Sponsored by Phoenix Convention Center
Many groups look forward to visiting the Phoenix Convention Center (PCC) in the near future, and with good reason. Not only is the facility itself top quality, but it’s also surrounded by the best of the Valley of the Sun. With over 800,000 sq. ft. of retail space, restaurants and bars, and professional sports franchises in the vicinity, attendees have an array of free-time options. In addition, planners can take advantage of the presence of three public universities as potential sources for local speakers.
What is more, this meetings oasis in the Sonoran Desert is very accessible. The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is a mere four miles away from the PCC, which is served by a dedicated METRO Light Rail stop.
Thanks to these assets, Phoenix’s convention industry is proving resilient even in the face of the pandemic. The PCC offers a variety of event venues, both indoors and outdoors, that a planner can select from according to space requirements in the age of social distancing.
The Phoenix Convention Center is the first public venue in Arizona to receive GBAC STAR™ accreditation. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR™ provides third party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations. The GBAC Accreditation program enables facilities to maximize product use and best practices for sanitization and train staff to implement them at the level needed to thoroughly sterilize and clean environments in the era of Covid-19.
All spaces have been designed to evoke the local environment, and indoor spaces feature a layout that greatly facilitates event logistics. “There are two features that set us apart from many of our competitors: Our architecture and our stacked floor plan,” says Jacqueline Davis, Marketing and Communications Manager. “Throughout our campus, guests will find a variety of colors, textures and finishes designed to capture the warm hues of the Sonoran Desert and the cool tones of an Arizona desert sky. Even our outdoor space, Canyon on Third, is bordered by our two main buildings (North and West), giving it a cavernous appearance that pays homage to the many canyons in Arizona. Additionally, our campus layout is a stacked floor plan designed to make it convenient for guests to move about the campus.”
The North and West Buildings offer a total of 502,500 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 81 meeting rooms and two large ballrooms, each measuring over 45,000 sq. ft. The South Building houses 143,400 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 18 meeting rooms and a 28,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. Canyon on Third spans over 80,000 sq. ft., accommodating a variety of events under the Arizona sky. “We find that a lot of meeting and event planners are looking for outdoor space to enhance the experience for attendees by offering a chance to take full advantage of the weather,” says Davis. “Our outdoor event space — Canyon on Third — is ideal for events that want a flexible, blank canvas. The space can be customized based on meeting and event needs. The space has been used for evening receptions, carnivals, fan festivals, security screening and so much more.”
Just as the PCC’s design is attuned to the Southwestern locale, so is the facility’s cuisine. “Aventura’s state-of-the-art food court, PHX Kitchens Downtown Food Hall, provides an array of dining options, such as locally roasted coffee and authentic Mexican cuisine,” Davis notes. Aventura Catering, part of Aramark Corporation, was created specifically for the PCC and has established partnerships with local farms and suppliers to ensure the F&B that attendees enjoy is fresh, innovative, and locally inspired. Aventura also contributes to the PCC’s sustainable operations by using compostable packaging and purchasing products made from plant-based materials free of any GMOs, among other practices. Indeed, environmentally conscious groups have an ideal partner in the Phoenix Convention Center, which is LEED Silver certified. “There are over 700 solar panels that generate enough output to power 14 homes in a year, and we’ve purchased more than 31,000 chairs made from recycled car batteries and seatbelts to use in our meeting rooms,” Davis explains. “We also recycle more than 460 tons of material each year.” Just as the Phoenix Convention Center is devoted to conserving the environment, it is also fulfilling its due diligence when it comes to protecting attendees and staff Groups visiting.