FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

Media Contact:

Khaila Burke-Green (PHLCVB)

215/636-3412

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PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU POSTS STRONGEST CONVENTION BOOKING YEAR IN MORE THAN TEN YEARS

Positive Momentum Attributed To Work Rules at Pennsylvania Convention Center

 

PHILADELPHIA…February 2, 2015…The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, today announced that it has posted its strongest convention booking year in over a decade. Strong booking performance in the second half of 2014 indicates that changes to work rules and customer rights at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), which were implemented in May 2014, are helping to attract conventions back to the city. By leveraging positive customer experiences at the Center following the signing of a customer satisfaction agreement by four labor unions, the PHLCVB achieved 91 percent of its 2014 booking goal or 846,357 room nights, with 79 percent of that business slated to take place at the Convention Center and the rest at regional hotels.

“We are beyond pleased at what we have accomplished in 2014,” said Jack Ferguson, PHLCVB President & CEO. “These unprecedented numbers would not have been attainable without the transformation that has taken place at the Convention Center under SMG’s management, the leadership of Greg Fox and Josh Shapiro, chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the PCCA, as well as John McNichol, PCC president & CEO and the four signatory unions at the building.The work of the PHLCVB and PCC teams in communicating those changes to clients should also be noted, as meeting planners who had never considered Philadelphia are now coming to the table and taking us into serious consideration as a host city.”

Since the signing of the agreement at the Center in May, definite bookings of large conventions – known as ‘citywides’ – for future years are 47 percent higher than over the same period in fiscal year 2013. In total, more than $870 million in new business for future years has been booked into the Pennsylvania Convention Center by the PHLCVB since May 2014 including the American College of Emergency Physicians ($29.6 million in economic impact), the American Heart Association ($67 million in economic impact), the American Association for Cancer Research ($41 million in economic impact), the National Association of Black MBA’s ($19.5 million in economic impact), the American Industrial Hygiene Association ($16.2 million in economic impact) and the National Business Media tradeshow ($3.8 million). Six groups signed multi-year agreements to host their conventions in Philadelphia.

"It has been a great team effort," said John McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. "Jack Ferguson, Julie Coker and their team at PHLCVB have done a great job of selling the benefits of our new work rules, expanded exhibitor rights, and cooperative partnership with show floor labor to our customers.  With SMG as our building manager and a united team on the show floor committed to hospitality, we are able to deliver our customers and exhibitors the best possible experience."

The convention and group market segment is the strongest driver of hotel demand and room revenue, capturing 34 percent of all occupancy and contributing toward a record 75.5 percent occupancy in 2014, according to PKF Consulting. The PHLCVB’s strong booking year positions Center City hotels for even greater occupancy in future years.

“We are extremely pleased with the record occupancy among Center City hotels in 2014 and the PHLCVB’s hard work last year will go a long way to ensuring that we are able to have even more years like these in the future,” said Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA) president Greg Stafford.

Looking ahead to 2015, the PHLCVB currently has 37 meetings and conventions booked for the calendar year January 1-December 31 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Those meetings and conventions will consume 314,086 total room nights generating more than $550 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. On the books for 2015 are several major PHLCVB-booked events, including East Coast Volleyball, March 29-31 ($24 million economic impact); the American Association of Cancer Research, April 18 -22 ($44 million economic impact); the BIO International Convention, June 15 - 18 ($43 million economic impact; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, July 11 – 17 ($11 million economic impact) and the International Society for Technology in Education, October 19-23 ($39 million economic impact). In addition to meetings already on the books, the sales staff of the PHLCVB will continue to book short-term meetings throughout the year.

The PHLCVB and PCC sales teams will be attending 29 tradeshows and hosting 14 client events this year to continue promotion of Philadelphia as a meeting destination to meeting planners, exhibitors and show contractors.

Attached is a look at some of the larger PHLCVB-booked meetings and conventions at the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and area hotels for 2015.

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Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), www.discoverPHL.com, a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.
 
The PHLCVB incorporates the short code PHL, an open source graphic identifier for the City of Philadelphia into the Convention & Visitors Bureau brand identity. The graphic identifier and other assets for use by public, private and non-profit organizations can be found at www.PHLpartners.com. To request a login, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Escape Winter and Plan for Summer on the Water at the

 

Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show

 

February 4-8, 2015

 

Mid-Atlantic’s premier boating event offers opportunity to meet a “Wicked Tuna” star, fly fish and paddle indoors, shop hundreds of boats for every budget, and sharpen nautical skills

 

WHAT: The Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Showdocksat the Atlantic City Convention Center February 4-8 to give lifelong boating enthusiasts and novices alike the opportunity to shop, compare and find competitive deals on everything from sport fishers and performance boats to sailboats and family cruisers, plus thousands of marine accessories and activities for all ages.

