Considering Philadelphia for your upcoming conference or event? Whether you’re planning an intimate meeting in a unique venue or hosting a large conference at the one-million-square-foot Pennsylvania Convention Center, here are the top 10 reasons to bring your next meeting here.
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The health and safety of visitors, event attendees and Philadelphia’s travel and hospitality professionals is the number one priority. In conjunction with our business community and partners around the city, including medical experts from local hospitals and leading life sciences institutions, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has developed the PHL Health Pledge. This pledge serves as a way for our partners to commit to upholding local, state, and national health and safety guidelines. The PHLCVB will communicate any changes to meeting and event planners and work with our partners to ensure they are upholding the latest best practices to keep all visitors healthy and safe.
The Pennsylvania Convention Center spans more than six blocks in Philadelphia’s downtown, positioning your event (and its guests) in the center of the action with endless experiences within walking distance. The Center itself offers well-appointed amenities, one of the largest ballrooms in the northeast, enhanced tech solutions and flexible event spaces that serve as a “blank canvas” for memorable events. The Pennsylvania Convention Center’s historic Grand Hall – the former train shed for the Reading Railroad – welcomes your attendees in a stunning fashion and the Center’s progressive work rules and streamlined services provide planners and exhibitors with the amount of flexibility and independence they need.
Philadelphia is within driving distance from several major metro areas, making it easy for attendees to travel by car. The city is just a two-hour drive from both New York City and Baltimore, and a three-hour drive from Washington, D.C. Visitors who opt to travel by plane will enjoy convenient travel options and access via Philadelphia International Airport, which is just a short drive, cab ride, or train ride from Philadelphia’s downtown and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Visitors traveling by train will arrive at Amtrak’s 30th Street, located in the heart of Philadelphia’s downtown and just a short walk from hotels and meeting venues. Situated along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Philadelphia is only a 1.5-hour train ride from New York City, and just 2 hours from Washington, D.C.
As one of the most walkable cities in the nation, navigating Philadelphia by foot is a breeze. Walking is a convenient way for your attendees to travel between their hotel, meeting venue, attractions and the city’s renowned restaurants. The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from neighborhoods such as Philadelphia’s Chinatown, Old City, Rittenhouse, and Washington Square West. Meeting attendees will find it easy to access and explore the city’s top attractions during their downtime, with popular sites such as LOVE Park, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art all within a few minutes’ walk of one of the East Coast’s premier event venues.
Philadelphia’s wide variety of event spaces and hotels makes it easy for planners to find the perfect setting for meetings, conferences, and celebrations. The city is home to leading hotel brands and properties, ranging from luxurious to economical and offer more than 14,000 rooms located within walking distance from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Whether your meeting is large or small, the PHLCVB’s Services team can walk you through dozens of unique indoor and outdoor venues ideas. Choose from the one-million-square-feet of meeting space available at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, offsite venues in historic settings, venues with Instagram-worthy views, and spaces with indoor-outdoor options.
In the warmer months, our charming streets are lined with café tables and outdoor dining patios. Make a reservation, sample the flavors of our award-winning chefs, and enjoy the charm of Philadelphia’s diverse neighborhoods. Beer lovers will enjoy the city’s many outdoor beer gardens, which provide plenty of space to unwind and taste craft beers al fresco.
With many of the top historic sites and attractions located right downtown, just a short walk from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and leading hotels, it’s easy for attendees to find time to explore Philadelphia’s history during their visit. Considered America’s Most Historic Square Mile, Old City is Philadelphia’s revered historic district, where you can learn about the birth of the United States at sites like Independence Hall, The Betsy Ross House, the National Constitution Center, and more. Outside of Old City, history lovers will find historical buildings, attractions, architectural details, and cobblestone streets throughout Philadelphia.
For attendees looking to get fresh air and spend time outdoors, Philadelphia is home to one of the world’s largest city-owned urban park systems. Philadelphia offers more than 10,000 acres of parks and Fairmount Park consists of more than 2,000 acres of green open spaces and shaded hiking and biking trails plus plenty of public art, historical structures, and gardens to discover. Picnic or relax in one of Philadelphia’s original squares — all planned by founder William Penn — or visit one of the city’s newest greenspaces, The Rail Park, a community park built on a repurposed elevated railway and just a ten-minute walk from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
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Philadelphia is home to many indoor arts and culture institutions, such as the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In addition to the city’s museums and galleries, as you walk the streets, you will find visual inspiration and public art in every direction. Head to South Street to tour Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a shimmering outdoor mosaic installation built by local artist Isaiah Zagar. Mural Arts Philadelphia offers both guided and self-guided tours of the thousands of inspiring public artworks on display in neighborhoods throughout the city that make it the Mural Capital of the World. The outdoor sculpture garden at the Rodin Museum is another must-see – it is free to visit and features a casting of the artist’s most famous piece: The Thinker.
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The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau offers three specialized divisions, PHL Life Sciences, PHL Diversity, and PHL Sports. These divisions are available to help connect your group with unique venues, local thought leaders in a variety of sectors, inspiring speakers, and volunteer opportunities. Whether your group is focused on education, healthcare, technology, or the nonprofit sector, our experts can recommend the best local businesses, resources and ideas to enhance your event.
When you’re ready to start planning your meeting or event, the PHLCVB is here to help. Please reach out to a member of our team for assistance with venue selection, connections to speakers, hotel packages, and more. Contact Sales & Service.