Vanessa Williams, executive director of the conference, told The Detroit Free Press the group consulted Kilpatrick before making the switch.
"I think the mayor wants to focus on the issues at hand," she said.
Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff could face perjury charges. Recently published text messages suggested the mayor and Christine Beatty lied under oath about having an affair and about firing a whistle-blowing police officer.
"When we saw what was going on," Williams said, "we were reaching out to the mayor's office to say, 'Are we OK?' 'Is the conference OK?' The response was that the mayor wanted us to go to another site."
The conference meetings usually attract 300 to 400 mayors. With staff members, total attendance was expected to be about 2,500 people.