Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau

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The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB, operating as IN Birmingham) is a public authority responsible for promoting tourism and conventions in the Birmingham Metropolitan Area. To that end it conducts studies and surveys, produces marketing materials and guides, and works with convention and event planners. It also provides economic impact estimates for groups seeking public funding for events that bring visitors to the city.

The duties and powers of the bureau are set forth in Act of Alabama 1969-765, encoded as Section 45-37-9, Part 2 of the 1975 Code of Alabama. As written, the law applies to the largest city in any county with a population of more than 500,000. The authority is able to accept any funds appropriated by the state legislature. In practice, the group's funding comes entirely from the city's lodging tax. Its offices are located in the BJCC Parking Deck at 2200 9th Avenue North.

In the early 1980s, the Convention & Visitors Bureau was one of the sponsors of the "All About Birmingham" board game. Later that decade GBCVB executive Kathy Tharp worked with Marsha Drennen of the Birmingham Music Club to plan the first City Stages music festival in observance of the "Alabama Reunion".

In 2003 the bureau worked with Catalyst for Birmingham to publish multimedia CD-ROMs promoting the city. In 2004 the group helped produce promotional content for the "CityVision" visitor information TV network distributed to hotel rooms in the area.

In 2010 the bureau worked with the Hoover teenagers behind the "Legendary Shots" YouTube channel to promote area attractions. In 2016 the GBCVB participated in the "BHM not BHX" social media marketing campaign centered around the offer of a free vacation package for a young British couple that mistakenly booked a birthday trip to Las Vegas, Nevada from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) instead of England's Birmingham Airport (BHX).

The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned a 2016 Tourism Master Plan for Jefferson County.

During the 2023 Alabama legislative session an act sponsored by Senator Jabo Waggoner and signed by Governor Kay Ivey on June 12 added a member to the board to be designated by the Mayor of the second largest city in the county (i.e. Hoover).

Presidents / Chairs



  • Bassing, Tom (August 17, 2003) "Return on investment: With $5M budget, local CVB makes economic impact of $450M." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Williams, Roy L. (September 4, 2011) "On the Record: Jim Smither, president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau." The Birmingham News
  • Budhwani, Dannial (July 28, 2017) "John Oros, the CEO in charge of marketing Birmingham to the world." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Van der Bijl, Hanno (April 25, 2018) "Birmingham tourism industry soared during 2017." Birmingham Business Journal
  • Van der Bijl, Hanno (December 20, 2018) "Birmingham: The next hip Southern city?" Birmingham Business Journal

External links