Niel Golightly, Shell Eco-Marathon

Al Rutherford, Rutherford and Associates

John Graham, American Society of Association Executives

Debbie Holton, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Heidi Hagstrom, ELCA Youth Gathering

Cory Fransway, Experient

Deborah Davies, Presbyterian Church USA

Jenny Blackford, American Gear Manufacturers Association

Dave Williams, International Association for Energy Economics

The Urban Land Institute has not held a meeting in Detroit for 40 years. What do you say when you break your own records: Detroit is amazing! Our 2018 ULI Spring Conference in Cobo Center broke previous ULI records: more participants, more sponsorship money raised, more local members attending, more associate members upgrading to full membership!

ULI set records and the national real estate community was able to get an update on Detroit's resurgence. Thank you.

James C. Bieri, Esq. CRX
Stokas Bieri Real Estate

I wanted to again that you for all your help in making WCX18 a success.  The Cobo team is always a great group of professionals, but the entire building staff stepped up big time this year.  Your team  makes Cobo one of the easiest facilities to work in and we appreciate that very much.  SAE looks forward to continuing and growing our relationship with Cobo because we have professionals like you to help us all along the way.

Rajiv, I wanted to especially thank you for the constant attention you provide my team.  You are truly one of the best and you do it in a friendly, easy-going way that helps my team have confidence that the job will get done.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated. 

I look forward to seeing you all again and building more business with SAE and Cobo.

Warm regards,

James M. Forlenza
Group Director, SAE Events 

2018 was bigger and better than 2017. Everyone from your exclusive vendors and staff gave 110% to our team and event last week. I personally thank you for working with SAE the past 12 months to ensure our event went off without a hitch! Thank you for checking on us during the week and allowing Freeman to move-in early – that greatly assisted in everyone getting a jump start on move-in.

Again, thank you all and we look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Donna Johnson
Director of Operations 

It was an honor and a prvilege to work side by side with you to create a wonderful "five star" experience for all of ASAE's members

"Where do I begin? It's so hard because each of you and your teams did a fabulous job for ASAE 2015! From start to finish your teams were all over this one and helping to make it one of the most successful ever Annual meetings. I am so proud of each of you, your beautiful building, your fabulous city, your gracious community and the leadership from Larry and the team at the CVB. There are many things that I will not forget beginning with the professionalism and over the top customer service of your staff, but the one thing that will stick in my mind for years to come is Tuesday when your teams lined up in the atrium and formed the largest clap/thank you line I have ever seen in my 16 years at ASAE; that was a beautiful thing to see and you make me proud. The show floor looked beautiful and of course we loved Cork and Grind -- other centers should take note of this.

It was an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to create a wonderful "five-star" experience for all of ASAE's members and to show the hospitality community that Detroit is indeed the "comeback city!"

Congratulations to all of you and please come and visit us in DC when you are here!"

Thank you,

Pamela A Troop, CMP
Director of Meeting Operations & Special Events

"I did not get one single complaint of the WiFi. This is unprecedented."

Ally Jenkins

Your team is great and we really appreciate everything!

"Thanks for helping make our 113th convention in Detroit a successful event. Your team is great and we really appreciated everything!"

Martin Hamlette, JD, MHA
Executive Director
National Medical Association

"The staff at Cobo was excellent. Available to answer my questions and a terrific partner in all aspects of event management."

Miller Lois
LD Meetings
National Medical Association

Main Ingredient in North American International Auto Show Successful Recipe

"Transition and change are not guarantees of success. Read any article about a sports team experiencing a coaching change and you are sure to see a quote to follow, something like: 'This will be a rebuilding year.' While the automotive industry continues to rebuild, the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2011 experienced what many are calling the equivalent of a world championship. Such success is the result of many factors, but one cannot deny our venue, Cobo Center, plays a huge role for the NAIAS. Simply, it is our 'home field.' The dedication we as organizers of the NAIAS have seen from the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) – particularly its chair, Larry Alexander – and this year’s addition of Thom Connors as the General Manager of Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center as well as Regional Vice President of venue management company, SMG, has been exactly what was needed.

We have seen and appreciated the 'sweating of the small stuff' that has increased and/or improved the customer experience at Cobo Center, and has been unmatched. Catering options, renovations to eateries like the addition of 'Eatsville USA,' and strategic vision for structural improvements are keeping NAIAS the global draw it has always been. The vision of SMG as a company specializing in the operation of convention and sports and entertainment facilities has brought new life to Cobo Center; they are a company with a track record of successful business revitalization and facility renovation and management more than 200 locations worldwide.

It is this type of experience that we at the NAIAS need to have to keep our show at the cutting edge. What is greatly appreciated is the methodic, realistic approach to short-term goals, keeping long-term objectives in sight. This is not a case of over promise and under deliver, rather, DRCFA and SMG provide experience-based recommendations and actions that fit within budgets, manage expectations and then exceed them. The future is looking brighter for the automotive industry, and as a result, many aspects of local, national and global economies as well. The ongoing changes and renovations we will see at Cobo Center under the DRCFA and SMG will keep our collective teams making noted championship runs for years to come.

Few events in the world can match the attention, traffic and impact of the NAIAS. A venue that allows us to house all the positive attributes of this globally significant event is critical. While transition and change does not promise success, the melding of NAIAS, SMG and the DRCFA under the roof of Cobo Center has delivered a winning season in its first year and is clearly set to establish the dynasty of championships our city deserves."

Rod Alberts
Executive Director
North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)

On behalf of everyone at MEDC I would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to you and your team of professionals for your support of our activities during the Auto Show. You have never failed to deliver a solution that fixes our problem or answers our question. And you do this with, typically, little or no notice. Having you and your team at Cobo to depend on makes both my work - and my life - better.

