Convention centers

Economic benefit

Often conceived to support economic growth and development, convention centers serve to provide a location for meetings, conventions, trade shows, public shows, the arts, and local interests. Because their development and operations typically involve taxpayer investment, benefits are measured in terms of out-of-town visitors, occupied room nights, incremental taxes, and sales. The success of a center is measured by its ability to generate economic benefit for the community.

  • Addressing complex challenges 
    The specialists in PwC's Hospitality & Leisure practice have unparalleled experience in the complexities of convention center development, financing, marketing and management. Our professionals provide focused services that address the specific challenges associated with this industry.
  • Benchmarking and best practices 
    With the accelerated rate of convention center development and expansion over the past 20 years, municipalities and stakeholders must take a more strategic approach to ensure their success. Over this period of time, PwC specialists have effectively tracked issues and trends through our Convention and Congress Center Annual Report . This report covers key “benchmarks” that measure return on investment including: occupancy, attendance, rental rates and income, economic impacts, and food and beverage sales.
  • Development 
    Whether it is the expansion of an existing facility or the development of a new center, PwC's teams assist state and local governments, development authorities, CVBs, and other entities by evaluating market demand, economic and fiscal impact, funding sources and financing methods, including public/private ventures.
  • Headquarter hotels 
    Most cities, counties, and states have initially focused on funding convention center development with the belief that the private sector will finance and build a headquarter hotel. Increasingly, however, increasingly more centers are being developed in partnership with the private sector to include hotels. Our professionals guide clients through the array of headquarter hotel issues, including public-private partnerships (funding/financing options, contractual relationships), demand generators (in-house group business, corporate/business traveler, leisure traveler) and other factors critical to the viability of a headquarter hotel.
  • Economic and fiscal impact 
    Due to the potential for significant economic impact, meetings, conventions and trade shows have become a highly sought-after means for economic development. Yet return on investment (ROI) is difficult to measure solely in terms of revenue less expenses, because most centers require taxpayer investment. Therefore, it is important to evaluate ROI in terms of out-of-town visitors, occupied room nights, incremental taxes, and sales. Our analyses can help municipalities and stakeholders to understand the cost-benefit of such an investment.
  • Governance 
    The relationship between convention center operators/owners and their sales agents (CVBs, management companies) varies depending on an individual city’s funding mechanisms, legislation and political environment. While there is no definitive structure for all destinations, it is certain that the most effective relationships are those that consider efficient internal communication, clearly-defined roles and responsibilities, quality client service, and proper allocation of resources. PwC professionals can help evaluate the effectiveness of existing organizational structures and suggest recommended improvements when necessary.

Guiding innovative growth

PwC specialists are recognized as leaders in the convention industry.
By monitoring and benchmarking both the industry and its trends, we are able to grow your business in relevant and innovative ways.

Contact us

Steven J. Barr
Consumer Markets Leader
Tel: +1 (415) 498 5190

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