• Event Bookings Show Success of PCCA's New Business Model

     
    POSTED August 20, 2015
     
    Photo credit: Courtesy of PHLCVB

Four years after it met in Philadelphia, Lightfair International will again convene at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2017.

Lightfair is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference; it first met in Philly in 2011. The event’s return signifies the effectiveness of the convention center’s new business model.


“To say that we are thrilled about Lightfair’s decision to return would be an understatement. This group is highly respected within the trade show circuit and their decision to come back to Philadelphia says a great deal about their confidence in the considerable changes that have taken place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center over the last two years,” says Jack Ferguson, president/CEO, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In addition, our city’s accessibility for convention attendees, compact hotel package, walkable downtown and expanded Convention Center make us an appealing destination to convention groups and were all things that Lightfair looked at when they selected Philadelphia.” 
 

The group took into account many factors when considering Philly as its host city. One major decision was the ability to effectively work with the convention center’s labor force. Since May 2013, when the group first met, the center had already started implementing a four-point plan established by the Philadelphia Convention Center Authority’s Board of Directors. The plan worked to better the customer experience and raise the competitiveness of the center. It began with the selection of venue management firm SMG in June 2013 and led to successful negotiation of a new labor agreement with four trade unions that was affirmed in May 2014. 

Since then, the CVB booked 69 shows at the convention center, equating to an estimated $1.4 billion in economic impact for coming years. The PCCA kept Lightfair up-to-date on the enormous amount of progress taking place. Gregory Fox, chairman, PCCA’s Board of Directors, who met with the group to listen to feedback and address concerns directly.
 
“We have implemented a variety of changes at the center with the goal of recapturing prior customers and attracting new shows and events,” says Fox. “LFI’s decision demonstrates that the strategic initiatives presented to the board three years ago—and subsequently adopted and implemented—are making the Center more competitive, driving increased bookings, and benefitting the city’s hospitality industry.”  

Lightfair will take place on May 7–11, 2017, and is estimated to bring in more than $43 million in economic impact for Philadelphia.
 
“The center is continuing to see the benefits of new customer-friendly work rules, expanded exhibitor rights and the hiring of SMG to manage the day-to-day operations of the center,” says John McNichol, president/CEO, PCCA. “SMG brought a new customer-focused approach to the management of the center that is receiving high marks from the industry. We are thrilled that LFI has selected Philadelphia for their 2017 event, and we look forward to delivering a great experience.”  
 
 

Larger communities host citywides, while mountain resorts are more about “villagewides.” Taking this concept to heart, Beaver Creek has introduced a new collaborative website to help meeting planners envision multi-venue and multi-hotel meetings and events for groups of 150 to 1,500 guests at the Colorado ski resort and to submit RFPs. 

 

The first property of the Limelight Hotel brand, Limelight Hotel Aspen has undergone a full makeover and will begin welcoming guests back at the start of the 2021/22 ski season in November 2021. Located next to Wagner Park in downtown Aspen, the upgrades include all 126 guestrooms and suites and public spaces such as the Limelight Lounge, conference room, lobby and bar. Guests and groups will notice a new arrival experience, expanded seating for dining, and relocation of the lounge’s stage area to better accommodate events.  

 

Groups and leisure travelers can now book stays and gatherings at Utah’s Pendry Park City, located in the heart of Canyons Village at Park City Mountain and set to open in winter 2021/2022. The ski-in/ski-out resort and residences is the first mountain resort for Pendry Hotels & Resorts and will provide easy access to the largest ski area in the nation with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain.