The tale of how Cincinnati came to become one of the country’s leaders in diversity initiatives is a bit of a comeback story. From 2001 to 2004, no multicultural conventions came to The Queen City, says Jason Dunn, vice president of multicultural and community development for Cincinnati USA. In 2005, the CVB made a purposeful effort to go after them, working to correct the issues that were turning those groups away. Now, Cincinnati has hosted 18 of the top 25 multicultural organizations in the United States, stemming from a great effort put forth by the entire region. “We understand what multicultural business means and its value,” says Dunn. He talked with us about those efforts and how they’re evolving.
What is Vibe Cincinnati all about?
Vibe Cincinnati is the CVB’s platform to amplify the voice of our region’s culture and showcase our robust collection of multicultural experiences. Vibe has partnered to add a third night to the Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G, which is the second-largest urban festival in the country. Not only does the region get another night of great music, but $7 from the sale of each ticket goes to fund the newly created Cincinnati USA Institute for Hospitality Leadership (see page 2 for more).
How is it beneficial to planners?
We formalized Vibe last summer, put a budget to it and began building partnerships throughout the community of diverse groups. When a conference comes to the city, we are purposeful and intentional about ensuring equity in the local community. For example, the NAACP/COGIC were here in 2016, and they were very purposeful about engaging within the community. We sat down with their planners and our partners and figured out how their convention could impact the region. The Hispanic and African-American communities came together with civic leaders and the arts community to bring in diverse caterers, and we partnered with numerous organizations to have content with an expo hall, all going toward the common goal of building mutual friendships and showcasing our city as an authentic multicultural destination. Not only did we create vibrant experiences for all who attended, but we also generated over $500,000 for the local community with diverse business.