Tag Archives: Phoenix Convention Center

Arizona Multihousing Association, Property Management Career Fair, Phoenix Convention Center

Arizona Multihousing Association To Host Property Management Career Fair

The Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA) will host a career fair for jobs in property management on Oct. 11 in Phoenix, the apartment trade association announced.

Representatives of more than 20 property-management companies will interview applicants at the Phoenix Convention Center from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m in room 101 of the West Building.

“We are always looking for bright, hard working individuals,” says Pam Shelton, principal with Allison-Shelton Real Estate Services. “We find that many people outside of our industry don’t know about all of the opportunities we have.

“There are always new positions being created at our properties and we are looking for dynamic people we can train for a lifetime career opportunity.”

Apartment businesses need new employees at every level of their organizations, including leasing and sales agents and maintenance workers.

More information can be found at azama.org and on the Arizona Multihousing Association’s Facebook page.

Phoenix Convention Center, GoGreen Conference 2011

GoGreen Conference Comes to Phoenix, Educating Business Leaders with Sustainability

Deciding to make your business more sustainable can be a challenging task, especially when profitability is in question. Luckily, Phoenix will be hosting its first GoGreen Conference come Nov. 15 at the Phoenix Convention Center, where business leaders and owners will have a chance to be inspired and educated on sustainable business practices.

The GoGreen Conference is a one-day sustainability event for business owners and leaders. This event program addresses key issues pertaining to sustainability, and gives businesses and organizations a chance to learn how to take these tools and use them in their business practices, according to Ericka Dickey-Nelson, founder of GoGreen Conference and president of Social Enterprises, Inc.

The conferences have been taking place for the last four years, with a goal to educate business leaders with the most recent sustainability practices, and in turn, to put their businesses on a sustainable path.

Derrick Hall, President/CEO Diamondbacks, GoGreen Speaker, Photo: Brian FiskeThe event works with all types of businesses, and each previously held event has been sold out, with each conference educating 600-1,000 attendees.

Some of Arizona’s most successful business leaders working in sustainability will be speaking at the GoGreen Conference, as well as promoting some of the best business practices and tactics to achieve sustainability.

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been chosen to be a keynote speaker for the event in Phoenix.

“It’s a challenging task to pick a keynote,” Dickey-Nelson says. “Keynotes are a big deal, and we have to choose the ones that are the best. We chose him because of the industry he is in.”

Hall is known for his green tactics, which include the new solar shade outside the Chase Field that generates solar energy for the stadium.

Of course, there have been challenges in promoting sustainability practices and the GoGreen Conference in this improving, yet rocky economy.

“I think the most important thing is relating sustainability practices to businesses,” Dickey-Nelson says. “It deals with money, and we make sure in every session we address profitability and long-term saving.”

The conference has plans for business leaders and owners to leave with an idea of how to successfully change their business practices.

“We want to make your business more sustainable,” Dickey-Nelson says. “We want you to walk away with a tool chest of strategies.”

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If You Go:

GoGreen Conference ’11 Phoenix:
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, West Building
www.phoenix.gogreenconference.net[/stextbox]

Phoenix Comicon Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees, Photo: Jonathan, LightningOctopus.com

Phoenix Comicon 2011 Brings In Over 23,000 Attendees

Call the fire marshal; Phoenix Comicon 2011 was too hot to handle.

While the size of the convention exploded at last year’s 2010 convention when it was moved to the downtown Phoenix area, this year’s convention on the exhibition floor surpassed its maximum capacity of 10,000 people on Saturday — therefore causing the fire marshal and police department to get involved.

The four day event, which took place at the Phoenix Convention Center, brought in 23,001 people, not including children under 12 who got in for free.

Jillian Squires, marketing manager for Phoenix Comicon, says the attendance was a great success for the convention, as it was a giant leap from last year’s 14,000 attendees. While the overcapacity was an obstacle for the convention committee to overcome, they were thrilled this was the only hindrance.

