Pasadena Convention Center's 'Little Bit of Everything' Philosophy Draws Almost 400,000 Visitors to Pasadena a Year

Published : Monday, September 17, 2018 | 5:11 AM

The Pasadena Convention Center is looking back on a strong year as it closes the books on its fiscal year, having drawn roughly 400,000 visitors to the city, officials said.

The Center not only fills its own halls and auditorium with mostly out-of-town guests, but injects the community with economic livelihood, according to Pasadena Convention Center & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jeanne O’Grady Goldschmidt.

“Of the total number of events that were held, there were 50 conventions, conferences and tradeshows that generated close to 40,000 room nights for our Pasadena hotels,” she said. “And in turn, those visitors frequent our districts, shops, and restaurants and contribute to the overall economic vitality in our city.”

From “America’s Got Talent” auditions to the nation’s largest conference on quilting, the Convention Center has seen variety over the past 12 months.

“It has been an exciting year for the Pasadena Convention Center and Civic Auditorium,” Pasadena Center Operating Company CEO Michael Ross said.

The Center hosted 322 events, “including the largest (conference) ever held in COSPAR, corporate meetings, conferences, consumer shows concerts, and TV shows. All of which contributed to Pasadena’s growing tourism and economy,” Ross said.

Goldschmidt said that variety is part of the venue’s strength.

“Hopefully, everyone will get to experience the Convention Center because we book a variety of events,” she said. “We do a little bit of everything.”

The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau works alongside both guests and local businesses, Goldschmidt said.

“We have knowledgeable staff that can cater the response to everybody’s individual needs and case. We really try to share that,” she said. “When people are coming into Pasadena, we want them to get a flavor of what the community is all about.”

The Convention Center serves as an ambassador not just for itself, but for the city, she said.

“That’s what the groups are looking for. They’ve chosen us for a reason, because they expect their attendees will have a great time while they’re here,” Goldschmidt said. “So as much as our community can tailor certain specials or opportunities for them, it’s what makes the experience all that much better.”

And the Convention Center doesn’t just wait for people to come to Pasadena, she said. It goes recruiting.

“Our sales and marketing teams attend over 30 events each year around the country to promote our destination. We want to show that Pasadena is a great location to bring your convention or meeting because of all the resources that our city has to offer,” she said.

Upcoming events include “Halloween: 40 Years of Terror” October 13 and 14, a contemporary crafts market October 26 through 28, the “Stitches” sewing expo Nov. 2 through 4 and the De Yun She comedy group on Nov. 3.

“As we explore new opportunities to drive awareness and visitation, the [Center] will continue to engage a diverse caliber of clients that make us one of the top convention destinations in California,” Ross said.

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