Professional meetings and events have officially started their comeback in Los Angeles. Earlier this month the destination hosted its first City Wide convention since the start of the pandemic, welcoming more than 2,800 attendees for the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) at its Annual Meeting and OTO Expo. Taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, AAO-HNSF contracted with 14 hotels in Downtown L.A. and the events resulted in an economic impact of $9.2 million.  

“Downtown Los Angeles is once again filled with the buzz and energy that only comes from group business,” said Darren Green, Chief Sales Officer of Los Angeles Tourism. “We’ve worked diligently to ensure professional meetings and events are brought back in a safe and responsible manner. It was an honor to host this incredible group of medical practitioners in Los Angeles and their success bodes well for the future of meetings and events in our City of Angels.”

“This meeting was made possible by the extraordinary collaboration we received from the Los Angeles Convention Center and LA Tourism throughout the entire process,” said Dr. James Denneny III, Executive Vice President and CEO of AAO-HNS. “They were instrumental in helping us choose our special event venues and COVID-19 monitoring services and identifying enthusiastic local staffing, which contributed greatly to our success. They delivered on all promises and our experience overall was even better than we had hoped for under the fluctuating conditions. Our attendees routinely praised the facilities, service, and safety throughout the meeting.”

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the wonderful individuals associated with planning and executing a most memorable 125th anniversary meeting in Los Angeles. We look forward to our return in 2029.” Throughout the pandemic, L.A. has placed the health of visitors and residents as a top priority, allowing the destination to grow a reputation as a safe destination for professional meetings and events. Vaccination rates in Los Angeles County are higher than the national average and public health orders allow for group business to be conducted in a safe manner. In May, Los Angeles Tourism also became the first Destination Marketing Organization to partner with CLEAR Health Pass, offering planners a turn-key solution to that will enable them to verify attendees’ vaccine and testing status. 

Conventions represent a significant economic impact for L.A. In 2018, citywide conventions held at LACC drew more than 400,000 attendees who booked 401,154 room nights and generated $341.7 million in direct spending. “City wide conventions are crucial for the recovery of Downtown Los Angeles,” said Ellen Schwartz, General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center. “The success of our first city wide event since before the pandemic proves that we are ready and able to deliver safe event experiences for large groups.”

AAO-HNSF marks the start of L.A.’s return to citywide conventions with four additional events on the books for the calendar year including Linux Foundation – KubeCon and CloudNativeCon, GSMA Mobile World Congress, The McCourt Foundation LA Marathon and the National Science Teaching Association NSTA Area Conference.