According to Squires, Matt Solberg, convention director, handled the situation rapidly and gracefully. Although the floor regulation lasted about four hours, attendees waited no more than 20 minutes to enter the exhibition floor, and around 6 p.m., attendees were able to freely enter the area once again.

Solberg posted a formal notice about the situation on the Phoenix Comicon’s homepage, informing the public of what happened and apologizing for any inconvenience.

Squires says that the committee’s largest goal is to strive for honesty with their attendees, and this is what sets them apart from other conventions.

As for the reason for this year’s success and high attendance, Squires says its due to the event’s all-star guest list and four new marketing techniques.

Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy and George Takei, Chuck star Adam Baldwin, and the man who made comics what they are today, Stan Lee, among other guests, transcended different cultures and genres, attracting a wider audience range than ever before, Squires says.

Nimoy proved to be the event’s most popular attraction; his panel “Spotlight on Leonard Nimoy” filled the 5,000 ballroom to its maximum capacity. The other aforementioned guests’ panels attracted crowds almost as large, with popular web series The Guild and Paul Cornell, writer for Doctor Who yielding some of the largest turn outs as well.

“There was not a single panel with no turn out,” Squires says. “There was something there for everyone.”

From science fiction authors to Anime to zombie musicals at the PC Film Festival, the event provided a wide range of events to expand its demographic and attendance.

Through Squires’ efforts, the committee increased attendance further through effective and thorough use of social media, commercials, billboards, a 20-page brochure with College Times — as well as with the support and advertising through local companies in the Valley.

Although it hasn’t reached the capacity of the San Diego Comic-Con, Phoenix demonstrates equal success for its unique goals.

“[San Diego Comic-Con has] a different vision than we do, and theirs is great, but we just have different goals and purposes for our convention,” Squires says.

Squires says Phoenix Comicon aims to be a family event and to ensure accessibility, entertainment and comfort to all those who attend. Phoenix Comicon also intends to keep the prices affordable at $40 for a four-day pass.

Squires hopes to get even “hotter” next year with at least 30,000 attendees.

Want to secure your spot for next year’s conference? Memberships are already for sale online.

Steve Moore, GPCVB, AZ Business Magazine May/June 2011

Q&A Steve Moore, President & CEO of Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau

Steve Moore
President and CEO
Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau

What is the outlook of tourism in Arizona and the Valley as you see it?

Tourism is a $17 billion industry here, and it is strong enough to have absorbed some body blows over the past couple of years. The recession hurt. The “AIG effect” hurt. Backlash from SB 1070 hurt. People are still worried about the economy, and large groups are still a little trigger shy.

But we are seeing a few positive signs. Business travel is inching upward. Room rates are rising a little. In Phoenix, the metric we use to assess the financial performance of our hotels indicated improvement in 2010 versus 2009. So far this year, the BCS Championship Game gave the Valley’s hotels a boost in January, spring training provided its annual injection of visitors in March, and the MLB All-Star Week is going to be a huge asset for us in July. But the outlook is not as rosy as it’s been painted in some media accounts. We still have a lot of ground to make up.

How is the Greater Phoenix CVB performing in this environment, and how would you define the CVB’s role in the local economy?

In fiscal year 2010, our sales staff booked over 400,000 future delegates into the convention center and hotels across the Valley. These delegates will spend over $525 million when they get here — that’s direct spending, and it doesn’t include what the family and friends who accompany them will spend. If you were to look at the CVB’s future bookings in terms of corporate portfolio, that “portfolio” would be valued at $2.4 billion. That’s how much direct spending is attached to the future delegates we’ve booked, and that’s the price you could expect to get for the CVB if it were “sold.” Of course, we’re not for sale — we’re a nonprofit. But I think the analogy helps people get their heads around how vital the visitors industry is to the local economy.

What obstacles are currently facing the visitors industry, and what are some future challenges for the Greater Phoenix CVB?

The economy’s signs of recovery give us reason for optimism — but that optimism has to be tempered with a measure of caution. Group business may gradually climb back to pre-recession levels, but spending probably will rise at a slower rate. In that way, this recovery will somewhat mirror the industry’s post-9/11 recovery, albeit with a more gradual climb out of the bottom, because the recession affected all industries, not just ours.

