Press Releases

Pennsylvania Convention Center Announces Exhibitor Rights Expansion

Under Extended 10-Year Labor Agreement

New work rules empower exhibitors to setup and dismantle their own booths

without any limitations on booth size

 

PHILADELPHIA – Building on a shared commitment to the success of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, facility leaders and their show floor trade partners announced today the signing of a labor agreement extension that builds on the competitive work rules and expanded exhibitor rights that were first put in place in a groundbreaking agreement that was approved in May 2014.   The expanded exhibitor rights will go into effect August 1, 2019.  In the coming week, the Center’s website (www.paconvention.com) will be updated with additional information on how customers can take advantage of the expanded exhibitor rights contained in the agreement. 

The extended labor agreement, known as the Customer Satisfaction Agreement (CSA), will empower exhibitors to erect and teardown their own exhibit booths regardless of booth size.  This represents a significant change from the current practice, which limited that work by exhibitors to booths that were 600 square feet or smaller in size.  The agreement also continues the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s distinctive practice of only assessing overtime charges for trade labor after eight hours of work on weekdays, regardless of start time.  This is a major differentiator from other large convention centers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast which assess overtime charges or variable labor rates for work performed outside of the 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm window on weekdays.  

The extension of the Customer Satisfaction Agreement was signed by the four show floor labor unions that have contributed to the renewed success of the facility over the past five years: Laborers’ International Local 332, IATSE Local 8 (stagehands), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, and Iron Workers Local 405. The agreement will be in place until May 2029. 

“As a result of the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s strong partnership with trade labor, our facility will have the most progressive exhibitor rights of any major urban convention center in the Northeast,” said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., chair of the Center’s Board of Directors.  “We are partners with a common goal of delivering meeting planners, exhibitors, and attendees the best possible experience and value.  We know that strong customer service and cost-savings improve our competitiveness and put us in a position to make every customer a repeat customer.”

The May 2014 labor agreement was praised within the conventions and meetings industry for its significant expansion of exhibitor rights.  The work rules empowered exhibitors to perform more work within their own booths without the assistance of trade labor.  For example, it permitted exhibitors to use power tools and ladders (up to 6 feet in height) to erect and teardown exhibit booths that were 600 square feet or smaller in size.  This policy enabled exhibitors to reduce their labor costs, making the Pennsylvania Convention Center more attractive to meeting planners. The extended CSA builds on that progressive policy by allowing exhibitors to perform that work without any limits on maximum booth size.

"The five-year extension of the game-changing Customer Satisfaction Agreement between the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the signatory unions of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council ensures that Philadelphia will remain one of the most desirable convention destinations in the country for the foreseeable future,” said John Dougherty, Chairman of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council.  “The number of new and returning customers is evidence that word of our success continues to spread throughout the convention and hospitality industry."

“The success of the Convention Center over the past five years provided us the opportunity to extend the agreement to offer our customers stability and guaranteed cost,” said Michael Barnes, Business Manager for IATSE Local 8.  “This, along with the new changes to the agreement, will continue to put the Pennsylvania Convention Center at the top of every meeting planner’s list of cities to book their shows.”

“We understand that a successful convention center fuels increased demand for the services of our members while also creating new job opportunities for Philadelphians who work in the region’s hospitality industry,” said Samuel Staten, Jr., Business Manager for Laborers Local 332.  “This extension of our labor agreement shows that the trade unions are committed to ensuring the Center remains competitive.”  

“We understand that a successful convention center fuels increased demand for the services of our members while also creating new job opportunities for Philadelphians who work in the region’s hospitality industry,” said Samuel Staten, Jr., Business Manager for Laborers Local 332.  “This extension of our labor agreement shows that the trade unions are committed to ensuring the Center remains competitive.” 

Another key element of the Center’s transformation in recent years was the decision to contract with ASM Global to oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of the facility.  Over the course of the past five years, ASM Global has added hospitality industry expertise to PCC’s existing staff; streamlined services; implemented programs to assist customers with their event planning; increased billing transparency and established new sustainability goals. PCC/ASM Global’s partnership also has improved the guest experience while lowering customer costs. Recognizing the value of this collaborative relationship, earlier this year the Center approved a five-year extension of its facility management contract with ASM Global through 2023.

“The operational changes put in place by SMG over the past five years, combined with the cooperative partnership between the Center’s management and labor, have been very well-received by meeting planners and the larger meetings industry,” said John McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.  “We are consistently competing for and winning new business, but what is most impressive is the number of customers who are re-booking the facility following their successful events.”    

“Hospitality and tourism is one of Philadelphia’s largest and fastest growing employment sectors with over 74,300 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia County alone,” said Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is responsible for long-lead sales and marketing of the convention center. “With a progressive Customer Satisfaction Agreement in place, it keeps our destination competitive and will most certainly lead to business that will sustain hospitality workers far into the future.”

