The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau is actively working to bring meetings back to the city to jump-start the tourism economy.
Joe Heller, the bureau’s vice president of marketing and communications, said a “Meet the Moment” campaign is designed to solicit new gatherings and, it’s hoped, convince meeting planners who have previously canceled that Philadelphia is ready to welcome them back to town.
“The new campaign focuses regionally on ‘drive’ markets, getting event planners to consider Philadelphia and all Philadelphia has to offer,” Heller said, “and then locally we want to convince businesses to keep their meetings here in Philadelphia and aid in the Philadelphia tourism recovery.”
The goal is to market throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions that are an easy drive or train ride to the city, he said.
“Our sales team will be deployed to trade shows, industry events, they will be hosting familiarization visits showing … the city, especially as it comes back on line with all we have to offer.”
The idea is to target meeting business that had been lost because of the pandemic, as well as new business from those who don’t want to travel to far-off destinations.
“Our ads are hitting on digital platforms, and we will be positioning Philadelphia all summer long,” Heller said. “And we hope to be able to see an uptick in activity as far as our calls with people testing the waters.”
Running through the fall, the “Meet the Moment” campaign will also consist of email marketing and print communications with the goal of driving meeting planners to request proposals and securing group business bookings at Philadelphia hotels, venues and the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the next 18 months. There will also be in-person marketing by the sales staff of those facilities.
The city’s innovation, improvements to meeting facilities, and unique outdoor meeting venues will also be highlighted as part of the marketing plan.