The CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU OF GREATER CLEVELAND, INC., an independent organization responsible for the marketing and promotion of Greater Cleveland, was originally the Convention Board of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, formed in the early 1920s. During the 1920s, the board was instrumental in developing the convention facilities available at the PUBLIC AUDITORIUM complex, which increased with the construction of an underground exhibition hall in 1932. The Convention and Visitors Bureau, organized separately in Feb. 1934, promoted Cleveland through national and regional programs to attract visitors and conventions to the Greater Cleveland area. After the remodeling and expansion of the auditorium facilities in 1963, the newly named Cleveland Convention Center was able to accommodate larger groups. In 1984 208 conventions were hosted in the area, with 103,755 delegates spending an average of $370 each per 3-day stay.
In 1990 the Convention Bureau was an independent, nonprofit agency, governed by a Board of Trustees and funded by a county-wide hotel/motel occupancy tax and membership dues. With a staff of 23, it functioned as a sales/service agency to increase Greater Cleveland's visitor industry. The bureau had 303 members in 1989, with dues revenue of $160,000.