National meeting for economic developers in 2022 a huge win for OKC

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Oklahoma City Convention Center is quickly approaching its first birthday, and it has already landed a major economic development conference for 2022 that Chamber officials say could be a springboard to more large meetings at the state-of-the-art conference.

The International Economic Development Council, considered as the premiere industry association for economic developers around the world, recently selected Oklahoma City as the site for its 2022 annual conference Sept. 18-21. The announcement came after a long courtship between IEDC and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber; Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, a division of the OKC Chamber; and additional partners, including the City of Oklahoma City and other public-private entities statewide.

During this year’s IEDC annual conference recently held in Nashville, Chamber and CVB officials met with both IEDC officials and meeting attendees.

“A lot of our mission there was to be engaged with the leadership of the organization but also the general attendees to make sure they knew Oklahoma City was coming up and to tell our story and outlay our plans for the 2022 event,” said Jeff Seymour, Chamber executive vice president of economic development.

Past IEDC annual conferences have been held in other large metros, including Atlanta and Toronto, Canada. The 2023 conference is planned for Dallas. To be selected among those peer cities signals that Oklahoma City is a high-caliber community and economic development destination, Seymour said.

“This is an opportunity for not only Oklahoma City but the Oklahoma City region – and really our partners statewide – to tell Oklahoma’s story through the auspices of a conference.”

One of the requirements Oklahoma City had to fulfill as part of the application process to serve as an IEDC host city was to develop a theme for the event. The theme, “Turn Disruption into Innovation and Opportunity,” was one the Chamber, CVB and their partners readily agreed was Oklahoma’s story.

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