A major tradeshow was highlighted during the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau annual luncheon.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that LIGHTFAIR International (LFI), the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting tradeshow and conference, will return to Philadelphia on April 23–25, 2013.
LFI’s decision to return to Philadelphia follows a record-breaking 2011 performance marked by the highest attendee satisfaction scores in the show’s 22-year history. More than 23,000 registered attendees turned out for the conference.
“With customer satisfaction levels reaching historic highs in the record-breaking 2011 showing, LIGHTFAIR’s 2013 return to Philadelphia sets a new stage for continued growth,” said Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., president and chief operating officer of LFI managing partner AMC, Inc.
“It’s a natural response to preferences clearly voiced by LFI attendees and offers LFI exhibitors a staging venue unmatched in size, scale and potential.”
Nutter stressed the importance of the city’s hospitality sector as he addressed 1,200 business and hospitality leaders and elected officials who attended the PCVB luncheon at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“A strong hospitality sector is critical to Philadelphia so that we can host world-class trade shows and to be a destination for businesses,” said Nutter. “We have great restaurants, hotels, shopping and cultural amenities that appeal to everyone. These assets help our city attract businesses to the city, and new residents.”
The focus on strengthening the city’s hospitality sector comes at time when there are 55,900 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The luncheon served as an occasion to highlight PCVB’s marketing efforts. The bureau has booked more than $2.8 billion convention center expansion-related business.
The PCVB is working to position Philadelphia as a top international destination.
“We’ve been studying travel patterns and are now marketing Philadelphia in the emerging markets of China, India, Brazil and Russia in addition to the steadfast Western European markets where we have seen so much success within the past 10 years,” said PCVB President and CEO Jack Ferguson.
“As the international tourism arm for the city of Philadelphia, we’re letting our new customers around the globe know why Philadelphia is the city that they should choose to visit for leisure and for business. We continue to study convention trends, our competition and talk to our customers to ensure that we deliver the best customer service — the complete package, to them and their attendees.”
The PCVB recently led representatives from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Barnes Foundation on a mission to Paris and London for a series of press announcements to promote Philadelphia as a global arts destination.
Since the bureau’s international marketing efforts began in 2000, Philadelphia has moved from the 21st to the 13th most visited American city.
During the event, PCVB unveiled its “Completely Philadelphia” video which highlights everything from Philadelphia’s university and life sciences community to its sports teams, shopping and dining destinations. The new video www.philadelphiausa.travel/phillyvideo, joins a full suite of tools that makes information about the city more accessible.
Contact Tribune staff writer Ayana Jones at (215) 893-5747 or AJones@phillytrib.com.