Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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A MULTITUDE OF CHOICES KEEPS PENNSYLVNIA TOP OF MIND FOR MEETING PLANNERS B Y B U C K S A M U E L S Pennsylvania cities and towns offer Meeting Planners a unique environment with unlimited options of meeting space both indoors and outdoors alike. In the Keystone state one can hold smaller more intimate events in outskirt regions like Lehigh Valley and The Alleghenies, enjoying the state's incredible lineup of outdoor activities due to the amazing geo- graphical backdrop. If a more urban envi- ronment is what you are looking for Philadelphia and Pittsburg offer Meeting Planners meeting venues with the most advanced and up to date technology along with the best hospitality conference attendees could dream of. • • PHILADELPHIA • • Philadelphia's central location, just ninety miles from New York City and 135 miles from Washington, D.C., makes it extremely easy to access by plane, train or car. The City Of Brotherly Love offers everything you will find in a major metropolitan city, with the ease of a small town. Ranked the 4th most walk- able city in the nation, visitors can easily explore multiple neighborhoods, attrac- tions, and restaurants. New hotels, unexpected venues and outstanding service are key when creat- ing memorable and effective events. Philadelphia has a variety of options to suit every size, need, taste and budget, including unmatched historic locations, iconic architectural structures, and spa- cious outdoor venues. The Pennsylvania Convention Center sits in the heart of Philadelphia, in walking distance to the city's attractions, restau- rants and hotels. There are 13,500+ hotel rooms in walking distance of the center, with two attached, including the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown, the largest hotel in Philadelphia with 1,400+ rooms. With over one hundred unexpected and inter- esting event venues in close proximity to the center this convenient location makes meeting planning a breeze. The expanded Pennsylvania Conven- tion Center is one of the country's pre- mier meeting facilities. Located in the center of Philadelphia's historic down- town, the facility offers more than 679,000-square feet of exhibit hall space with seven halls and 82 meeting rooms – plus the largest ballroom in the Northeast. While in The City of Brotherly Love travelers are encouraged to explore the regions rich African-American his- tory. From walking tours to the many historic landmarks and sites there is a whole lot of things to get into pertain- ing to the African-American contribu- tion to the city. Built in 1768, the Johnson House served in the 1850s as a crucial stop along the Underground Railroad to secure safe passage to freedom for many enslaved African Americans, as well as a meeting place for noted abo- litionists. Now transformed into a museum, here you can take a tour and gain an appreciation for the coura- geous decisions made by the enslaved to embark on a perilous, hope-filled journey to freedom and learn about the audacious men and women who labored for an end to the barbaric practice of slavery. If you need assis- tance when planning your meeting in the area, be sure to reach out to Rhonda Walker, National Accounts Manager at Discover Philadel- phia, and Stephanie Mays-Boyd, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the P e n n s y l v a n i a Convention Center. Another good con- tact would be Sheila A l e x a n d e r- R e i d , executive director of PHL Diversity, a key business develop- ment division of the PHLCVB P h i l a d e l p h i a International Airport (PHL) ser-ves the Philadelphia region with 25 airlines offering nearly 500 nonstop departures to over 140 desti- nations in the U.S. and around the world. PHL was named a top performer in a review of on-time flights by Cirium. Once you've arrived, it's about a 25-minute ride on the SEPTA Airport Line or a 20-minute drive to Center City. B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• 54 P E N N S Y LVA N I A Philadelphia Skyline AREA GUIDES

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