Also, as the cost of oil continues to rise, so does the cost of air travel. Airlines have gradually decreased their capacities, switching to smaller planes and fewer flights. This can increase the cost of air travel and inflate travel times, both of which factor into a business’ decision about where to hold a meeting or convention. It’s something we play close attention to because Phoenix is a fly-in destination. Another challenge for us arose this past September, when the GSA recommended that federal agencies substitute teleconferencing and webcasts for face-to-face meetings whenever possible. Suppliers will likely follow suit, and that’s not good for our industry.

Within the CVB itself, one of our greatest challenges is budgetary. The formula funding we created back in 1998 will yield a million dollars less for us in the next fiscal year than it did in this fiscal year. We have lost four sales people this year, and we have not been able to replace them. We also lost half of our Prop 302 funds to the Legislature, which hinders our ability to market the destination to a national and international audience.

Has the Greater Phoenix CVB seen improvements since the passing of SB 1070? How so?

It’s been about a year since SB 1070 was passed, and in that time we’ve lost six definite conventions. We’ve lost only two since last July, when (federal) Judge (Susan) Bolton’s ruling blocked some of the bill’s most controversial provisions. Our sales team spent a lot of time and energy holding onto some of our large conventions and rebooking others. It’s the pipeline we are most concerned about, and at the close of the calendar year, our booking pace had slowed by 36 percent over last year’s pace — and last year was a recession year.

The fact that 19 other states have introduced immigration bills similar to SB 1070 has taken a little of the heat off us. It’s hard to quantify how much convention business we aren’t even getting considered for due to concerns over the bills. We do know that large, diverse associations are more risk averse than smaller, corporate meetings. Those smaller meetings have started to return to the Valley.

How will the All-Star Game and the MLB FanFest at the Phoenix Convention Center impact Phoenix’s economy and tourism?

The All-Star Game and the events surrounding it — the Home Run Derby, the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and FanFest at the convention center — are expected to inject $67 million of direct spending into Arizona’s economy. This estimate does not include local production expenses by national and international broadcast media, nor does it take into account hospitality expenditures by sponsors for receptions, parties and banquets.

The fact that All-Star Week arrives in town during summer, our traditional low season, magnifies its economic benefit to the community and provides us a grand-scale opportunity to show leisure travelers and meeting groups that visiting Phoenix in summertime is fun. And it’s the latest in a growing list of mega sporting events whose presence here proves that large and diverse groups and events are welcome and successful in Arizona.

What are your thoughts on the Arizona Office of Tourism’s “In One Word — Arizona” marketing campaign that launched in November?

Well, using just one word is economical, and that’s a good thing. Seriously, though, it’s a beautiful campaign that dramatically captures the beauty of our state. The existence of such a campaign is absolutely essential. Tourism is a $17 billion asset for Arizona. That asset must be trumpeted; that asset must be leveraged; that asset must be cared for. We all know AOT has been devastated by state budget cuts. If there’s one word that should be applied to AOT’s funding, that word is “restoration.”

What are your thoughts on the new Westin Phoenix Downtown and the rest of the downtown hotels and how they can potentially attract more tourists and business travelers?

Westin is a trusted brand, and the new hotel is a wonderful addition to downtown. Many of the conventions we book at the CVB are what we call “citywide conventions.” What that means is, they are big enough so that their attendees and their families spread out to multiple hotels. With the addition of the Westin, there are now more than 2,700 guest rooms within walking distance of the convention center. And more are on the way: A boutique Kimpton hotel — another trusted brand — is scheduled to open in CityScape early next year. So we’ll have the Sheraton, the Hyatt, the Wyndham, the Westin and the Kimpton right in the city’s core, all near the convention center, all near stops for the light rail, all near CityScape. For years we tended to talk about downtown in the future tense — as in, “It’s going to be great.” Downtown is now all about the present tense. It is great, and the catalyst to making it that way was the visitors industry.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2011