EsportsTravel Summit Announces Future Hosts

Cincy Region to host in 2026; Tulsa to host in 2027



Northstar Meetings Group has announced the upcoming hosts for the EsportsTravel Summit—the only event of its kind for esports tournament and event organizers and the destinations and venues looking to host and support their events. In 2026, the event will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio. The 2027 event will be staged in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The announcement was made on the final day of the 2024 EsportsTravel Summit, which was held in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 2026 EsportsTravel Summit, hosted by meetNKY, will be held June 23–25 in the Cincy Region. The 2027 EsportsTravel Summit, hosted by the Tulsa Sports Commission, will be staged June 8–10 in Tulsa. In a previously announced move, the 2028 event will return to Toronto, which also hosted in 2023.

The EsportsTravel Summit, which began in 2017, is produced by Northstar Meetings Group and is the premier business conference focused on esports tournaments and events as well as the role of the travel industry in the continued growth of video gaming and esports. The event facilitates partnerships between esports organizations and the travel industry while providing educational programming, a marketplace with one-on-one appointment sessions and multiple business networking opportunities.

“Cincinnati and Tulsa will be ideal hosts for our upcoming EsportsTravel Summits,” said Jason Gewirtz, vice president of the Sports Division of Northstar Meetings Group, which organizes the event. “We are excited to get to work with our partners at meetNKY and the Tulsa Sports Commission to plan for a dynamic, productive and educational experience for the esports events industry. Our attendees will enjoy seeing how these forward-thinking destinations have approached the future of the events industry and planned out their esports ecosystems.”

2026 EsportsTravel Summit Heads to the Cincy Region

The 2026 EsportsTravel Summit will be held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati.

The Cincy Region is home to multiple esports teams including the Cincinnati Fear — the first female-owned professional esports team in the United States — as well as the Northern Kentucky University varsity esports program and the University of Cincinnati Esports Club, both of which are members of NACE and NECC.

“The esports market continues to grow by leaps and bounds in our region as competitive teams from Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Fear continue to make their mark on the sport,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, president and chief executive officer of meetNKY. “We are delighted to bring the 2026 EsportsTravel Summit to Cincy and the Covington Convention Center to showcase our unique mix of where innovation and tradition connect.”

The Northern Kentucky Convention Center connects to 321 rooms at the Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCenter. The center features a 200-square-foot carpeted Expo Hall, a 17,500-square-foot ballroom and 400-seat high-tech amphitheater.

“We can’t wait to showcase the Cincy Region and its efforts to build out its esports infrastructure at the EsportsTravel Summit in 2026,” Gewirtz said. “The region is indicative of the type of growth we are seeing in video games and esports across the country, and Cincinnati has a compelling story to tell on how they are guiding that growth.”

The Cincy Region, where Ohio and Kentucky connect, blends Cincinnati's German heritage and vibrancy with Northern Kentucky's Southern charm and cool quirkiness, just a bridge-walk across the historic Roebling Suspension Bridge. Named the best city for street art in America by USA Today, Cincy is full of unique attractions such as the Newport Aquarium, BB Riverboats, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the American Sign Museum, which offers a nostalgic look at neon signs.

Tulsa to Host EsportsTravel Summit in 2027

In 2027, the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa will host to the EsportsTravel Summit, offering a convenient downtown location just steps from numerous dining and hotel options for attendees.

Tulsa is a growing hotspot for esports, with venues such as Contender eSports in the city limits and Waypoint Lounge in nearby Sapulpa opening in recent years. Engine Room VR, creator of the virtual boxing game Golden Gloves VR, also recently announced a partnership with USA Boxing to create a virtual boxing training facility inside the game.

The downtown location will put attendees nearby legendary music venues like Cain’s Ballroom and the BOK Center as well as nationally lauded museums such as Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center, the Bob Dylan Center and the Woody Guthrie Center.

“We are extremely excited to welcome esports organizers from around the world and showcase Tulsa’s innovation and technology sector,” said Tulsa Sports Commission Director of Sales Joel Koester. “Tulsa is quickly becoming known as a major tech hub in the United States, and it’s only a natural fit that gaming and esports are emerging as dominant forces in Oklahoma.”

Tulsa is also home to the reigning USA Today “Best City Park” in the country, Gathering Place, current back-to-back USA Today “Best Food Hall” Mother Road Market, the historic Philbrook Museum of Art and The Outsiders House Museum for guests looking for adventure outside the downtown area.

“Tulsa has become one of the most innovative destinations in the country and its work in esports and gaming is being recognized nationally,” Gewirtz said. “We’re excited for our attendees of the EsportsTravel Summit to see this forward-looking destination first-hand.”

About Northstar Meetings Group

Northstar Meetings Group is the leading B-to-B information and marketing solutions company serving all segments of the business meetings, events, sports and incentives markets, facilitating professional development and achievement of business goals. The company's influential brands — SportsTravel, Meetings & ConventionsSuccessful MeetingsAssociations Meetings InternationalMeetings & Incentive TravelMeeting NewsIncentive and M&C Asia — serve nearly 500,000 active sports event organizers, meeting and event planners, and incentive professionals. Northstar also organizes the TEAMS Conference & Expo, TEAMS Europe and the EsportsTravel Summit.