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Philadelphia exceeds 2012 bookings goal

The 2012 fiscal year has been bountiful for room bookings in Philadelphia.

Officials for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB) announced yesterday that it exceeded its fiscal year 2012 booking goal by more than 23,000 room nights for a total of 833,834 for this year and beyond.

“I am thrilled with the hard work and dedication of the entire team at the PCVB, who not only beat their goal, but also booked 90,000 room nights in this year for this year,” said Nick DeBenedictis, chairman, PCVB. “Despite the competitive climate, we were smart in our sales and marketing efforts to continue to demonstrate that Philadelphia is a premier global destination for meetings and conventions and by making the most of our newly expanded convention center.”

Some of the top upcoming booked conventions include: the National Urban League 2013; East Coast Volleyball 2013, 2014 and 2015; Rheumatology 2022 and 2028; and planned bookings by RIMS and Educause for future years.

“The PCVB exceeded our expectations from forecast and we are extremely happy with these results. The building is now 62 percent larger, so our hotels are expecting growth in bookings that generate more room nights,” said Jim Gratton, president, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.

“This news is the result of a lot of hard work by the talented staffs at the PCVB and the Pennsylvania Convention Center,” said Greg Fox, chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “We are proud of these results, and continued progress on many initiatives, but we know there is more work to do to ensure that the investment in the expansion is maximized for the good of the commonwealth, the city and the entire hospitality community.”

To support the efforts of the sales team, which booked 351,753 room nights for future need periods, a targeted incentive program was developed to encourage booking during the 1st quarter, July through August, and the holiday season. The incentive program, still available through the end of 2012, was promoted at industry tradeshows, including PCMA, ASAE, MPI’s World Education Congress as well as Meeting Metropolis, an event produced by the Pennsylvania Convention Center that welcomed 150 top meeting planners from across the country to a summit at the Center in March.

In addition to promotion at tradeshows, a targeted email campaign was used to increase leads, which included distributing the incentive to more than 14,000 meeting planners in the PCVB database, as well as through custom e-blasts with meeting planner trade publications.

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