Visit Quad Cities Books City-Wide Convention
Meetings are a key driver of the economy and workforce, playing a critical role in fueling other industries and stimulating the region’s economy. Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), works with regional and national meeting planners to host their events in the Quad Cities.
Visit Quad Cities announced today the Central States Shrine Association has chosen the Quad Cities as the site for their 2026 convention. They will host a business meeting in the QC in March 2026, and the annual convention takes place August 19-24, 2026. With 3,000 expected attendees, this event marks the first city-wide convention booked in a decade.
“On behalf of the Visit Quad Cities Board of Directors and professional team, we are incredibly grateful to the Central States Shrine Association for their confidence in our regional destination, said Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “We have not had a multi-day convention of this magnitude in more than a decade. This is a win for tourism and the hospitality industry as we continue to focus on our overall economic recovery. Meetings like this mean business and have a wide-reaching impact. We look forward to welcoming thousands of guests from all over the Midwest as we showcase the Quad Cities and all it has to offer.”
Central States Shrine Association (CSSA) is a multi-state group of Shrine Centers in the Midwest region. The local shrine center in Davenport–Kaaba Shrine–is part of the CSSA and will serve as the host shrine for the 2026 convention. Kaaba Shrine has a membership of more than 600 and they encompass eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Todd Gullickson is a member of the local Kaaba Shrine and serves on the board of the CSSA.
“Our local Shriners from Kaaba Shrine are excited to showcase the Quad Cities and what we have to offer to the Central States Shrine Association in 2026,” said Mr. Gullickson. “Many of our members will volunteer their time and talents leading up to and during this event. We are pleased to work with Visit Quad Cities as we prepare to host several thousand people. This event will greatly impact our local businesses, and we hope to showcase the good work of Kaaba Shriners locally and Shriners International.”
Each of the 22 shrine centers in the CSSA is a member of Shriners International, a fraternal organization focused on fun, fellowship, and philanthropy (www.shrinersinternational.org). Shriners created and operate Shriners Children’s (www.shrinerschildrens.org) which currently provides specialized pediatric care to over 1.5+ million children at over 100+ access points for care.
“The Quad Cities hosts hundreds of meetings, conferences, trade shows, military and family reunions, and sports events of all sizes every year,” said Joan Kranovich, Vice President of Business Growth & Director, Sports QC. “These events generate a positive economic impact for the local economy and help employ thousands of local residents in the tourism and hospitality industry. The CSSA convention is a great example of the Bring It QC program at work. Todd brought this opportunity to our team, and utilizing our expertise and experience, we partnered together to turn it into a successful event booked in the QC.”
BringItQC.com is the platform for residents to submit qualified suggestions to Visit Quad Cities to team up to potentially increase new business opportunities that create value for the region. Through Visit Quad Cities’ continued sales & marketing efforts and maximizing its existing industry-wide database, the DMMO is always looking to increase business relationships that create value for the destination.
Visit Quad Cities reported at its Destination QC! event in November that in FY22 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) they generated $30 million in direct economic impact by securing group business, including meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows, group tours, military and family reunions, festivals & special events, and sports events of all sizes.