Tips for Choosing a Meeting Venue

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, above, offers numerous rental opportunities in combination with catering from Iron Chef Jose Garces' catering organization.

A meeting planner’s job can be a difficult one. A planner needs to find guests a comfortable place to gather, one that has all they’ll need to ensure their meeting or conference is a success. Luckily for you, Philadelphia has a number of great venues that will fit the bill, from the state-of-the-art Pennsylvania Convention Center to unique settings such as the Wells Fargo Center or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The options really are endless, but read on for some tips to help you narrow it down.

And be sure to review our searchable Venues guide, designed to help you find the ideal auditorium, banquet hall, classroom or reception facility for your group size.

1. Location, location, location
You’ll want your attendees to meet somewhere where it is easy to get to from the airport or train station. You also want them to have things to do during their free time, so ensure your hotel and meeting place is close to great attractions and shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Philadelphia is a great place to meet because nearly all Center City hotels and meeting places are within walking distance, or only require a short cab ride. Check out PHLCVB’s member venues on our interactive map for the most convenient locations.

2. Fit for your guests
Understand your guests. If it’s a corporate crowd, you can’t do any better than the impressive Pennsylvania Convention Center. If you’re meeting for fun and interactive team-building, why not choose a dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia, an exciting event at SugarHouse Casino or bring out your inner kid at the always fun Dave & Buster’s?

3. Size matters
Take a look at your group and be realistic about what size venue you will need. Think about seating capacity, different layout options, the size of the meeting rooms and general areas and the general flow of the room if people will be roaming around. Ultimately, you want your guests to be as comfortable as possible while also ensuring you’re not reserving a room with a lot of wasted space.

4. Equipment considerations
Does the venue you’re considering have technology compatible with what your meeting group needs? When considering a venue, be sure to look at all audiovisual and technical equipment to make sure it fits the needs of your group. Double-check that there are TVs, microphones, projectors and controllers available and don’t forget about electrical outlets and extension cords — it’s important to know how many are available for your group.

5. All the small things
There are a lot of little extras to consider when choosing a venue. For your meeting, be sure to ask about a shipping and receiving area that you can use, ask about what types of signage and décor and lighting is available on-site and what needs to be brought in and installed. Take a look at restroom facilities (be sure there are enough to accommodate your group) and also examine meal options: Do you have to leave for your meals or can on-site catering be arranged?

6. Green ideas
Philadelphia is well on its way to becoming the greenest urban city in the United States. As a result of this initiative, there are a number of ways to green your meeting and reduce your meeting’s ecological footprint. The Pennsylvania Convention Center, for example, has earned LEED gold certification due to initiatives around air quality, waste minimization and energy and water conversation, while a number of hotels use eco-friendly cleaning products, linen-reuse programs and energy management systems. Also, our services team is available to brainstorm ways for your meeting to go paperless (such as using e-blasts and microsites to promote your event). Learn more about green meetings in Philadelphia

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to check out all the venues, large and small, Philadelphia has to offer. 
We’re here to help! Reach out to one of our services team members by submitting an online RFP below for more ideas on making your next meeting a success.

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