Bob Metzger
Sr. Project Manager for the Automotive office of Pure Michigan/MEDC

“Cobo Center and Centerplate staffs went above and beyond to help us deliver what is being called 'the best ITS World Congress' in the 21-year history of the event.  And that’s up against Paris, London, Tokyo, Beijing, Vienna and a boatload of “name” international cities. We told ‘em all along that Detroit was the best place to have a World Congress and you helped prove us right.”

Gerry Conover
Managing Director ITS America/PRC Associates

The past few weeks & months have been a true convergence of teams making it possible to ‘plant the flag in the moon and declare Detroit the capital of manufacturing’. We would like to extend our appreciation for all of your efforts and hard work put into making THE BIG M/RAPID a success. The attention to detail and care provided by each of you and each Cobo Center team member did not go un-noticed by our attendees, exhibitors, partners, and staff.  SME is truly grateful for your involvement in bringing manufacturing back to Detroit. We look forward to our continued partnership in 2015.

Lauren E. Nastase
Show Operations Manager

I wish to extend to you my sincerest thanks to Cobo Center for welcoming the 106th annual session of the National Baptist Congress to the great city of Detroit, Michigan.

On behalf of myself and the entire Congress staff, please know that we are very appreciative to you for providing your time and professionalism during our national event.

Dr. T.B. Boyd III
President and CEO
R.H. Boyd Publishing Corporation

The Cobo Center Was Beautiful

When we were elected to represent our local union at the American Federation of Teachers convention, we were not excited to hear it would be held in Detroit.  The city created visions of dirty buildings, crime and danger.  We were so pleasantly surprised by how wonderful our experiences were!

The Cobo Center was beautiful.  The People Mover was efficient and really a great way to see downtown.  The waterfront, including a free concert was a phenomental place to experience a sunset.

The restaurants were fantastic - from tiny places like Cobo Joe's and Sweetwater to fancier places like Andiamo's and Joe Muer Seafood.  Our evening at the Detroit Institute of Arts was terrific.  The artwork was first-class.  In addition, every person we encountered was friendly and helpful.  

So, thank you, Detroit, for a wonderful experience.  We will be back.

Lynn Diagostino, Rachel Binda-Lis and Sue Raichilson                                                                     Buffalo Teachers Federation                                                                                                               Buffalo, N.Y.

"Thank you for your generous hospitality at the recent CAB meeting. I am a fan of Detroit before the meetings, but always leave being even more enthralled. It was especially great to see the changes that are on the horizon at Cobo. I look forward to working more closely with the staff for my 2015 event there. Congratulations on your vision and accomplishment. Cobo will be a showcase and centerpiece for the city on the rise."

Heidi Hagstrom, CMP
Director for ELCA Youth Gathering
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"On behalf of NeighborWorks America, I would like to thank you and your staff for the service provided during our May 2011 NeighborWorks Training Institute. Your team was instrumental to ensuring that our program was an overwhelming success. They were extremely welcoming and provided a wonderful atmosphere for everyone involved.

The support we have received from Detroit has been tremendous. We appreciate the partnership and look forward to working with the Cobo Center again. All the best with your upcoming events!"

Andrea James
Director of Operations
NeighborWorks America

"Thanks for the extra effort you and your staff provided at Cobo. You exceeded our expectations and we appreciate the attention and service we received."

Darwin Beacham
Detroit NAACP

"The conference went very well and on behalf of NCSI and DoD, thanks for “making this happen.” You were instrumental in expediting this and handled every problem we had with a solution. The main session area looked spectacular and no one left thinking we “settled for an exhibit hall”! I know this is something you don’t normally do and we appreciated it…also, the exhibit hall also left a lasting impression on everyone."

John Skipper
Chief Executive Officer, NCSI
2011 Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference

"Michelin has sponsored the Michelin Media Center at the North American International Auto Show since 1989. Since the beginning, we have sought to raise the bar each year in regards to access, service, capacity, technology and amenities. This year was a clear high point. The support from the new management team at Cobo Center was excellent and a superb match to the world-class experience we were seeking to create for more than 5,000 international journalists."

Lynn Mann
Director of External Communications
Michelin North America

"I want to express our deep appreciation for the extraordinary efforts and generosity you and your team put forth to make our event extra special. From the red carpet to the table flowers to the table cloths to the outstanding service by your team, you went out of your way to help make it a great event. We were pleased so many Detroit area leaders were able to join us and enjoy your hospitality as well."

Steve Grigorian
Chief Operating Officer
Detroit Economic Club

"I have grown very fond of the people I work with in Detroit during the Bargaining/PA/PR Conference. I especially appreciate the way everyone came together during our recent date change. I also look forward to working with you on next year’s conference. Our working relationships grow with each year. Thanks again and I appreciate your thoughtfulness."

Chris Piggott
Michigan Education Association

"As part of our quality process we evaluate our suppliers on their performance...Congratulations, Cobo Center has scored (five of five) and has exceed our expectations for the Michigan Minority Procurement Conference....Kendra Cook helped us make a complex show a success.  We enjoyed working with her. Thanks to all who helped make things happen.  I look forward to working with your team on future projects."

Brenda Veit, Project Manager
The Harmon Group
Michigan Minority Procurement Conference


It was clear that everyone at Cobo was committed to making sure our convention was a success.  It was a pleasure working with all of you.  Good luck with the renovation.  We can't wait to see the final product!

Kitty Owens, Director AFT Meetings and Travel Dept.
American Federation of Teachers

I want to thank you and your amazing team for providing such wonderful service to the Michigan Library Association for their conference on Nov. 7-9th. Your team did a fantastic job meeting our needs, especially with such short notice. The City of Detroit has a “gem” for a convention location in Cobo.

Julie Farkas
MLA Conference