Atlanta Finishes 2011 Strong, Books Major Meetings Business

Atlanta rung in the New Year by celebrating a significant amount of new meetings business, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), which announced last week that it booked eight large meetings in the fourth quarter of 2011.

All told, the new meetings account for 111,599 additional hotel room bookings and will bring an estimated 54,000 people to the city.

"We finished the year on a high note on the sales side and Atlanta is positioned for another strong year in 2012," said ACVB President and CEO William Pate.

Atlanta's fourth-quarter bookings were:

• The American Medical Association, which will convene in Atlanta in 2015 and 2020 for its Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates, which is expected to attract 4,000 attendees both years;

• The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, which is expected to attract 8,000 attendees to Atlanta for its Annual Meeting in 2017;

• The American Society for Industrial Security, which already is meeting in Atlanta in 2014 and will return to the city in 2022 with approximately 20,000 attendees;

• The 12,000-person American Coatings Show, which will come to Atlanta for the first time in 2014;

• The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association Expo, which will bring 12,000 attendees to Atlanta in November 2015;

• GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, which will return to Atlanta in 2015 with 6,000 attendees; and

• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will host 8,000 attendees for its Brownfields 2013 Conference.

Atlanta — which enjoys an $11 billion economic infusion from large meetings every year — hosted 16 citywide conventions in 2011, above the city's historical average. Next year, it will host 19 citywide events with more than 5,000 peak room nights.

"We start off 2012 with a lot of momentum," Pate said. "Ten of the year's top 25 shows are in the first quarter. In addition, we anticipate trade show attendance to continue to strengthen as we move forward."