How the Pasadena Convention Center Attracts People to the City

The Pasadena Convention Center offers a wide array of events while providing a significant economic benefit to the city.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Pasadena Convention Center has played a key role in attracting people to the city from all over the country and around the world. It hosted 315 events in 2018, bringing in 375,000 attendees and generating an estimated $51 million in direct spending at local businesses.

“They come and stay at our hotels, they eat at our restaurants, they shop in our district and really get to experience Pasadena, and that just provides a great economic benefit to our community,” says Jeanne Goldschmidt, executive director of the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau. The site features more than 125,000 square feet of exhibit space, the 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, a 28,000-square-foot conference center with 18 meeting rooms, the 3,000-seat Civic Auditorium, and the Pasadena Ice Skating Center.

“We host about 350 events here a year and they are anywhere from a meeting for 10 people to a weekend filled with 5,000 people coming through the doors for a CatCon or a LightBox Expo,” Goldschmidt says. There’s equal enthusiasm for smaller events such as the Los Angeles County Women’s Leadership Conference (Nov. 21) and Innovative Methods with AI & Big Data (Dec. 6-7).

No matter the size or subject matter of their event of choice, attendees and presenters alike can’t say enough about the experience. Matthew Lyon, an animator-illustrator from Toronto, raves about attending the 2019 LightBox Expo in September.

“My LightBox Expo experience was an absolute career highlight,” Lyon says. “I had the honor of hosting two panels at the event, both of which teemed with information that you could only get from high-level artists and creators. I was even able to make connections with development executives and recruiters from every major studio that led to some very productive meetings, with major deals on the horizon.”

Lyon is one of many people who have attended events at the Convention Center who plan to return next year and spend more time in Pasadena.

“The Convention Center was pristine and welcoming, and the staff was consistently helpful and kind,” he says. “Overall, LightBox Expo was a resounding success that left me inspired and certainly looking forward to next year’s event.”

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