Summer 2017 Update
From the Executive Director of PHL Diversity
As the PHLCVB and PHL Diversity fiscal year closes, I would like to say thank you to all the organizations and individuals that we have collaborated with this past year. From the Business Opportunity Luncheon in February, Season 2 of our PHL Diversity Podcasts, the PHLCVB’s new strategic plan and our well-attended board meetings, we’ve had a great year and are excited to see what the rest of 2017 has in store.
In the coming weeks, PHL Diversity will be working with our sales team to secure even more convention business for Philadelphia, including attending the 4th Annual Multicultural Summit/National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD) Conference.
PHL Diversity will kick off the fall welcoming new board members and celebrating our 30th anniversary with a special board meeting. Stay tuned for exciting announcements regarding a Hispanic-themed familiarization tour, confirmation announcements from a few big conventions, season 3 of our podcast series and a PHL Diversity program during Philly MED Week.
Please enjoy the rest of your summer — we’ll see you in the fall!
LGBT Market Segment in Philadelphia Continues to Grow
James Delmar, PHLCVB National Accounts Manager, acquired the LGBT Convention segment in 2012. Since that time, Philadelphia has hosted 38 LGBT conventions which have resulted in more than 15,800 total hotel room nights. In 2017 alone, there will be a total of 9,591 room nights directly tied to the LGBT convention market.
- PHL Diversity: James, you have had great success in in the LGBT Market in such a short amount of time. How did you do it? Take us through your timeline for booking a major LGBT meeting in Philadelphia.
- James: My success has been a direct result of the relationships I have built with local LGBTQ+ leaders who offer their support unconditionally. My approach to the segment is to focus on the business of LGBTQ+ meetings and the ROI gained from booking them into the city. It is my opinion that all groups that self-identify as a community served by PHL Diversity want fair and equal representation by their destination executive thus allowing their voices to be heard. My approach to each individual LGBTQ+ meeting is to honor the diversity and nuances of that meeting while giving them the same service and support I offer those meeting planners who plan and execute main stream meetings.
- PHL Diversity: In your opinion, what do most LGBT meetings look for in a convention city and how does Philadelphia compare?
- James: In addition to rates, dates and space, generally speaking, professionals booking LGBTQ+ meetings are looking for safe spaces to plan and execute meaningful experiences for their attendees. With making permanent the Office of LGBT Affairs in 2017, the City of Philadelphia ensures the basic objective of those meeting professionals. My role is to show how the City’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community is enhanced by the Pennsylvania Convention Center, hotels, restaurants and attractions that make our destination welcoming to all communities be it LGBTQ+ or otherwise.
- PHL Diversity: What are Philadelphia’s easiest and hardest selling points?
- James: It is easy to showcase the city’s assets as they are within walking distance from virtually all member hotels of the PHLCVB. From the museums to the attractions, dining and shopping, everything is within steps. For nightlife, the Gayborhood and Rittenhouse Square are all easily accessible. The challenge for Philadelphia tends to be building the bridge between the client’s budget and the hotel’s revenue expectation during high-demand periods. As the city flourishes, we are actively addressing solutions that benefit both parties.
- PHL Diversity: Now that you’ve booked three major LGBT Conventions in Philadelphia, what’s next?
- James: Everything. There are more LGBTQ+ groups and meetings to book into Philadelphia. Some of those aren’t in the cards for us in the next few years due to our availability and/or the clients geographic meeting rotation; however, I continue to drill down with the help of PHL Diversity in identifying new opportunities while actively seeking to rebook those meetings that have already enjoyed all that Philadelphia has to offer.
Relive Season 2 of PHL Diversity Podcasts
We were proud to end Season 2 of the PHL Diversity Podcasts with the PHLCVB’s own Wanda Paul, who retired at the end of June. Her podcast allowed her to share her experiences over the last 20+ years as the PHLCVB’s Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. Hear from Wanda and other interviewees while catching up on podcasts from Season 1 and 2 at phldiversity.com/podcasts.
