By Jennifer N. Dienst, Contributing Editor
A whole new angle on meetings and conventions
LEED Silver certification, Arizona's largest ballroom, and a $3.2-million public art program — Phoenix Convention Center & Venues (PCC&V) is one of the country's top 10 convention facilities for a number of unique reasons, and there's no better time to experience them all than the present. The centerpiece of the complex — Phoenix Convention Center — now offers close to 1 million total square feet of meeting and exhibit space after completion of a $600-million renovation in 2009. But PCC&V is unique in that planners have a one-stop shop at their disposal for also booking the 21,000-square-foot Executive Conference Center, the 2,312-seat Symphony Hall, and the 1,364-seat Orpheum Theatre — all of which are adjacent to or inside the convention center. Combine that flexibility with 3,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of PCC&V, the convenience of the METRO Light Rail, and Phoenix's more than 310 days of sunshine, and planners have the total meeting destination package.
Phoenix Convention Center's 26-acre campus encompasses three buildings, each with its own unique character that draws from Arizona's colorful heritage and landscape. In the West Building, a bright, 90-foot atrium lobby has been designed to reflect the colors and vastness of the nearby Grand Canyon. The West Building also houses the Executive Conference Center, which has been built to the highest of industry standards and offers 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 192-seat lecture hall with fitted data ports, power outlets, and assisted-listening devices that can provide real-time interpretation for up to four languages. Symphony Hall, an elegant, 2,312-seat concert hall that hosts the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Ballet, and Arizona Opera, can also be easily accessed through the West Building's main lobby.
With direct connectivity on three separate levels, the West and North Buildings function as one facility that includes two exhibition halls totaling 584,500 square feet, two ballrooms offering more than 45,000 square feet each, and 99 breakout/meetings rooms. In the adjacent, four-level North Building, thoughtful features will please both attendees and exhibitors, like the pre-scored floors for easy booth setup, an airy food court with five themed eateries, and outdoor meeting and prefunction areas that capitalize on Phoenix's greatest natural resource — the sun. Exhibitors will also appreciate that the exhibition hall's 61 convenient loading docks (20 of which are climate-controlled) help provide easy access and timely move-in.
In the South Building — a favorite of meeting planners — a 28,000-square-foot ballroom, a 143,400-square-foot exhibition hall, and 18 meeting rooms have all been designed as versatile, configurable spaces. By removing air walls, the exhibit hall can be opened up to provide more than 143,000 square feet of open, column-free space, and two lobbies provide plenty of prefunction and registration space. And just a few blocks from Phoenix Convention Center, the Orpheum Theatre serves as an elegant yet flexible venue for lectures, meetings, and performances of all kinds. The Orpheum Theatre was originally built in 1929 as a vaudeville house and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With Aventura Catering, PCC&V's exclusive catering partner, the event dining experience is taken to a whole new level. The diverse team of culinary experts makes it a point to source the finest ingredients, and the on-site Innovation Kitchen and Innovation Studio let meeting planners see, taste, and feel every aspect of their upcoming event.
For more information:
Phoenix Convention Center & Venues — (800) 282-4842 or (602) 262-6225;
Phoenix Convention Center Highlights
• Ranked as one of the top 10 convention centers in the United States, Phoenix Convention Center reopened with 900,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space in 2009 after a $600-million expansion.
• The facilities of Phoenix Convention Center & Venues are all just 15 minutes, or four miles, from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, one of the nation's top 10 busiest airports for passenger traffic.
• Three-thousand hotel rooms, most of which have been recently renovated, are within walking distance of the convention center, including properties from respected brands like Hyatt, Westin, Renaissance, and Sheraton.
• Phoenix's METRO Light Rail provides attendees with an efficient, eco-friendly way to get around. Stations include the Phoenix Convention Center, US Airways Center and Chase Field, a number of downtown museums and cultural attractions, as well as Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
• Sustainability takes precedence at Phoenix Convention Center. Initiatives include a comprehensive recycling program and a rooftop solarpower-generating plant expected to reduce the facility's carbondioxide emissions by 95 metric tons annually.
Convention Center Specs
Total meeting and exhibition space
• 900,000 square feet
Total exhibit space
• 584,500 square feet
Total ballroom space
• Three — with 45,000, 45,600, and 28,000 square feet
Total meeting rooms
• 1,364 seats
• 2,312 seats
Executive Conference Center
• 21,000 square feet of meeting space