Philadelphia has many great venues, from the massive Pennsylvania Convention Center to the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art. To help you find the ideal venue for your next event, here are some common questions about booking in Philadelphia. Use these tips for choosing a venue to ensure your Philadelphia experience is a success from start to finish.
1. Which Philadelphia neighborhood is ideal for hosting an event?
Most meetings and conventions take place in the Center City district, near the Pennsylvania Convention Center. With nearly 13,500 hotel rooms within a 25-minute walk of the Convention Center, many planners choose to host their offsite events nearby. Philadelphia’s walkability allows attendees to easily get from their hotel to the event venue within minutes.
There are plenty of excellent venues outside of Center City. Old City —where the Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — is full of charming, historic event venues. Or have your attendees venture into Fairmount Park and meet in lush outdoor spaces.
2. What’s the best venue for your specific group?
Every meeting is different, and there are plenty of venue options to suit your group’s needs. If you’re hosting a corporate crowd with business on their mind, you can’t do any better than one of Philadelphia’s premier hotel venues. For smaller business events, consider Convene, with meeting spaces located throughout the city.
There are also plenty of fun, informal venues for groups looking to host an after-hours party or team-building night. Recreational venues such as Lucky Strike Philadelphia, Spin Philadelphia, or Craft Hall let your attendees work as hard as they play. You can also rent space at Rivers Casino or the Live! Casino & Hotel for networking and gaming fun.
Philadelphia can also provide unique spaces for industry-specific events. The city is home to numerous life science labs and centers that are rentable as event spaces. There are also venues with historical and artistic significance that are perfect for groups hosting events in these sectors. Notable examples of such venues include Carpenters’ Hall, which served as the venue for the First Continental Congress. For art enthusiasts, the Rodin Museum boasts the largest collection of the sculptor’s works outside of Paris.
3. What size venue will you need?
Determining what size venue is best for your group depends on several factors. These include attendance numbers, activities, and room setup. A good rule of thumb for a standing-only event is six square feet per person. Adding seating and tables will increase how many square feet you need per person. The exact square foot per person ratio will vary depending on the seating layout. For example, for a classroom-style setup, you’ll need about 14 to 18 square feet per person.
The Pennsylvania Convention Center is over one-million-square feet and contains multiple exhibit halls, conference rooms, and ballrooms. Many hotels also offer multiple event spaces ranging in size. For example, Loews Philadelphia Hotel features multiple conference and event spaces in a wide range of sizes. These include three ballrooms, a grand Millennium Hall, and 24 additional meeting rooms ranging from 483 to 6,100 square feet.
4. Do you have any technical equipment needs?
When considering a venue, be sure to ask about audiovisual and technical equipment to ensure it fits your group’s needs. Double-check that TVs, microphones, projectors, and controllers are available. And don’t forget about electrical outlets and extension cords — it’s important to know how many are available for your group. With the rise of hybrid and virtual events, consider if the venue can live-stream your event or if they have technology and AV vendors available.
5. What other amenities does the venue offer?
When selecting a venue, it’s important to consider small details that may not be top of mind. Inquire about the availability of a shipping and receiving area, signage, décor, and on-site lighting. Ask about any necessary items that need to be brought in or installed. Moreover, ensure there are sufficient restroom facilities to accommodate your group’s needs.
6. How can my event have a positive environmental impact?
With over 10,200 acres of green space, Philadelphia has abundance of outdoor venues. These spaces connect your guests with nature and provide plenty of room to spread out. The Mann Center for the Performing Arts and the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center are perfect for outdoor receptions or galas.
You can also keep your meeting or event “green” by finding ways to reduce your event’s overall ecological footprint. The City of Philadelphia and its hospitality partners have made a commitment to sustainability. The Pennsylvania Convention Center has earned LEED Gold Certification due to initiatives around air quality, waste minimization and energy and water conversation. Additionally, several hotels use eco-friendly cleaning products, linen-reuse programs and energy management systems.