Pennsylvania Convention Center Testimonials

Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s customer-focused changes have enhanced exhibitor rights and customer service and impacted the way our customers do business at the building. Your colleagues, the people who plan meetings and conventions around the country, are noticing. Take a look at what some of them are saying.

“From start to finish, the Philadelphia CVB and Pennsylvania Convention Center have been integral partners in helping us launch CPhI North America, an award-winning and industry record-breaking tradeshow in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Philadelphia packs a big punch of history, diversity and recreation into a walkable and friendly destination. The CVB have connected us with the right suppliers, vendors, community organizations and local leaders who have done an exceptional job welcoming us and our audience to this great city and ensuring an overall amazing experience throughout our time here. We look forward to continuing to partner together for future events.”

Joseph Marks, , Brand Director, CPhI North America, UBM


“There are lots of cities that can manage the logistics of a convention, but you find very few who have the attitude who have the can-do spirit … that we found in Philadelphia. Folks who are willing to go the extra mile, who understand what we need before we say what we need and who are willing to work 24/7 … to make this convention successful.

The Rev. Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee

We didn’t hear ‘no’ in that building as we were going through this process on any level, whether that was from labor or from management or anywhere within the structure. What we heard was ‘what’re you trying to accomplish? Let us give you some other ideas of how that might be possible’ if my idea wasn’t necessarily the best way.”

Greg Talley, president and CEO of Talley Management Group, which served as lead logistics partner for the World Meeting of Families


“I have felt senior leadership presence every day in [the Pennsylvania Convention Center]. The general manager served as manager on duty on my big night where I had to turn the entire building. You don’t see that in a lot of cities; you don’t see that in a lot of facilities.

Cele Fogarty, vice president for meetings and member experience for the American Society of Nephrology

“Philadelphia has been on our radar since we last held our conference there in 2003. The city’s prime location along the East Coast, its growing minority business community and its wealth of attractions, among other things, creates an ideal backdrop to host some of our nation’s top professionals. With more customer-friendly work rules now in place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, we are pleased to be bringing our Conference & Expo back to Philadelphia in 2017.”

Jesse Tyson, President & CEO, National Black MBA Association

“It has been a long, sometimes challenging road, but the Philadelphia Sports Congress was always there to provide excellent guidance, help us gain great connections and encourage the community to get involved. We could not have been half as successful as we were without your support.”

Bethany Purdue, Local Coordinator for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

All my needs have been met and all of my expectations have been exceeded.

Ken Barnes, Executive Director, Omega Psi Phi Inc.


“Over this past year, the meetings industry has been watching what’s happening in Philadelphia. Word is spreading, and it’s customers like me that are taking notice. Philadelphia has always had the important pieces of the puzzle needed to be a world-class convention city. And now, with the changes here at the Convention Center under SMG, you’ve made our choice quite simple.

Jason Ware, American Heart Association Director of Meetings, Office of Science Operations (former)

“[Philadelphia is] an epicenter for groundbreaking cancer research and related biomedical science. We look forward to welcoming more than 18,500 laboratory cancer researchers, oncologists in a variety of disciplines, representatives from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and patient advocates from around the world next April at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. This is a huge, complex scientific meeting, and SMG and the PHLCVB have been very enthusiastic, professional and responsive to our needs throughout this entire process.”

Margaret Foti, PhD, MD, CEO, American Association for Cancer Research

“The American College of Surgeons has always considered Philadelphia to be a great East Coast destination. We are very pleased and excited to learn about the changes implemented by the Convention Center Authority and SMG. Labor issues, the resulting experience and expense have prevented us from considering Philadelphia in the past; these new initiatives will lead to significant savings for show management and exhibitors thereby dramatically improving the experience. We will now be able to give the city its long overdue serious consideration for our meetings and trade shows. Kudos to all involved in making the customer feel the love.”

Felix P. Niespodziewanski, Convention and Meetings, American College of Surgeons

Philadelphia offers a first-class, value-added meeting experience.

Tom Pellet, Meetings and Conventions Director, American Academy of Family Physicians


“Philadelphia has long been a ‘go-to’ city for so many reasons, but bringing a large meeting to the Center was simply too difficult because of onerous work rules and limitations on exhibitors. This meant that, despite a successful meeting in 2007, AIHA would not reconsider Philadelphia. Fast forward to 2014, AIHA has signed to bring its annual meeting back – nearly 6,000 delegates in all – to one of the best cities on the East Coast. With better work rules, expanded exhibitor rights and a fantastic convention and visitors bureau team, we could not say no. We look forward to our meeting and to spending money in Philadelphia!”

Peter J. O’Neil, CAE, Executive Director, American Industrial Hygiene Association

“I can’t really explain what all happened in Philly on the Delaware River last week. I think it was the greatest fishing event I have ever attended and that could include [Bassmaster] Classics as well. It really was because of the people from that area and I guess you just had to be there. Sure glad I got to experience it, and thank you Philadelphia.

Jerry McKinnis, President, Bassmaster

Above: Pennsylvania Convention Center customers discuss major changes at the facility.

“Philadelphia has always been a great destination, and now that SMG has worked out some of the past challenges with the new [customer service agreement], we are looking forward to treating our conference attendees and exhibitors to all the wonderful experiences that it has to offer.

Sara Haywood, Associate Director for Education and Events, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology

Philadelphia’s revitalized downtown area will be a strong attraction for our emergency physicians and allied health care providers who work in emergency medicine. What drove our selection of Philadelphia was the change that has taken place in the city over the years from the cultural, entertainment and dining options to the city’s history and walkability, and most importantly the changes that have taken place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which will offer a tremendous setting for our attendees as they receive the highest quality education at the world’s largest emergency medicine educational conference.”

Robert Heard, Associate Executive Director for Membership and Education, American College of Emergency Physicians


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