. Pittsburgh | Northstar Meetings Group

Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Pittsburgh

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in Pittsburgh.

Why Pittsburgh for Your Next Meeting or Event?

With its windfall of new properties, vibrant downtown and lively arts scene, it’s easy to see why the city was named One Of Best Cities In United States by National Geographic.

Only in Pittsburgh

The Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum and much more, offering a “research and development lab” for artists in residence to hone their craft—as well as art-infused spaces for groups to hold a gathering or take part in their own interactive art experience.

Transportation in & Around the Steel City

Pittsburgh International Airport, about 14 miles northwest of downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $40 to downtown; by Super Shuttle, about $27; the airport is also serviced by zTrip, Uber and Lyft.

Travel Essentials

Taxes. Room tax, 7%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%

Convention Center. 
David L. Lawrence Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 313,400 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 53

CVB. 
VisitPittsburgh, (412) 281-7711 or (800) 359-0758

Listen Here

Interview with Pittsburgh chef Bethany Zozula

Meeting & Event Venues

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh CVB

Event Venues, Additions & Renovations

• The city opened its first Drury Hotels property last year, the 207-room Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown in the restored Federal Reserve Bank building downtown. The hotel offers 4,500 square feet of meeting and event space.

• The hip boutique Distrikt Hotel brand debuted in September 2017 in the former Salvation Army headquarters downtown. The 185-room property features a living plant wall, a zen rooftop garden, fitness center, complimentary bicycle rental, complimentary high-speed Internet access and a full-service restaurant, The Whale. Evangeline, on the mezzanine level, serves coffee and juice by day and becomes a cocktail/oyster bar by night. 

• Pittsburgh International Airport has become the first U.S. airport since 2001 to allow the nonflying public through security. The facility launched its myPITpass program in September 2017, which permits people to go through the airport security checkpoint in order to access the airport shops, restaurants and gates. The passes are only issued Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and during peak departure times the airport may suspend issuance. Those who wish to accompany ticketed passengers -- or to meet them -- must check in at the ticketing level, show a valid photo ID, have their names vetted against the no-fly list and obtain a stamped pass. Groups of 15 or more should call (412) 472.5641 to make arrangements in advance. 

• The 133-room AC Hotel Pittsburgh is slated to open in the Strip District in September, next to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The upscale boutique hotel promises an urban, design-driven atmosphere.

• The 111-room Hotel Indigo at Pittsburgh Technology Center is expected to open in June. The $14.7 million development on Second Avenue in South Oakland promises 2,400 square feet of meeting space and a full-service restaurant.

• The Even Hotel Pittsburgh is being developed for the fifth and sixth floors of the former Macy's building downtown, which dates back to the late 1800s. The building is being converted into a $100 million mixed-use development, including 312 luxury apartments and a variety of retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The 160-room Even is planning a grand opening in October of this year.

•The 167-room Oaklander Hotel, slated to be part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, is slated to debut on the property of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association at the University of Pittsburgh. A December 2018 opening is planned for what will be Pennsylvania’s first Autograph Collection hotel.

• Pittsburgh native and former New York Times style editor Holly Brubach is transforming the historic Granite Building into the 104-room Forbes Hotel. The downtown boutique property promises three bars and a brasserie-style restaurant.

• A luxury independent property, the 120-room Andrew Hotel currently is in the works for the Strip District, along the Allegheny River. Plans call for fine-dining and casual restaurants on-site, as well as a rooftop lounge and a spa. The opening date currently is not set. 

Things to Do in Pittsburgh

Getting Active & Outdoors

Pedal your way through Steel City, with a little help from Bike Citizens app. It’s filled with bike routes ranging from quickest ride between points to more scenic and leisurely tours, all recommended by local enthusiasts.

Learn the Local Lingo
  • “Yinz” — Slang for “you all” or “you guys,” as in, “When are yinz grabbing lunch?”
  • “Gum band” — Pittsburghese for “rubber band”
  • “Pop” — What “soda” or “a coke” is called here
  • “Dahntahn” — Downtown
  • “Stillers” — The Steelers!
Extending Your Trip in the Steel City

If You’re Inclined…
A visit to Pittsburgh should definitely include a ride on the Duquesne Incline, a 140-year-old cable car from which groups (each car can fit 25 people) can get the best view in the city as you ascend to the upper station. From the observation deck above you can look out on the three rivers (the Ohio, Monongahela and Allegheny) below or pop into the machinery room for the reasonable fee of 50 cents. 
 
A Pop of Culture
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, so it’s only fitting that this city would house the largest collection of the Pop Art pioneer’s works and archival materials. The astonishing trove at the Andy Warhol Museum includes paintings, sculpture, sketchbooks, 4,000 videotapes and Warhol’s work Time Capsules—610 containers that he filled with ephemera from his life, then sealed and sent to storage. Beyond viewing the vast collection, visitors can make their own T-shirts, tote bags and more at the museum’s underground studio The Factory. 
 
History on the Halfshell
Originally opened in 1870, the Original Oyster House has seen the city undergo a lot of change (and has been the set for more than 25 films, including Night of the Living Dead). But it continues to serve a classic seafood menu, using original recipes from the wife of early proprietor “Silver Dollar Louie” Americus. 
 
Sports Scene
Pittsburgh takes its sports seriously. Make some time to catch a home game and don’t forget to say…
Here we go Steelers!
Let’s go Bucs!
Let’s go Pens!

Excursions 

Art in the Outskirts
Head an hour east of Pittsburgh to Greensburg, where groups can enjoy the paintings of major artists like John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, as well as some of the best works of southwestern Pennsylvania at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Home to more than 3,400 works of fine and decorative American art, the destination recently wrapped up a major renovation and introduced a new collection of post-1950 works.

The Wright Stuff
Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright created hundreds of striking structures, but one of his greatest is Fallingwater, the home set atop a waterfall in the Allegheny Mountains, about an hour’s drive southeast from Pittsburgh. The only Wright house still with its original setting, furnishings, and artwork, it was voted the most important building of the 20th century in a poll by the American Institute of Architects.

Swing Time
For those looking to immerse themselves in the nature all around the city of Pittsburgh, Go Ape offers a number of swing and zipline experiences in North Park, just 10 miles north of the city. Visitors can try the Tarzan Swing, walk across treetops on the Rail Track or try their hand at the traditional zip line.

Top 10 Restaurants in Pittsburgh

Enjoy some great cuisine choices while in Pittsburgh.

  1. The Melting Pot - American
  2. Altius - American
  3. Eleven - American
  4. The Capital Grille - Steakhouse
  5. Point Brugge Cafe - Belgian
  6. Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room - Italian
  7. Noodlehead - Asian
  8. Casbah - Mediterranean
  9. Central Diner & Grille - Greek
  10. Eddie V's Prime Seafood - American