CBA, the Trade Association for Christian Retail, announced its 2018 international convention will be at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday through Wednesday, July 8-11.

CBA’s convention, which began in 1950, remains in the top 250 U.S. trade shows of more than 6,000 reporting events as ranked by Trade Show News Network.

“Nashville has been very high on our city-request lists and we’re happy to be able to announce that we will be in Music City in 2018,” CBA President Curtis Riskey said. “The city is very centrally located for most CBA members and is an easy flight destination from just about anywhere.”

The move follows two consecutive years in Cincinnati, including this summer’s event at the Duke Energy Center June 28-30. Much of the work to redesign this year’s event by controlling booth sizes and expanding the trade floor to special areas, called Showcase Suites, will help adapt the convention into the Opryland Hotel.

Opryland is managed by Marriott International and owned by Gaylord Entertainment. On the banks of the Cumberland River, the Opryland hotel is minutes from Nashville International Airport and a short drive or riverboat cruise from downtown Nashville. The hotel has nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an indoor river beneath climate-controlled glass atriums.

From 1994 to 2000, CBA hosted seven winter Expos at the hotel, but 2018 will be the first summer convention. The event, named UNITE, is a conference and trade show for people who create, produce, distribute, and sell products and resources reflecting family values and the Christian faith.

The annual convention brings representatives from more than 50 countries for idea sharing, training, leadership development, and launching new products and resources. Products include Bibles, books, church curriculum and supplies, gifts, lifestyle products, and family entertainment such as music, films, and other media.

The event also attracts national pastoral leaders, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, journalists, and others involved in Christian media. Key product and film launches that affect the Christian retail industry often take place at the event.

“Nashville hosts a large number of Christian-product suppliers, publishers, retailers, and distribution companies who will find convention more convenient, plus the city is in driving range of many retailers and other suppliers,” Riskey said.

“The time slot is the closest available to our traditional times and was the only option for us to be in Nashville in 2018,” he said.

Arrowhead Conferences and Events managed the negotiations and agreement.

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