 

CONTACT                                                                                                               \

Pete Peterson

215-893-4297

[email protected]

 

 

MEETING PROFESSIONALS INTERNATIONAL NAMES PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTION CENTER 2018 VENUE OF THE YEAR The PA Convention Center accepted its award at MPI PHL Awards Celebration at the National Constitution Center

PHILADELPHIA (May 15, 2019) – The Meeting Professionals International Philadelphia Area Chapter (MPI PHL) has named The Pennsylvania Convention Center its 2018 Venue of the Year. This award recognizes a venue that has made significant leadership and professional contributions to the meeting and event industry. MPI PHL was founded in 1978 and is a regional professional organization dedicated to serving the diverse needs and development of its members. Meeting Professionals International is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide.

“The Center is honored to be named Venue of the Year by MPI PHL. Our team works diligently to continually improve and innovate to best serve our guests. We are thankful for this recognition and commend our team who are key to our success.” said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., Chairman of the Board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (PCCA).

In April of 2019, the Center hosted an MPI PHL event Global Meetings Industry Day Philadelphia. The event was a well-attended, vibrant meeting. In addition to educational programs and networking, the day highlighted panel discussions on homelessness, human trafficking, and their impact on the hospitality industry. John J. McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, moderated the Homelessness panel. Attendees also took part in a community service activity in support of Covenant House Philadelphia.

“Success builds upon success…smart work, customer service training, and the positivity at the Center has led to great strides.” said Kelvin D. Moore, ASM Global Regional General Manager. “Being named Venue of the Year by MPI PHL gives testament to this…thank you for this recognition and to Linda Jones from the Center for your service with MPI PHL.”

MPI PHL also named award winners in categories of Planner of the Year, Supplier of the Year, Tomorrow’s Leader, Chapter Leader of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and the President’s Award at its event at the National Constitution Center.

About the Pennsylvania Convention Center The Pennsylvania Convention Center is in Center City Philadelphia at the heart of the City's many cultural offerings, world-class dining, and entertainment scene. Now managed by SMG, the Center is the 14th largest facility in the nation and features the largest exhibit space and ballroom in the Northeastern U.S. To learn more about The Pennsylvania Convention Center, please visit www.paconvention.com.

Kelvin Moore and Jennie Udel
Kelvin D. Moore, SMG Regional General Manager and
Jennie Udel, President of MPI PHL AREA Chapter 
Kelvin D. Moore, SMG Regional General Manager
Kelvin D. Moore, ASM Global Regional General Manager





 

New electricity agreement projected to save Pennsylvania Convention Center more than $550,000

PHILADELPHIA (January 25, 2016) -  The Pennsylvania Convention Center will save up to $550,000 through 2018 under a new electricity supplier agreement with Constellation Inc. to power the 2-million-square foot facility and to use 25 percent renewable energy.

The Center's Board of Directors has undertaken a philosophy of improvements to the facility that target energy efficiency, operational efficiency and a reduction in the building's carbon footprint.

"This was a very good time to lock-in a future rate that assures consistency in our utility budget," said Gregory J. Fox, chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. "We have been using less energy in recent years as we find new ways to improve our energy efficiency across the Convention Center. These savings will contribute to our overall efficiency efforts."

The fixed rate will allow the Center's operating costs to be held constant, despite fluctuations in weather patterns and other variables.

"If we hit a polar vortex in the next two years, we are protected with budget certainty," said John J. McNichol, the Center's president and CEO. "It is an excellent time to buy in this market."

The Center issued a request for proposals on Dec. 29, 2015. Nine electricity suppliers submitted proposals that were opened Jan. 13, 2016. ASM Global, which operates the Convention Center, and its energy consultant, Choice Energy Services of New York City, reviewed the plans and then locked in the rate for the winning bid, according to Janet Mitrocsak, director of facilities for SMG.

Constellation of Baltimore, Md., will supply electricity to the Convention Center, beginning in June 2016 for a 24-month period, ending in 2018. Fixed pricing was requested with a 25 percent renewable energy source component. The fixed rate is just above 5 cents per kilowatt hour, which will result in at least $275,000 in annual savings for the two-year period, estimated John Tracey, SMG's director of finance.

"We are very excited about our new relationship with the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and ASM Global. We look forward to helping them achieve their current and future energy goals and objectives," said Brian Weatherford, executive director, Constellation, an Exelon company.

The contract includes an online portal with Choice Energy Services that allows the Convention Center to monitor, store and measure all of its utility information.  "We are thrilled to have represented the Pennsylvania Convention Center in their RFP process. We hope to continue to provide the Convention Center value through our proprietary expense data management system, Choice Connect, as well," said Kiki Dikmen, managing partner, Choice Energy Services.

The Center already has updated its lighting controls and building automation system to enhance energy efficiency. It also is installing a new roofing system that increases thermal insulation, allowing the facility to operate more efficiently and further reducing energy costs. The facility's 2011 expansion received a LEED-gold designation (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

About the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is located in Center City Philadelphia at the heart of the city's many cultural offerings and world-class dining and entertainment scene. Now managed by SMG, the Center is the 14th largest facility in the nation and features the largest exhibit space and ballroom in the Northeastern U.S. The Convention Center will host the World Meeting of Families prior to the Papal Visit in September.

About ASM Global


ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences.
ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem-solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world delivers locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners, and operations, and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.

For new media inquiries contact:
Pete Peterson
215-893-4297
[email protected]