PHOENIX, AZ — The 2021 F&D Prime Site Award-winning Phoenix Convention Center, along with Visit Phoenix and downtown hotel partners, have welcomed the first convention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The convention group, American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), hosted nearly 1,000 attendees during its 2021 Annual Conference from June 18-20.
“It is great to see our Convention Center back in action and to welcome visitors back to downtown Phoenix,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Staff at the Phoenix Convention Center has gone to great lengths to ensure our guests will be safe and can protect their health while they experience all Phoenix has to offer. Travel and tourism are an important part of our economy. Plus, it’s great to see our city come back to life!”
The economic lift from meetings, conventions and exhibitions greatly impacts local communities and all of Arizona. The Greater Phoenix economy relies on visitor spending, which funds essential government services that enrich the community.
“Meetings and conventions are a substantial economic contributor to the downtown Phoenix community and the Greater Phoenix area,” said Lorne Edwards, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Services at Visit Phoenix. “As the industry moves beyond online meetings and video calls, we’re ready to remind meeting attendees why in-person meetings in Phoenix offer more than just valuable networking time with peers, but also a chance to experience a new culture and flourishing community.”
Ann Battrell, MSDH and CEO of ADHA, says “The American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s 2021 Annual Conference in Phoenix has been an incredible opportunity for the dental hygiene community to come together to learn, connect and grow for the first time in two years. We have been warmly welcomed and appreciate the city and Convention Center’s focus on the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. ADHA appreciates everyone’s partnership in making this conference memorable for all.”
While temporarily closed, the Phoenix Convention Center implemented new health and safety measures, which include enhanced cleaning and contactless transactions. In addition, the facility became the first public venue in Arizona to receive the GBAC STAR accreditation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic limited our ability to host large gatherings for more than a year. During this period, and with the guidance and advice of healthcare experts, we have implemented strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols with our guests and staff’s health and safety as the top priority,” said Phoenix Convention Center Director John Chan. “The GBAC STAR accreditation further strengthens our commitment to excellence as we welcome the return of conventions.”
Visit Phoenix reports that, despite the 2020 shut down, the collective downtown partners booked over 72 conventions and a record number of delegates to Phoenix in future meeting years. From July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020 91 meetings were booked into the Phoenix Convention Center, which includes rebooked meetings following cancellations during the pandemic. These bookings represent more than $90 million in estimated direct spend generated by delegates.