The Phoenix Convention Center, along with Visit Phoenix and downtown hotel partners, welcomed the first convention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The convention group, American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), hosted nearly 1,000 attendees during its 2021 Annual Conference from June 18-20.
“It is great to see our Convention Center back in action and to welcome visitors back to downtown Phoenix,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Staff at the Phoenix Convention Center has gone to great lengths to ensure our guests will be safe and can protect their health while they experience all Phoenix has to offer. Travel and tourism are an important part of our economy. Plus, it’s great to see our city come back to life!”
The economic lift from meetings, conventions and exhibitions greatly impacts local communities and all of Arizona. The Greater Phoenix economy relies on visitor spending which funds essential government services that enrich our community.
“Meetings and conventions are a substantial economic contributor to the downtown Phoenix community and the Greater Phoenix area,” said Lorne Edwards, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Services at Visit Phoenix. “As the industry moves beyond online meetings and video calls, we’re ready to remind meeting attendees why in-person meetings in Phoenix offer more than just valuable networking time with peers, but also a chance to experience a new culture and flourishing community.”
Ann Battrell, MSDH and CEO of American Dental Hygienists’ Association, says “The American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s 2021 Annual Conference in Phoenix has been an incredible opportunity for the dental hygiene community to come together to learn, connect and grow for the first time in two years. We have been warmly welcomed and appreciate the city and Convention Center’s focus on the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. ADHA appreciates everyone’s partnership in making this conference memorable for all.”
While temporarily closed, the Convention Center implemented new health and safety measures, which include enhanced cleaning, contactless transactions and joined some of the largest and most successful facilities in the United States by becoming the first public venue in Arizona to receive GBAC STAR accreditation. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™ provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic limited our ability to host large gatherings for more than a year. During this period, and with the guidance and advice of healthcare experts, we have implemented strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols with our guests and staff’s health and safety as the top priority,” said Phoenix Convention Center Director John Chan. “The GBAC STAR accreditation further strengthens our commitment to excellence as we welcome the return of conventions.”
Despite the 2020 shut down, the collective downtown partners booked 72+ conventions and a record number of delegates to Phoenix in future meeting years. From July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020 91 meetings were booked into the Phoenix Convention Center, which includes rebooked meetings following cancellations during the pandemic. These bookings represent more than $90 million estimated direct spending generated by delegates.
About the Phoenix Convention Center The award-winning, GBAC STAR™ accredited, Phoenix Convention Center is one of the largest convention venues in the United States. It boasts over 1,000,000 square feet of rentable meeting and event space. Established in 1969 as a department of the City of Phoenix, the Phoenix Convention Center is a vital economic enterprise for the state and local economy. The Phoenix Convention Center & Venues include the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Orpheum Theatre Phoenix and five parking garages.
About Visit Phoenix Visit Phoenix is a non-profit organization that promotes the Greater Phoenix community to a global audience of travelers and books conventions into the Phoenix Convention Center and area hotels and resorts. Visit Phoenix cultivates and maintains relationships with convention and meeting planners, journalists and influencers, travel agents and tour operators.