Being selected as the host city for major conventions is coveted by destinations everywhere because conventions can bring anywhere from 2,000 to 25,000 people (or more) into a city all in a short span of time. That translates into a tremendous amount of employment and revenue to the city, and the potential goodwill for extended stays, follow up vacations, and – importantly – future congresses and exhibitions. There's value before, during and after the event.
Conventions include exhibition space requirements, meetings, daytime and evening hospitality and more. So it’s no wonder that cities invest carefully in their convention center facilities.
The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center (VCEC) was expanded when the city hosted the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Winning highly visible programs such as the Winter Olympics allows cities to update their convention centers while gaining the attention of the important meeting professionals. When choosing convention space, meeting planners frequently consider the following:
- Easily accessible location from airport and hotels.
- Easy move-in and move-out requirements.
- Accessibility for people with special requirements.
- Incorporating best practices for sustainability throughout.
- Cost effective and quality catering operations.
- Uniqueness of architectural design and flow for attendees.
- Other convention requirements, such as A/V, parking, security, medical, etc.
The VCEC is the only two-time winner of the prestigious AIPC Award for the the World’s Best Convention Centre, hosting more than 350 events per year. And meeting space is as plentiful as the view at the VCEC, a green-designed, state-of-the-art facility located on the waterfront in beautiful downtown Vancouver. With 40 percent of the centre suspended over the harbour, the VCEC offers attendees a sensational mountain and harbour views through floor-to-ceiling glass.
But let’s talk meeting space. The VCEC tripled in size with its expansion to cover1.1 million square feet -- that’s four city blocks – for a combined total of 466,500 square feet of pre-function, meeting, exhibition, and ballroom space. With 72 meeting rooms, multiple planners can host events simultaneously throughout the VCEC, yet each event can have a separate entrance and function space.
At VCEC, groups can launch a new product while gazing at the Mountain View in Canada’s largest convention centre waterfront ballroom at the VCEC’s 53,000 square foot waterfront ballroom with 5-story high ceilings. Set up your trade show in the East Building’s 91,000 square feet of exhibit space, or a larger exhibit in the abundant 220,500 square feet of exhibit space in the West Building.
In addition, the West Building features a marine habitat, drainage water & recovery system, seawater heating and cooling system, and a six-acre living roof with 4 beehives and more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grass.
Research contributed by Diana Rowe.