 

Beyond the fun of seeing hundreds of new boats at the Show, attendees can take advantage of incredible educational opportunities like the all-new Progressive Boat School, meet fishing stars like “Wicked Tuna” Captain TJ Ott, and support “Let Us Eat Please,” a local nonprofit organization that helps deliver meals to kids in need.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 4 – Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wednesday-Friday: 11:00am-8:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm; Sunday: 10:00am-5:00pm

 

WHERE:Atlantic City Convention Center

 

Show Highlights: Here are the top features on deck for the 2015 Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show!

 

·See & shop magnificent motor yachts, tricked out runabouts and hundreds of new boats, plus cutting edge technologies. With everything from kayaks, sailboats, sportfishers & poweryachts, even boats that can be financed for less than $250 a month, there is a boat for every lifestyle and budget at the Show. Highlights, include:

oThe largest boat at the show in length overall, also known as, the ‘Queen of the Show’ is the Formula 45 Yacht, a 48-foot yacht with crowd-pleasing comfort, state of the art design innovations and more! MSRP as equipped at the Show is $1.4MM, with a show special at $936,700.

oThe next generation of personal watercraft has arrived with the new Yamaha VX Deluxe WaverunnerwithRiDE, the world's first dual throttle controls on a personal watercraft.

oThe Scarab 255 Jet Boat, the industry’s largest jet boat with Rotax jet power for a quicker hole shot, best maneuverability and lower bow rise, giving every rider a worry-free day on the water.

oGadget-obsessed gurus and tech-savvy sailors will also discover the latest and greatest technologies including new HD-quality cameras, wireless stereo controllers, state-of-the-art GPS devices, wireless network displays featuring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, plus custom-made weather accessories and more.

 

·Meet Captain TJ Ott from National Geographic Channel's hit series “Wicked Tuna” and catch a few tips on how to fish for adventure February 6-7. Capt. TJ has caught hundreds of giant bluefin tuna from the gulf of Maine to the outer banks of the Carolinas and loves to share his fishing tales!

 

·Support “Let us Eat, Please” – on Thursday, February 5, The Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show will host a special fundraiser for “Let Us Eat, Please,” a local nonprofit organization that helps deliver meals to kids in need.

 

·Hands-on learning –The show’s educational opportunities are unparalleled. The Progressive Insurance Boat School offers virtual, hands-on education in a newly built boat school (that actually is a boat!). Top-notch mariners are on deck to lead courses covering a variety of boating topics using a virtual boating simulator and remote control docking pool, plus tips and tricks to ensure safety on the water.

 

·Catch more fish at the Recreational Fishing Association Discover Fishing sessions where fishing fans will learn expert tips and techniques on saltwater, freshwater, inshore and offshore fishing from the pros.

 

·Fly fishing and paddle sports indoors Learn all about fly fishing, kayaking and other paddle sports at American Fly Fishing Schools 50-foot “SIMUL-CAST” Pond. Kids can get in on the action with the Kids’ Fly Casting Competition, hosted by Mike Corblies, national fly-fishing personality and International Director of American Fly Fishing Schools.

 

·Become the sharpest tool in the Shed Step into Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center – a real-life boat repair shophostingDIY sessions toteach visitors everything they need to know about engine maintenance and repair.

 

·Fun for the little skippers – Beyond the amazement of seeing and boarding hundreds of boats,children can build a nautical masterpiece at the Toy Boat Building tent, get their feet wet navigating a mini-lake in their own paddleboat, taking photos with Dora the Explorer, get a caricature of themselves, see a professional sand sculpture (http://www.jgowdy.com/) and more!

 

·Boatloads of nautical giveaways –Enter to win a $500 show shopping spree, a Willard Bond sailing watercolor painting valued at $4200, and more!

 

·Annual favorites also return, including the Miss GEICO race boat, the world’s fastest catamaran breaking speeds of 200 mph!

 

BOAT SHOW & BOATING INDUSTRY FACTS & FIGURES*

More stats and historic facts available on request

 

·The U.S. recreational boating industry continued to see an uptick in sales in 2014 with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) predicting a 5-7 percent increase in new powerboat sales

·95 percent of boats sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S.

·97 percent of boat manufacturers are small businesses

·95 percent of boats on the water in the U.S. are 26 feet or less

·72 percent of U.S. boat owners have an annual household income of less than $100,000

 

TICKETS: Adults, $15; Kids 15 & under, FREE (accompanied by an adult) purchase tickets online at ACBoatShow.com

 

ONLINE:ACBoatShow.com

 

SOCIAL:#ACBoatShow; @ACBoatShow on Twitter&Instagram; Like us on Facebook

 

 

*Source: NMMA

 

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Media Contact: For preview photos, interviews, live remotes and additional information, contact

Carrie Waible (646.532.6730; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Media can register for the show online here.