Raleigh, NC - Greater Raleigh's reputation as a world-class meeting and convention destination continues to grow as the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) and the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC) jointly announce that the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has committed to bringing its 2014 Winter Symposium & Exposition to Raleigh, February 26-28, 2014. The organization has also asked the RCC to hold dates through 2017. The group has met in Fort Lauderdale for the past 13 years.

The annual AUSA Winter Symposium & Exposition is a professional development forum with presentations and panel discussions by Army and military industry leaders along with a large expo with defense industry exhibits. The three-day conference is expected to welcome approximately 3,500 attendees including AUSA members, military and civilian government personnel, Department of Defense officials and military leaders, to utilize 3,375 room-nights at area hotels and to generate an estimated economic impact of more than four million dollars.

"Raleigh is an ideal destination for AUSA due to its proximity to military installations, and with many area companies in the defense industry, it creates a great opportunity for AUSA," said Michael M. Scanlan, CMP, director of industry affairs, Association of the U.S. Army. "We want to build a quality platform on which we can discuss the needs of the Army and national defense. AUSA's professional development events are neutral public bridges between Army, industry, the press, elected officials and the public that provide a unique opportunity to socialize lessons learned and future requirements."

Numerous local business leaders and elected officials including representatives from Raleigh Economic Development, Wake County Economic Development, the North Carolina Defense Business Association, North Carolina Military Foundation, as well as Gov. Pat McCrory's office, Sen. Kay Hagan and Sen. Richard Burr worked with the GRCVB and RCC in supporting the bid for this convention.

"The level of support from our local and state business and political leadership in securing this conference has been phenomenal," said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the GRCVB. "North Carolina's rich military history, our abundance of military bases and organizations, along with an entire community that understands what an important industry this is, made the Raleigh area a perfect meeting destination for AUSA."

The Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, as the official destination marketing organization of Raleigh and Wake County, accelerates sustainable economic growth and development by increasing visitor and convention business.