Convention centers are changing. Rather than huge boxy buildings set on the outskirts of a city, ambitious new facilities are being fully integrated with their surrounding cities, putting attendees in the middle of the action, even if they spend much
of the day on the trade show floor.
To understand this shifting role of convention centers, look no further than Seattle. There, the Washington State Convention Center is in the midst of a transformation. Constructing a new 1.5-million-square-foot building, called Summit, northeast of the existing Arch building, the $1.7 billion project will add 250,000 square
feet of exhibition space. The ambitious project exemplifies the changing goals of convention centers, speaking to the needs of today’s attendees.
We spoke with two of the people closest to the project — Visit Seattle President & CEO Tom Norwalk and Washington State Convention Center President
& CEO Jeff Blosser — about what it means for the destination and how it reflects the broader changes happening for conventions today.
From the producers of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, this special podcast episode focuses on the Washington
State Convention Center, in partnership with Visit Seattle.