Tucson to host 2015 International Festivals & Events Association Convention & Expo

January 16, 2015

Performers at the 59th Annual IFEA convention in Kansas City. Photo from IFEA.

Performers at the 59th Annual IFEA convention in Kansas City. Photo from IFEA.

Visit Tucson and the Festivals and Events Association of Tucson and Southern Arizona (FEATSAZ) are pleased to announce that Tucson, Ariz. has been selected to host the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) 60th Anniversary Convention & Expo at JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa on September 21-23, 2015.

The IFEA defines itself as “the premiere association supporting and enabling festival and event professionals worldwide.” The annual IFEA convention draws representatives from such major events as Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Kentucky Derby Festival, The Olympic Games, Tournament of Roses Parade and Bowl, and varied global peers and counterparts, to smaller, more localized community events, plus the cities, sponsors, tourism organizations, educational institutions and suppliers.

The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa will host the IFEA in September.

“This is a huge win for Tucson,” Kurt Tallis, President of FEATSAZ, said. “Tucson is home to hundreds of first-rate events, as well as many experienced festival and event organizers and a wide range of suppliers and vendors. It’s an absolute honor to host this prominent international convention.”

FEATSAZ and Visit Tucson collaborated with a dedicated team that included the Downtown Tucson Partnership, Main Gate Square, and Fourth Avenue Merchants Association on the convention bid. The team hosted Steve Schmader, President of IFEA, on a citywide site tour of qualifying resort hotels and a custom Sun Link streetcar tour that demonstrated Downtown Tucson’s easy access to dining, shopping, and nightlife. They also produced a video highlighting Tucson’s varied and frequent festivals and events.

The 59th Annual IFEA convention included special guests from Oz.

The 59th Annual IFEA convention included special guests from Oz.

“The IFEA convention represents a great opportunity for us to expose Tucson to festival and event operators throughout the United States and potentially around the world,” Brent DeRaad, President/CEO of Visit Tucson, said. “The attendees are potential customers who could bring their festivals and events to our destination in the future. Of course, we are always looking for business that actualizes during our “shoulder” seasons, and a September convention will be a great benefit to our community.”

The 2015 IFEA Convention & Expo represents 865 room nights, close to $250,000 in economic impact for Tucson, and it is expected to draw an estimated 500 attendees from across the globe for professional education and networking, including Certified Festival and Event Executive (CFEE) training sessions.

IFEA event in Pittsburgh. When event organizers through a party, you know it's going to be good. Photo from IFEA.

IFEA event in Pittsburgh. When event organizers through a party, you know it’s going to be good. Photo from IFEA.

“Festivals and events contribute hundreds of millions of dollars a year to Southern Arizona’s economy, and have played a major role in the revitalization of Downtown Tucson,” Caitlin Jensen, Marketing and PR Manager at the Downtown Tucson Partnership, said. “This convention is a testament to Tucson’s commitment to supporting festivals, events, and the meetings industry.”

“Tucson Meet Yourself, All Souls Procession, 2nd Saturdays, and other civic events are unifying and bring economic benefits to our community,” Steve Kozachik, Tucson City Council Member, said. “And given that Tucson will be a focal point for this important convention, the message of needing to step up our game in support of events can’t be missed by regional policymakers.”

For information on how tourism powers Southern Arizona, go to visitTucson.org or click here. To learn more about FEATSAZ’s mission and activities, visit featsaz.com or click here.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on Pinterest