Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) led the way in the meetings industry nearly four years ago by introducing 360ATL, a suite of online virtual reality tour products for meeting and event planners. With travel currently slowed, this technology allows Atlanta to stay top of mind with decision makers, giving planners the ability to engage hotels, suppliers and venues.
“Virtual site visits allow our sales staff to guide meeting planners through a complete tour of the city, beginning with their arrival at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,” said William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. “Given the state of the industry, this immersive experience shows meeting planners the proximity between special event venues, attractions, hotel and dining options in lieu of an in-person site visit.”
With 360ATL, meeting planners view Atlanta’s walkable convention and entertainment district, all adjacent to Georgia World Congress Center. This bird’s eye perspective showcases the convention center’s convenient location to Centennial Olympic Park, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, hotels, restaurants and world-class attractions. Beyond Downtown, neighborhoods such as Midtown, Buckhead, Eastside and Westside give an expansive view of the entire destination and options throughout.
To complement the virtual tours, ACVB also offers an online venue catalog to assess more than 300 restaurants, facilities and attractions that double as event spaces. Planners browse visuals, seating configurations and amenities with the option to create a personalized catalog with up to 100 venues.
The full suite of virtual site visits can be explored at atlantameetings.com.
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) launches a resource page around #WeAreATL to support its membership organizations as the hospitality community adjusts to the effects felt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Atlanta's hospitality industry is a strong community and ACVB remains committed to serving as a resource to its members,” said William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. “These businesses are an important part of Atlanta's economy and are essential for us to serve our meetings and conventions."
Resources available include fundraising efforts on behalf of hospitality employees as well as a list of restaurants providing pickup and delivery services. Additional options include ways to give to performers, musicians, artists and others through virtual tip jars. A list of attractions offering virtual experiences with updates on event cancellations and venue closures is also available at atlanta.net/coronavirus/resources/.
Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) announces completion of its new Exhibit Hall BC project, a 100,000-square-foot expansion creating more than 1 million square feet of contiguous exhibition space. The expansion brings Georgia World Congress Center’s (GWCC) total exhibit hall space to more than 1.4 million square feet and puts GWCC in the upper echelon of convention centers in the U.S. to offer this option.
The first major expansion to GWCC since 2002, Exhibit Hall BC was completed ahead of schedule and under budget and is poised to make a swift return on investment – more than 20 events have committed to utilizing the new space, with bookings stretching into 2030, translating into approximately $20 million in rental revenue and potentially bringing more than 600,000 attendees to town.
“The Congress Center’s expansion reaffirms its importance to Georgia’s economic growth and continued increase in tourism,” said State Senator Butch Miller, chairman of GWCCA’s Legislative Overview Committee. “I applaud the Authority for completing this project ahead of schedule and under budget; it exemplifies its continued stewardship of the funds we’ve entrusted to them.”
Funded through general obligation bonds approved by the Georgia General Assembly, this new addition is expected to produce an estimated economic impact of more than $600 million, aligning with the Authority’s mission to generate economic benefits for the state of Georgia and city of Atlanta. The Authority has a long history of being a sound investment for the Peach State, which has invested $805 million into the Authority since its inception. The Authority has returned $1.632 billion in Georgia sales tax and $827 million in revenue back to the state.
“Exhibit Hall BC continues the transformation of Atlanta’s walkable convention and entertainment district as one of the country’s top meetings destinations,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “As Atlanta continues to attract the country’s largest conventions, the new expansion demonstrates our commitment to providing our customers the ultimate experience.”
“We’re excited for our customers who can immediately begin to take advantage of this new asset,” said GWCCA Chief Commercial Officer Joe Bocherer. “For those that may have overlooked GWCC in the past – it is time to give the Georgia World Congress Center and our championship campus another look.”
The Exhibit Hall BC project was part of the Authority’s 2020 Vision strategic plan focused on reshaping its downtown campus to include a package of facilities unrivaled in North America. Other projects included recently completed $27 million in capital improvements at Centennial Olympic Park and the addition of a headquarter hotel, Signia by Hilton, set to break ground this spring.