Following an award-winning year and the successful completion of a historic renovation project, the Tampa Convention Center is preparing for a record-breaking year in 2024. This marks a full recovery from the 2020 pandemic, when several events were forced to cancel or reschedule, according to officials.
In 2024, the Tampa Convention Center is set to make history by hosting 39 large city-wide conventions and conferences involving multiple venues, compared to 28 city-wide events in 2019. Nine of this year’s events were rescheduled to 2024 from 2020 due to the pandemic. In all, the center is poised to hold a total of 98 events of various sizes over the year.
“We are excited to embark on a record-breaking year with our dedicated staff ready to provide the highest quality guest experience,” said Juan Lopez, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Tampa Convention Center. “The successful completion of our Capital Improvement Campaign, along with recent additions and improvements to our downtown hotel properties represent a bright future for Tampa as the premier destination for meetings and conventions.”
Events at the Tampa Convention Center are expected to bring an estimated economic impact of nearly $136 million dollars to the city of Tampa in 2024. Throughout the year, more than 354,000 attendees are expected to pass through the facility’s doors.
The beautiful location on the waterfront in downtown Tampa and exceptional customer service from the center’s event staff are a few of the features that keep clients returning. These virtues earned the Tampa Convention Center several prestigious awards in the meetings and events industry, including the gold medal for Best Convention Center in the Southeast U.S. in The Stella Awards by Northstar Meetings Group.
The Tampa Convention Center was also proud to be named among 20 Centers of Excellence by Exhibitor Magazine, which features North America’s best convention centers for trade shows and corporate events. The Tampa Convention Center was also selected as a winner in ConventionSouth’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. The center has helped put Tampa in the national spotlight for the meetings and events industry, earning it a spot as a Top Meeting Destination from Cvent, an event technology company.
The center also achieved Global Biorisk Advisory CouncilTM (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation for 2024. This status is the gold standard for prepared facilities, ensuring that Tampa Convention Center has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infection prevention in its facility under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association.
Visitors to the Tampa Convention Center will get the chance to see the upgrades completed in 2023 during the largest renovation project in the center’s history, dating back to its opening in 1990. The $44.5 million Capital Improvement Plan included an expansion with 18 new waterfront meeting rooms, upgrades to the Ballrooms, existing meeting rooms, restrooms and concession stands, along with updated lighting, paint, and carpet throughout the building. The center also improved its outdoor event space on the Tampa Riverwalk.
Some of the events returning to the Tampa Convention Center in 2024 include the Florida Thespians Florida State Festival for performing arts students in March; SOF Week, a convention for U.S. and international Special Operations Forces in May; METROCON, Florida’s largest anime convention in July; and Tampa Bay Comic Convention in August.
By bringing events to Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center serves as a major economic engine for the city. Guests contribute to the area by staying at nearby hotels and visiting restaurants in the city. In addition, the center benefits the job force in Tampa Bay, providing 340 full-time city and partner employees.
Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, the Tampa Convention Center offers sparkling waterfront views of the Garrison Channel which connects to the Hillsborough River, 600,000 square feet of transformable event spaces, and state-of-the-art amenities. The Tampa Convention Center provides premier venue rental services for event and meeting planners.
The Tampa Convention Center partners with several companies to provide high-quality event services to exhibitors, including Aramark for food and beverage, Edlen for utilities, Encore for audio visual and rigging, Sentry Event Services for security, Smart City for Internet and telecommunications, and The UPS Store for shipping, printing, branding, and signs.