In June of 2017, Buffalo will play host to the National Homeland Security Conference. The meeting is expected to bring over 1000 homeland security and emergency management professionals to Buffalo and, with them, more than two million dollars in economic benefit to the Queen City.
Visit Buffalo Niagara’s Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kaler said Buffalo was amongst four major cities in the running for the annual conference. He said the city was chosen, in part, because of its proximity to the international border, and the cooperative relationship security officials on the American side have with their Canadian counterparts.
Kaler also attributes successfully attracting the conference to VBN’s “Bring it Home” campaign.
“We look to our locals to help us identify meetings or event potential that they attend on an annual basis, to actually bring those events to the Buffalo Niagara Region,” said Kaler.
In the case of the NHSC, those locals were Niagara County Assistant Director of Emergency Services Jonathan Schultz and Dan Neaverth, Jr., Commissioner of Erie County Emergency Services. Schultz is a member of the National Homeland Security Association, and a member of its site selection committee.
Kaler said Schultz and Neaverth are acting as local ambassadors to the homeland security and emergency services community. It’s a community that, recently, has had serious situations on its mind, from the terror attacks in Paris, France to the shootings in San Bernardino, California. However, Kaler believes those tragic events were not part of the consideration for the NHSC site selection.
“Any destination is just aware of these types of situations,” said Kaler. “I don’t think that that necessarily had any play as far as the selection of any city because these things happen anywhere at any time, and so it’s just being aware. I don’t think that had anything to do with our conference coming to Buffalo.”
The conference will take place from June 6-8, 2017 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.