Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

NORTHEAST: Philadelphia

by Ali Gramaglia | Dec 26, 2012

The Complete Package, expanding the possibilities

This July, Philadelphia shared the Brotherly Love by eliminating the 8-percent labor management fee at the Pennsylvania Convention Center - a relief to all planners and vendors that want to host an event at the newly expanded one-million-square-foot venue. Nestled in the cultural and geographical heart of this historic city, the convention center has hosted everything from internationally attended events like the renowned Philadelphia Flower Show to local affairs like the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade. The recent expansion increased the center by 62 percent, allowing for up to two major events and multiple smaller meetings to be held simultaneously. The new addition and renovation was awarded LEED Gold certification for New Construction, making all conferences as eco-conscious as possible. The center also includes 80 meeting rooms, the soaring 34,960-square-foot Grand Hall, and two ballrooms totaling 87,408 square feet.

The center is within walking distance of historic landmarks, including Independence Hall, located in “America’s Most Historic Square Mile,” and the European-style plaza of Rittenhouse Square - not to mention hundreds of restaurants, shops, cultural institutions, and more than 8,500 hotel rooms. The latest addition is Lenfest Plaza, an outdoor piazza that serves as a gateway between the convention center and the museums along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Discover the City of Murals on the Mural Mile Walking Tour, visiting 17 of the city’s more than 3,000 murals, or witness history firsthand at Independence National Historical Park, housing the Liberty Bell and Ben Franklin’s grave. With “Pay-What-You-Wish” Sundays at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it’s more affordable than ever to experience some of the institution’s world-renowned exhibits. For a more underground art scene, take a stroll down the bohemian South Street, home to eclectic shops, restaurants, and local venues. Check the numerous al fresco dining options or BYOBs like Audrey Claire, serving traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

A brand-new addition to the Philadelphia cultural scene is The Barnes Foundation, home to world-class art collections and the elegant sit-down Garden Restaurant. Another site worth exploring - and shopping - is Reading Terminal Market, which is connected to the convention center. This vibrant marketplace, established in 1892 and later incorporated into the convention center’s design, offers a wide variety of regional and international delicacies. Or attendees can wander through Chinatown, get a pint at the Philadelphia Irish Pub, or decide for themselves who makes a better cheesesteak: Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s. With such a vast cultural and culinary mix, Philadelphia makes for an easy and unforgettable place to convene.

For more information: meetphl.com

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