National Medical Association Comes to Town
From July 29 to August 2, the National Medical Association — the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States — will convene in Philadelphia. The conference is projected to attract more than 2,500 attendees who will use over 4,900 hotel room nights and generate a projected $3.8 million in economic impact.
The conference is acclaimed as the nation’s foremost forum on medical science and African American health. This year’s theme, “Empowering African American Healthcare: One Community at a Time,” invites attendees to intensify efforts to develop a cadre of grassroots advocacy leaders. Also to be discussed: How changes to the healthcare landscape will affect the organization, profession and patients. Click to learn more about the conference, which was featured this week in The Philadelphia Tribune.
Convention Spotlight: 2017 Creating Change Conference
In January 2017, Philadelphia hosted the National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference which brought more than 4,000 attendees and generated an estimated $4.6 million for the city. Susan Hyde, the Director of Creating Change, talks about her experience in Philadelphia earlier this year.
- PHL Diversity: What was your role in producing the National Conference for LGBTQ Equality: Creating Change?
- Susan: I am the Director of the Creating Change Conference and have directed the event since 1994. As the director, I am responsible for all logistical details of the conference including hotel and community relations, the final program of events, the printed program book and on-site management of the Creating Change Conference.
- PHL Diversity: This was the first time The LGBTQ Task Force convened in Philadelphia. Which factors contributed to you picking our city?
- Susan: We had, for many years, considered Philadelphia as a host city for the Creating Change Conference. We believe that its location, the friendliness towards LGBTQ people and its beauty and historic significance all made Philadelphia a great choice. We were thrilled that the magical combination of dates/rates/space came together for us to host the 2017 Creating Change Conference in Philadelphia. We were not disappointed!
- PHL Diversity: The LGBTQ Task Force is the largest gathering of LGBTQ advocates in the world. As it continues to grow over the years, how do you intend to develop your conference to accommodate the growing attendee list?
- Susan: Each year, we strive to assemble a program that is relevant, action-packed and a productive learning environment for LGBTQ people and our allies. We hosted over 3,500 attendees in Philadelphia and will continue to plan for a turnout of that size. Our five-day program of over 250 sessions presented our attendees with challenging, enlightening and inspiring speakers and leaders. We will continue to vigorously market this important annual gathering of our movement for justice, freedom and equity for all.
- PHL Diversity: What was your favorite surprise about the Philadelphia?
- Susan: My favorite surprise about Philadelphia: our attendees took full advantage of the proximity to City Center, aka the Gayborhood, which they visit via very short walking distances. I had not realized how much of a walking city Philadelphia really is, and it was a delight to all.
Upcoming Diversity Meetings in Philadelphia
- Asian American Journalists Association
- July 23-30
- 1,155 total room nights
- Wilberforce University Alumni Association
- July 26 – August 1
- 685 total room nights
- National Medical Association
- July 27 – August 3
- 1,016 total room nights
- Job’s Daughters International
- July 29 – August 6
- 1,496 total room nights
- International Theosophy Conference
- August 10 – 13
- 60 total room nights
- Church of God in Christ
- August 29 – September 6
- 650 total room nights
- National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association
- September 3 – 5
- 530 total room nights
- 16th Annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference
- September 7 – 9
- 1, 158 total room nights
- GLMA (Gay and Lesbian Medical Association)
- September 11 – 16
- 750 total room nights
- National Black MBA Association and Prospanica
- September 26 – 30
- 14,085 total room nights
- Black Girls Run
- September 29 – 30
- 267 total room nights
In The News
- The NGLCC Conference Is Coming to Philly Next Year – PhillyMag.com, May 15, 2017
- DVLF to honor the HEROES in LGBT Community – Philadelphia Weekly, April 4, 2017
- Education Roundup: Students participate in PHL Diversity’s Hospitality Education Day – The Philadelphia Tribune, June 17, 2017
- Multicultural Meetings and Events will be key as Minorities Become the Majority – Skift.com, May 3, 2017
- Black Physicians Group to Convene Here — The Philadelphia Tribune, July 25, 2017