Globe serves up shot in the arm, attracting medical meetings to city

Judy Stringer

May 25, 2014

Crain's Cleveland Business

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PHOTO COURTESY CLEVELAND CONVENTION CENTER--Cleveland's strong biomedical presence made it a logical home for something like the Global Center, which will have four floors featuring the latest in health care products, services and technology.

For years, it was called the “Medical Mart.” More recently, locals have dubbed it the “Globe.” 

No matter its nickname, the city's sparkly new Global Center for Health Innovation is serving up a healthy dose of medical meeting interest and acting as a shot in the arm to the fledgling Cleveland Convention Center. 

Through 2019, the convention center has 233 bookings, which are expected to draw an anticipated 400,000 attendees, according to Dave Johnson, director of sales and marketing for both facilities. Sixty-eight — or 29% — of those events involve the health care industry. 

In 2014 alone, one-third of the projected convention-related traffic will be medical related, said John Paganini, who is managing the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Innovation Center, located on the top floor of the Global Center. 

Among this year's conventions and trade shows are the Cleveland Clinic Patient Experience Summit, Practice Greenhealth CleanMed, Case Management Society of America, Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) and Ohio Optometric Association EastWest Eye Conference. 

HIMSS's signature North American Connectathon, during which IT vendors test their products for compatibility across legacy health care systems, will move in January from its Chicago base to the Cleveland Convention Center. 

“The Global Center has yet to be formally announced to the world,” Paganini said, adding that early excitement already has generated tons of interest as well as an impressive slate of health care meetings that will be attended by tens of thousands of medical professionals in the next 12 months. 

Built in conjunction with the city's new convention center, which opened last year, interior work to tenant spaces at the Global Center still is being completed. 

“Once they experience the center — the only one of its kind in the world — they will start spreading the word, and that is when it will really take off,” he said.

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