used:

  • Friendly
  • Nice
  • Clean
  • Safe

"The time was right for Cleveland to host a national political convention, and we'll continue to reap the benefits of our investment for years to come. For example, we received a tremendous amount of media coverage in the weeks leading up to and during the Convention that have helped build awareness of the city and change perceptions of what Cleveland is and has to offer," said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee. "The infrastructure projects that were accelerated for completion prior to the Convention continue to pay dividends -- particularly in attracting meetings and conventions to Cleveland. In fact, the average monthly leads were now receiving for future meetings and conventions have nearly doubled since Cleveland was selected as the RNC host in 2014."

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