Connect To Converge In Motor City Next Summer

October 13, 2021

Meetings, events, travel and tourism industry leader, Connect, is gearing up to welcome a pre-pandemic number of event professionals to its signature summer marketplace conference and trade show in Detroit next year. Set for Aug. 8-10, 2022 at TCF Center, Connect Detroit expects to attract approximately 4,000 decision-making planners and suppliers, who will gather together to meet, network, do business and experience all that the city has to offer for meeting and event groups.

The annual August conference will once again draw in attendees from four main market segments: corporate, association, specialty and sports, with BizBash, Connect’s sister company, collocating with the event. 

“We’re very excited to be coming to Detroit next year,” said Chris Collinson, president of Connect. “Not only is Detroit known as the Motor City, but it’s also a place where business gets done. We can’t wait to help connect the right planners with suppliers. And by partnering with Visit Detroit, we know this will be a show that nobody forgets.”

Along with its signature reverse-style trade show for one-on-one appointments, the conference will host its largest traditional trade show to date on a showfloor featuring a variety of creative activations. 

Using a thorough vetting process to make sure that only top-quality event professionals qualify to take appointments, Connect’s qualified planners use the company’s expert matchmaking system to ensure that they meet with the right destinations, hotels and other venues capable of hosting their future events. 

Also on tap at the conference will be an enticing menu of celebrity keynotes and industry event veterans delivering engaging and inspiring content. Notable individuals who have previously spoken at Connect events include former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as star athletes Simone Biles, Peyton Manning, Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Phelps, and famed personalities such as Nicole Kidman and Anderson Cooper.

Connect Detroit expects that its keynote speakers will fall into the same high-end category.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that Connect is heading to Detroit,” said Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit. “Connect will put thousands of decision-makers in our city, which is a huge opportunity for us to ensure Detroit is on their radar for future meetings and sports events.” 

He continued, “Detroit is a revitalized, vibrant and friendly destination, and seasoned when it comes to hosting successful meetings and events. Our hospitality industry is committed to using all of our resources to create an unforgettable experience for Connect attendees.” 

According to Connect officials, Connect conferences, which typically attract from 3,000-4,000 attendees, mean thousands of jobs for host communities, ranging from chefs and cleaning crews to restaurant workers and travel and tourism staff. 

Connect 2021, which took place Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Tampa, Fla., drew approximately 2,500 event professionals, and in May of next year, the company will be launching a new signature event in Puerto Rico, which expects to attract more than 2,000 attendees.  

Hosted buyer registration is now open for Connect Detroit. Meeting planners can click here to register, and sports planners and rights holders can click here to register.


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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: