Philadelphia is a city full of history and character, and it has many venues mirroring those qualities. Here are some unique venues located right in the center of the city, near the Pennsylvania Convention Center and surrounding hotels. Take a look when planning your event!
The Franklin Institute is a museum focused on science education and research, named of course after Benjamin Franklin and housing the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. “We’re such a unique space” Gina DeGiovanni, Senior Event Manager, tells me. “A lot of the entertainment is built in, it’s not the kind of space where you have to say, ‘Ok, we’ve got this great location, now what do we do to entertain folks.’” Institute guests can enjoy rotating exhibit areas, interactive displays, escape rooms, virtual reality and scavenger hunts. The Franklin Institute features the second oldest planetarium in the nation. Meeting spaces include Franklin Hall, the IACC certified Levitt Gershman Conference Center, ballroom style Pepper Hall and Patton Library, and exhibit spaces themselves. The venue features an on-site parking garage, catering, and built in AV and lighting in the Franklin Memorial.
The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial set for a special event. The Ben Franklin statue came alive and interacted with the presenter using projection mapping designed by IMS.
The Reading Terminal Market is an enclosed public market originally opened in 1893. “We're unique in that all of the merchants here at the market are our caterers.” Stevie Martin-Daley says. “So the food is made from scratch, it’s local, most of the food is made by the owners themselves.” Reading Terminal Market partners exclusively with All About Events, where Martin-Daley is Event Operations Director. The historic building is literally next door to the convention center and features many rows of food vendors. Some events also close down Filbert Street – a covered street running between Reading Terminal Market and the convention center – which allows for big productions with more extensive staging and lighting. Reading Terminal Market is a perfect location for welcome / closing / sponsor parties, and can accommodate groups ranging from 100 guests up to 4,000.
A social event inside Reading Terminal Market
PAFA is both an art school and the oldest museum in the country. It features rental spaces located in two distinct buildings – the Historic Landmark Building, built in 1871 with an old world feel, and the Hamilton building, with a chic modern gallery vibe. Clients are also able to tent Lenfest Plaza, which runs between the two buildings. Kate Young, Venue Sales Manager, says, “We're steps away from the convention center, we're steps away from public transit and parking, we're steps away from the hotels,” which makes it a smart choice for planners. PAFA features on-site catering, AV and security, and planners have the option to engage with the creative space. For example, events may feature artists drawing live subjects or guided tours with the museum director.
The Washington Foyer inside PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building
Article written by Greg Kamprath, CMP, IMS national account manager, for the Summer 2018 edition of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of PCMA newsletter