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AIHA selects Philadelphia for conference, returns after seven years

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) announced the selection of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center as the host city for its 2018 Conference and Exposition (AIHce).

Considered the most important event of the year among occupational and environmental health and safety professionals, 6,000 attendees are expected to attend, using more than 13,000 hotel room nights to generate more than $16.2 million in economic impact for the region, according to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB).

AIHce was last held in Philadelphia in 2007. New work rules, expanded exhibitor rights and the implementation of industry best practices at the center by facility management provided the PHLCVB and the center with an opportunity to reopen discussions with AIHA to host a future event.

“Philadelphia has long been a go-to city for so many reasons, but bringing a large meeting to the center was simply too difficult because of onerous work rules and limitations on exhibitors, said AIHA Executive Director Peter J. O’Neil, CAE. “With better work rules, expanded exhibitor rights and a fantastic convention and visitors bureau team, we could not say no.”

The conference is the first to publicly announce a booking at the convention center since the new customer satisfaction agreement, which modernizes the center’s work rules and expands customer rights, was signed by four labor unions and ratified by the center’s Board of Directors last month.

“We are thrilled that AIHce will be returning to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2018,” said PHLCVB president and CEO Jack Ferguson. “Their selection of Philadelphia is an early indication that customers recognize the Convention Center and SMG heard them loud and clear, and that they see our commitment to putting them first.”

Since the new work rules and expanded exhibitor rights were announced, the PHLCVB, SMG and the PCCA have been actively pursuing groups that may have previously been on the fence about coming to Philadelphia.

Sales missions are scheduled to take place in major markets in the upcoming months and the joint marketing campaign is being activated in key publications to inform meeting planners of the changes at the Center.

See related story: Smooth move out under new Philly work rules


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