- 11 First-Time Shows Highlight a Convention Calendar Line-Up Approaching Decade-High Performance
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2014) – This year, Los Angeles will enjoy one of its strongest convention years in nearly a decade with 29 shows already booked into the Los Angeles Convention Center, approaching decade-high performance.
Travel Exchange, the joint convention of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) and National Tour Association (NTA) this weekend at the Convention Center, with approximately 3,500 attendees, is one of the first of 11 shows that have never before met in Los Angeles. It is also one of three industry trade shows meeting in LA in 2014, allowing the destination to highlight its remarkable transformation and burgeoning reputation as a standout meetings destination.
“Los Angeles is hot right now,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. "Groups that are meeting here are finding they need to expand their room blocks because the destination’s drawing power is ballooning show attendance.”
Fueling LA’s surging popularity as a meetings and conventions destination is the strong line-up of new hotels coming, and private management and enhanced services at the Convention Center. Los Angeles has 10 new hotels currently under construction, with 2,135 rooms set for completion before the end of 2014. A total of 25 hotels are in various stages of planning, bringing 4,970 new hotel rooms by 2017. That includes several within a few blocks of the Convention Center, including the 900-room Wilshire Grand, a Residence Inn and a Courtyard by Marriott under one roof, and the hip new Ace Hotel.
The Convention Center improved its service orientation, with AEG Facilities coming on board as the private-sector operator in December 2013. AEG brought in a new management team and an array of new services, including its new “Taste of LA” food and beverage experience; a new in-house audio visual provider, Encore Event Technologies, the hospitality division of the Freeman Company; and an approved vendor model to give show managers the flexibility to choose specific services from preferred provider lists.
The 11 conventions never before held in Los Angeles in 2014 include the Southern California Volleyball Association’s Jr. National Qualifier (4,000 attendees, March 22-24); the World Firefighter Games (4,000 attendees, Aug. 15-24); and the Society of Women Engineers (3,500 attendees, Oct. 23-25).
In addition to NTA/UMA Travel Exchange, other industry trade shows coming to Los Angeles this year include the 2014 Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Annual Convention (6,000 attendees, July 26-30); and The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Expo! Expo! (2,750 attendees, Dec. 9-11).
As one of the country’s greatest hubs of entertainment, tech and media, Los Angeles is a major draw for entertainment, gaming and technology shows, including: IDG World Expo’s E3, LA’s flagship annual gaming and electronic entertainment show (40,000 attendees, June 10-12); the BET Experience 2014 (2,000 attendees, June 27-29); and ANIME EXPO (40,000 attendees, July 3-6).
Business travelers represent approximately 22% of all visitors to Los Angeles, or 9.29 million business travelers a year.
In 2013, Los Angeles welcomed a record-breaking 42.2 million visitors from around the globe, making it one of the most visited destinations in the United States. LA reached record hotel occupancy in 2013 at 76.8%, and saw a record 27.2 million hotel rooms sold. The destination is driving to 50 million visitors by 2020, with tourism boosting the local economy to keep local businesses strong, and leading the way in local job creation.
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, non-profit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions as the City’s official tourism marketing organization. For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, join the more than one million people who follow LA Tourism’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesFan, or follow @discoverLA on Twitter.