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Pennsylvania lands fourth convention due to work-rule changes

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), an organization for infection preventionists, selected the Pennsylvania Convention Center for its 2019 annual conference.

APIC is the fourth citywide convention to book at the Pennsylvania Convention Center since May when a Customer Satisfaction Agreement (CSA) with labor modernized work rules and expanded customer rights.

“Philadelphia has always been a great destination, and now that SMG has worked out some of the past challenges with the new CSA we are looking forward to treating our conference attendees and exhibitors to all the wonderful experiences that it has to offer,” said Sara Haywood, associate director for Education and Events, APIC.

A 15,000-member organization, APIC will hold its annual conference in Philadelphia for the first time. The conference convenes nearly 5,000 attendees from around the world for three days to advance their network and learn about evidence-based advances in infection prevention.

“The word is definitely getting out that it’s a new day in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Customers are seeing first-hand that we are capable of delivering an exceptional experience for planners, exhibitors and attendees,” said Julie Coker, executive vice president, PHLCVB. “APIC has been on our radar for a long time, and after hearing a presentation from the PHLCVB, SMG and the Center in early May, we received their commitment to come to Philadelphia in 2019.”

More than 200 exhibitors are also expected at the conference. According to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the primary sales and marketing arm for the Center, APIC 2019 attendees are expected to use over 9,200 total hotel room nights and produce more than $14.3 million in economic impact for Philadelphia.

Since the implementation of the CSA — signed by four trade unions and ratified by the Center’s board of directors on May 6 — four groups generating a projected regional economic impact of more than $91 million have booked with the center. Joining APIC in selecting Philadelphia are the American Association for Cancer Research ($41 million in economic impact), the National Association of Black MBAs ($19.5 million in economic impact), and the American Industrial Hygiene Association ($16.2 million in economic impact).

“APIC and the three other organizations booking Philadelphia is a great testament for both the Center and especially the four stakeholder unions who collectively work in harmony to service customers,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, general manager, SMG, Pennsylvania Convention Center. “A great deal of effort and sacrifice has been invested by the entire hospitality industry here in Philadelphia, and we are happy to be rewarded with such an opportunity.”

Concerns about labor costs had discouraged APIC from considering Philadelphia in the past, but the organization was reassured by the approval of the new CSA and recent experiences of other organizations that have hosted events at the center under the new work rules. The new labor agreement at the Center has addressed a range of customer concerns by providing exhibitors with greater flexibility and independence, in addition to a customer-service oriented labor workforce.

APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through the prevention of infection.  APIC’s 2014 Annual Conference was held in Anaheim, Calif.

See related article:Improved work rules and customer rights result in another booking in Pennsylvania.”


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