The Pennsylvania Convention Center is slated to have a strong convention year for 2013.

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the center’s primary sales and marketing arm, has booked 213 meetings and conventions for the calendar year that will generate more than $867 million in economic impact.

“This was a great year in Philadelphia for meetings and conventions; exceeding our expectations from forecast,” said Jack Ferguson, PHLCVB president and CEO.

“The 62 percent larger convention center has allowed us to book meetings that would not have been possible without the expansion, positively impacting our city and the entire hospitality community.”

According to PHLCVB officials, the agency has already booked meetings and conventions equal to 534,005 total hotel room nights. The PHLCVB exceeded the 2012 fiscal year booking goal by more than 23,000 hotel room nights, securing a total of 833,334 for future years. The bureau is continuing to book meetings and conventions for the year.

“This past year is a great example of how important the convention center is to our hotels,” said Jim Gratton, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association president.

“Our hotels rely much more on group business than our competitors, such as Boston and Washington. We are very optimistic about the work of the PHLCVB going into 2013, beating their convention room night booking goal last year and spreading our message around the world.”

During the first quarter of 2013, Philadelphia will welcome two of the largest PHLCVB-booked events: the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (PITTCON) scheduled March 17 to 21 with a $39 million economic impact and East Coast Volleyball, which runs March 29 to 31 with a $33 million economic impact.

Some noteworthy 2013 conventions include: ellucian Live, April 7 to 10 ($37 million economic impact); the American Thoracic Society, May 17 to 22 ($43 million economic impact); the National Urban League, July 24 to 29 ($8 million economic impact); the International Association of Chiefs of Police, October 19 to 23 ($38 million economic impact) and US Green Building Council, November 20 to 22 ($33 million economic impact). LIGHTFAIR International ($29 million economic impact) will also return to Philadelphia from April 21 to April 25, after a successful 2012 show. 

“With the assistance of the PHLCVB, we already have $3.5 billion in business booked for future years,” said Philadelphia Convention Center Authority President and CEO Ahmeenah Young.

“Our center is a key economic engine for this region, the Commonwealth and the City of Philadelphia. All of our hospitality partners are fully engaged in the stewardship of the convention center to offer the finest customer experience.”   

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