The Baltimore Buzz [Meetings Edition] - Winter 2016

February 2016

Baltimore to Become Light City

Baltimore has always been a trailblazer. From being the first city to illuminate streets with hydrogen gas in 1816 to our cutting-edge biotech and cybersecurity investments, Baltimore is a home for innovators—and many groups meet here for just this reason.

This March, that spirit of innovation has given birth to a new festival, Light City Baltimore. New, immersive and international, this family-friendly free event includes the 1.5-mile BGE Light Art Walk, 28 original large-scale works of light art, 4 innovation conferences, 50 concerts and 100 performances. Light City Baltimore was even named one of CNN’s Top 16 Things to do in 2016!

Baltimore is a rising leader in the tech industry and home to many innovative start-ups. Recently named the 9th hottest U.S. startup city that isn’t New York or San Francisco by Entrepreneur Magazine, Baltimore will host more than 21 scientific, engineering and tech meetings and conventions this fiscal year, including groups like the Geological Society of America, US News STEM Solutions and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Light City Baltimore will showcase the thriving creative class and innovative companies across many industry segments. If you are looking for a destination with a great meeting package, a compact and walkable convention campus, a highly educated workforce and a built-in attendance base, Baltimore delivers Meetings with More.

Taste-Making Experiences in Baltimore

Baltimore is a must-visit destination for food lovers. While we will always be known for crabs and fresh seafood, our cuisine is now as diverse as ever, featuring flavors of Italy, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and beyond. Our hip, historic neighborhoods offer an array of dining spots, from casual pubs to lavish waterfront restaurants offering full five-course meals, and everything in between. Our convention services team is always available to make recommendations and help you narrow down the choices.

Be sure to check out renowned local chefs like cookbook author and TV personality John Shields at Gertrude’s, James Beard finalist Cindy Wolf at Charleston and winner for best chef Mid-Atlantic Spike Gjerde at Woodberry Kitchen. And don’t skip the new additions from celebrity chefs Guy Fieri, John Besh, Aaron Sanchez and Bryan Voltaggio.

Plus there are many more fantastic locally owned and operated options. No matter where you’re meeting, you’ll never be far from great food in Baltimore. But don’t just take our word for it, check out Baltimore’s culinary accolades from publications such as Zagat, Eater, Thrillist and Travel + Leisure.

Baltimore Meetings Continue to See Attendance Growth 

Meetings and Conventions taking place in Baltimore this fiscal year continue to exceed attendance expectations. Some recent attendee milestones include:

  • International Association of Venue Managers (up 13%)
  • BRONYCON (up 4%)
  • Ecological Society of America (up 31.06%)
  • Natural Products Expo East (up 8.10%)
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine (up 49.81%)
  • Geological Society of America (up 23.33%)
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (up 4.45%)
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (up 36.62%)
  • American Towman (up 55.56%)

2015 was a record year for citywide conventions – we welcomed 30 groups by the end of the calendar year. 2016 is also shaping up to be a banner year for citywide conventions as Baltimore looks forward to hosting 27 groups in the new year, including the National Urban League, American Pharmacist Association, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).


Tech and Innovation Development in Baltimore

Baltimore is having its own technology and innovation revival right now with new tech firms popping up all over the city. Downtown Partnership of Baltimore created this map to show which neighborhoods are buzzing with creativity.

Baltimore In the News

Awards Roundup

Visit Baltimore has been named one of the best Mid-Atlantic CVBs and has received the prestigious Pinnacle Award from Successful Meetings. The 2015 Pinnacle Awards are the mark of excellence for meeting destinations, hotels and conference centers. The awarded organizations have done an outstanding job servicing their meetings, incentive travel programs, trade shows and conventions during the previous year.

MeetingsNet awards the top 40 hotels/resorts, 15 convention and visitors bureaus, and 15 convention centers with the MeetingsNet Paragon Award for Excellence, and in 2015 Visit Baltimore earned that award.

Visit Baltimore is honored to have been awarded a Platinum Choice Award recognizing the “best of the best” CVBs and destination marketing companies across North America – voted on by meeting professionals, the Smart Meetings editorial team and the magazine’s subscribers.

Meeting planners and readers of Meetings & Conventions magazine have voted Visit Baltimore one of the best convention and visitors bureaus in the world and awarded the Gold Service Award.

Baltimore Delivers More Value

There are only a few opportunities left to get more value for your upcoming meeting by booking Baltimore. Along with the unique deals and discounts these Hot Dates offer, Baltimore’s award-winning services platform and seamless collaboration among the entire hospitality community will give you more time to focus on the program while growing your bottom line. Here are 2016's Hot Dates:

  • May 5 – 10
  • May 21 -26
  • June 2 – 6
  • June 13 – 18
  • July 25 – 29
  • August 30 – September 5 Labor Day
  • November 24 – 30 Thanksgiving
  • December 1 -7
  • December 12  –  16
  • December 17 – 21
  • December 22 – 26 Winter Holidays
  • December 26 – Jan 1 Winter Holidays



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