The Growing Meet Market

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 3, Pg. 48-51


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The Delaware cities of Dover and Wilmington are only 5 mi apart. Their combined populations barely exceed 100,000. Yet each city is planning to build a new convention center to corner a piece of the booming trade and convention center-industry market. Many areas of the country are banking on the positive economic impacts of convention centers. According to the industry publication Tradeshow Week, at most 50 cities are building new centers or are expanding existing ones to meet the demands of an industry that grew 7% per year over the past decade. Most construction and engineering firms feel the market is a solid one, despite the currently sluggish economy. Obviously the centers are a gamble for growth by various government officials and voters who hope that hotels, restaurants, stores and theaters will arrive, along with convention/trade-show attendees and their dollars. Potential income is not everything. Most cities site new centers, or decide to expand existing ones, to revitalize a particular area. Basically, convention center designs require floors that take a convention center load of 350-400 psf, attention to column-spacing so exhibit floors are spacious, and a great deal of long-span construction. Elaborate electrical systems are needed to support efficient grids of utility floor boxes to service hundreds of exhibit booths. Fast-tracked construction is a given. Once convention centers are approved, city officials want quick returns.

Subject Headings: Conferences | Facilities | Construction industry | Economic factors | Urban development

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