Welcome to our Philadelphia meeting planning guide – a city guide for Philadelphia meeting planning. Philadelphia is a world-class city with a remarkable blend of historic charm and modern glamor. The city has undergone a tremendous makeover in the past few decades, resulting in increased tourism and a well-earned reputation for a spectacular urban experience. Among the city's momentous happenings in 2012 was the world-renowned Barnes Foundation (which features one of the great collections of Impressionist art) arriving at its new Benjamin Franklin Parkway address. The new Barnes Foundation location features 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, adding even more allure to the list of event spaces for Philadelphia meeting planning.
The Pennsylvania Convention Center's existing 1.3 million (and growing) square feet of saleable space is home to 528,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and a 55,400-square-foot convention center ballroom. The center boasts sophisticated space with a historic feel; its elegant interior is marked by the beautiful Grand Hall, housed in the center's historic Reading Terminal train shed, the world's oldest surviving single-span arched train shed. The center also offers more than 8,000 hotel rooms within a 15-minute walk, and more than 10,000 hotel rooms are located throughout the entire Center City region.
Downtown Philadelphia meeting hotels are on the rise: Since 2009, Philadelphia has seen the opening of the 230-room Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, the 202-room Le Meridien, and the 92-room Four Points by Sheraton; as well as breaking ground on the 136-room Homewood Suites University City and the 270-room Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco. In 2013, a 246-room Hilton Home 2 Suites is expected to debut directly across the street from the convention center, with 2,000 square feet of meetings space. Also by 2013, Philadelphia expects to have 1,175 new guest rooms in downtown, more than halfway to a goal of 2,000 new rooms set in the convention center’s expansion project.
Philadelphia's extensive transportation system makes it easy for guests to travel to and around the city via subway, bus and rail lines, which have stops at the convention center and numerous other points of interest around town. The convention center and downtown sites are also just 15 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport, an ever-expanding, internationally - recognized airport that serves more than 30 million passengers each year.
As home to numerous historic landmarks and attractions, it's no challenge to find great unique Philadelphia event venues that give guests a true taste of the city's rich history and culture. The National Constitution Center, a stunning 160,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the ideals of the U.S. Constitution, features an unparalleled view of Independence Hall and is an ideal location for private events. The light-filled, 13,000-square-foot Liberty Bell Center, home of the famous Liberty Bell, is also a beautiful, one-of-a-kind space.
Philadelphia serves as the headquarters for several high profile corporations, including Comcast, Lincoln Financial Group, Sunoco and Amtrak. A center for higher education, Philadelphia is also home to numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Temple University and LaSalle University, among others. In fact, Philadelphia's academic institutions award 54,000 degrees annually.