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Facilities Update
Customer-Focused Changes At The Pennsylvania Convention Center Bring American Industrial Hygiene Back To Phiadelphia For 2018 Conference


AIHce Conference & Expo Projected To Generate More Than $16 Million for Philadelphia

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has announced the selection of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center as the host city for its 2018 Conference and Exposition (AIHce), which is considered the most important event of the year among occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. More than 6,000 attendees are expected to attend AIHce, using 13,608 total hotel room nights to generate more than $16.2 million in economic impact for the region, according to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau ( PHLCVB). 

AIHce was last held in Philadelphia in 2007, and although attendance was strong, issues related to labor at the center were a concern and ultimately the reason AIHA chose not to return to Philadelphia sooner. New work rules, expanded exhibitor rights, and the implementation of industry best practices at the Center by facility manager SMG provided the PHLCVB and the Center with an opportunity to reopen discussions with AIHA to host a future event.

"Philadelphia has long been a "go-to" city for so many reasons but bringing a large meeting to the Center was simply too difficult for was simply too difficult because of onerous work rules and limitations on exhibitors. This meant that, despite a successful meeting in 2007, AIHA would not reconsider Philadelphia," said Peter J. O'Neil, CAE, executive director of AIHA. "Fast forward to 2014, AIHA has signed to bring its annual meeting back - nearly 6,000 delegates in all - to one of the best cities on the East Coast. With better work rules expanded exhibitor rights, and a fantastic convention and visitors bureau team, we could not say no. We look forward to our meeting and to spending money in Philadelphia!"

The conference is the first to publicly announce a booking at the Convention Center since the new Customer Satisfaction Agreement, which modernizes the Center's work rules and expands customer rights, was signed by four labor unions and ratified by the Center's Board of Directors. 

"We are thrilled that AIHce will be returning to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2018," saidPHLCVB President and CEO Jack Ferguson. "Their selection of Philadelphia is an early indication that customers recognize that the Convention Center and SMG heard them loud and clear, and that they see our commitment to putting them first." 

 "When the Board moved to establish improved work rules and expanded exhibitor rights, we were acting on feedback from our customers with the goal of delivering an improved experience and reducing costs," said Gregory J. Fox, chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority's Board of Directors. "This is exactly the type of event we were hoping would give Philadelphia a second look following the recent changes we put in place, which include bringing SMG on board to manage the Center and the adoption of a new, improved Customer Satisfaction Agreement. We are hopeful that this is just the first of many conferences and events that will return to Philadelphia in the wake of our efforts to improve service and the customer experience."
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