Growth is good for convention centers. For meeting and convention destinations, the convention center often is the focal point of the area and contributes greatly to the overall image and perception of the city.
New, expanded or renovated centers send a message to planners and groups that status quo is not acceptable. When destinations improve their major meeting facility—or add a new one—they’re making a bold statement that enhances their infrastructure.
Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center
Cleveland is on a roll. It has $2 billion in new tourism projects—including the new Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center.
Slated to open in August 2013, the $465 million Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center (CMMCC) will feature a 230,000-square-foot, L-shaped exhibition hall, 92,000 square feet of meeting space, a four-story atrium in the Medical Mart and a 30,000-square-foot grand ballroom with views of Lake Erie.
Promoting itself as “the world’s only facility targeted specifically to the medical and healthcare industries”, the CMMCC will combine showrooms, an exhibition hall and conference facilities focused on the medical marketplace.
“We’re a big part of the boom in Cleveland,” says Jim Bennett, senior vice-president and head of the CMMCC. “This community is making an amazing commitment in facilities, hospitality and attractions.”
Besides the impressive floor plan, amenities and high-tech capabilities of the CMMCC, Bennett says strong ties with Cleveland’s highly respected medical institutions will enhance the meeting experience.
“We have very strong support from our medical community and academia and they’ll provide speakers, video conferencing and other elements,” Bennett says. “Cleveland’s healthcare institutions are one of the largest customers of medical products in the world and there are more than 400 bioscience companies located in northeast Ohio.”
Ottawa Convention Centre
The Ottawa Convention Centre (OCC) has been a rousing success since its debut in mid-April last year. It has hosted 562 events, including international conventions and two national political conventions.
“As a G8 capital city, we needed a new facility that could accommodate larger, world-class events,” says Daniel Coates, marketing manager at the OCC. “The center has given Ottawa a renewed excitement for meetings and conventions.”
Distinguished by its bold design, bright and naturally lit interior, eco-friendly elements and views, the OCC has a 100-foot high expansive glass facade facing Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal.
Encompassing 192,000 square feet of function space, the Centre has 28 meeting rooms, in addition to a 55,741-square-foot multipurpose hall and a 19,032-square-foot ballroom.
Coates says a variety of small but important amenities set the OCC apart and make it a user-friendly facility.
“Attendees love that we’re fully carpeted, our interactive kitchen where we can host events, the touch panel screens in meeting rooms to control lighting and temperature, and our page program, which is similar to a concierge service,” Coates says.
During events, pages ride Segways offering directions, details on the Centre and the city, and other information to attendees.
“The goal during the construction phase of the OCC and after we opened has been to always exceed expectations,” Coates says. “We’ve accomplished our goal and will continue in those efforts.”