Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grand Rapids to host Major Multi-Year Convention in 2012

International quilters show expected to add $45 million to local economy over three years

Experience Grand Rapids, the Greater Grand Rapids area convention and visitors bureau, today announced it landed one of its largest multi-year conventions to date – the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) Quilt Show & Contest. The Society’s three-year agreement will begin August 22-25, 2012, and will bring an estimated $15 million to Grand Rapids for each show. The convention will take place at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. More than 10,000 quilt enthusiasts from 40 states and 10 countries are expected to attend annually, resulting in 3,439 room nights each year.

“We are thrilled to host the American Quilters Association for the next three years. As part of our convention business strategies for 2010, we made a commitment to aggressively pursue and confirm multiple year contracts from national groups for future years. AQS was at the top of our list,” said Experience Grand Rapids President Doug Small. “The group size, location history and economic impact on a community were all factors in this target marketing strategy. It’s a perfect fit for Grand Rapids.”

“Grand Rapids is a great venue for the AQS Quilt Show & Contest,” said AQS President Meredith Schroeder. “The attached Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, other nearby downtown hotels and abundant parking at and near the convention center make this a very accessible event for the quilters to attend. They can check into their hotel, park their car and enjoy the quilt show, downtown restaurants, and area attractions for four full days.”

The show’s quilt contest will award more than $40,000 in cash prizes, including $10,000 for the quilt designated as Best of Show. The show will include a 350-booth Merchant Mall featuring antique and new quilts and the latest in quiltmaking supplies, and will offer 150 classes through the AQS School of Quiltmaking.

For more information about AQS, visit