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Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau Reports the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Hosted
28 Conventions in 2003
25 Future Conventions Booked
Greater Pittsburgh CVB Releases Results of 2003 Tourism and
Convention Marketing Efforts at 68th Annual Meeting

    PITTSBURGH, March 31, 2004 - The Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GPCVB) held its Annual Meeting Wednesday, March 31, at the new David L. Lawrence Convention Center and presented the results of its 2003 tourism and convention marketing efforts to the board of directors, membership and community stakeholders.

Among the highlights was news that the pace of bookings at the Center continues to gain momentum.  With the nontoxic, environmentally friendly paint on the building's walls barely dry, Pittsburgh concluded 2003 hosting 28 conventions in the new facility, exceeding projections established by SMG Management for 20 bookings in the building's first full year* of operation.  Combined, these 28 conventions generated $63.24 million in direct spending, $572,000 in RAD tax and $2.17 million in hotel tax.

In 2003, the GPCVB Convention Sales team signed 25 future conventions for the new Convention Center and 315 meetings, conferences and events at hotels and other venues in Pittsburgh.  These bookings include Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters International Convention (10,000 attendees in 2008); American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference (3,000 attendees in 2008); and the National Emergency Number Association Annual Conference (1,700 attendees for 2006).

"2003 was a turning point for Pittsburgh's convention industry as we saw the long awaited grand opening of our gleaming new David L. Lawrence Convention Center," said GPCVB President Joseph R. McGrath.  "And after nearly four years of promoting and selling this grand new building through printed floor plans, artist renderings, virtual tours and verbal promises, we were at last able to bring customers into its soaring, airy halls and deliver a finished product.  Customer response to the new facility has been extremely positive, and those impressions are being converted into bookings."

The GPCVB's Bring It Home campaign, which engages local citizens, organizations and businesses in the process of winning a convention or meeting for Pittsburgh, generated 212 event and conference bookings at various venues.  Those bookings represent 85,626 attendees, 84,494 room nights, and a combined economic impact of $51 million.  Notable examples of bookings achieved through collaboration with local community leaders include Mercedes-Benz Club of America National Executive Board Meeting for 2004; The Minerals Metals & Materials Society Sixth International Symposium for 2005; and the National Conference of Editorial Writers Annual Convention for 2006.

Leisure tourism marketing campaigns were targeted to individual cultural tourists, domestic and international group/motorcoach operators, and international visitors.  Combined direct spending by customers responding to GPCVB tourism marketing promotions is estimated at $58.9 million.  The GPCVB also fielded more than 594,000 visitor inquiries through mail, web, e-mail, phone and Visitor Information Centers.

Kidsburgh and the Lewis and Clark getaway promotion were among the GPCVB's most successful tourism package campaigns in 2003.  Direct spending by visitors who responded to these two promotions is estimated at $13.6 million.

Other cultural and heritage campaigns included the Classic American Getaway Package, which generated an estimated $1.3 million in visitor spending; the Pittsburgh CLO Annie package, which generated $385,000 in visitor spending; the Three Rivers Arts Festival promotion, which generated an estimated $6 million in visitor spending; and the Millet to Matisse package, which generated an estimated $305,000 in visitor spending.

In 2003, 510,962 virtual visitors logged on to .  Web site hits increased 17 percent over 2002 to a total of nearly 10 million hits and guests purchased 2,728 attraction and theater tickets via the site.

GPCVB public relations efforts resulted in extensive media coverage for Pittsburgh.  A total of 80 articles appeared in national convention trade magazines such as Tradeshow Week, Successful Meetings and Meetings and Conventions Magazine.  Nearly 900 placements appeared in consumer publications such as the Miami Herald, Family Fun magazine, New York Newsday, Cleveland Plain Dealer, travelgirl and the Chicago Sun Times.

*Exhibition and meeting space for new David L. Lawrence Convention Center was completed in May 2003.  The building opened in its entirety in September 2003.  As such, the building's total capacity was not fully available for customer use until September 2003.  The facility will mark its first full year of operation in September 2004.

Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Also See: Pittsburgh's New Convention Center Has 28 Conventions Scheduled for 2004; Efforts Hampered Lack of Headquarters Hotel / December 2003
Pittsburgh's New Convention Center Has booked 30 Conventions in 2003, Exceeding the Projected 20 for the First Year of Operation / September 2003

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