The New Normal for Conventions Events and Tradeshows

The New normal for Conventions, Events and Tradeshows

Since June of 2021 I have provided Convention, Events and Tradeshow Photography to 5 major conferences and conventions and several headshots stations. I can say I have been free of getting COVID and do get tested.

Convention Photography of Convention Attendees, some wearing masks and other no mask during a breakout session.

Convention Photography of Convention Attendees, some wearing masks and other no mask during a breakout session.

The meetings planners perform an incredible job, posting signs encouraging attendees to wear masks even if you have not been vaccinated. In addition, there are signs throughout with hand washing reminders, social distancing of 6 feet.

There is always plenty of hand sanitizer stations in the meeting rooms, outside the foyer’s and even in the bathrooms. On the Tradeshow floor I have notice that just about every other booth offers hand sanitizers and masks with their logo.

As a Convention and Event Photographer I am truly in the middle of all the attendees.

Running around as a Convention and Event photographer I need to be everywhere and at times in the middle of many attendees. I do wear my mask as much as possible. Many groups that hire me know I do not stand still very long. Always moving fast to get to the next good shot. The mask does make it hard to breathe but I still do my best. This new normal of some wearing masks and others that do not wear masks at Conventions, Conferences, Tradeshows, Headshot Stations and Events are here to stay.

Tradeshow Photography of breakout classes at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX

Between breakout sessions.  Convention Photography by Joseph Rodriguez owner of

My conversations with attendees regarding this awful COVID disease has been very mixed.

One attendee I was talking with did tell me they got vaccinated. She was not wearing a mask but was still concerned and would wash her hands many times a day if she felt she was touching surfaces that others touched. In addition, she would be careful to not touch too many surfaces so she uses a tissue to open a door or enter a code on a machine.

Another attendee told me that she feels that this will soon be behind us but the problem is that many that do not get vaccinated will only cause this to stay here further. Opinions are very mixed but what I have seen is that everyone is doing their best to be safe. Networking in person is important and builds connections that zoom cannot.

Convention Centers are adapting to fight COVID and other airborne viruses with INTEGRATED VIRAL PROTECTION (IVP)

Recently less than 14 days ago I provided Convention Photography at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Did you know that in early September 2020, the George R. Brown Convention Center (GRB) was the first convention center in the country to deploy the Integrated Viral Protection (IVP) system? This initiative is in partnership with Monzer Hourani, inventor and founder of IVP and CEO of Medistar Corporation. Houston-based IVP made international news in early July 2020 when it introduced the world’s first biodefense filtration technology proven to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 (99.999%), anthrax spores (99.8%) and other airborne contaminants through a heated filter without impacting the temperature of the ambient air.

This is the beginning of positive change to large scale venues all over the world and those that don’t do this will probably find that they will have to adapt. I am sure more technology will be integrated to venues to keep everyone safe.

I provide exhibitor and tradeshow photography and I have seen some changes that I feel also will stay.

Exhibitor Photography of attendee inside exhibitor booth getting demonstration.

Convention and Event Photography of Vision Source 2021 in Houston Convention Center. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

Exhibitors and Tradeshow booths often have equipment or interactive model of some type to show the attendees and many are often interactive so the prospective customer will engage with the device or machine. What I have seen is that each time before and after, the exhibitor will clean the device with disinfectant before the next person engages. Some tradeshow booth attendants will present and show the attendees the device or machine with no engagement from the attendees. Providing safety in a COVID era is important at all levels.

Face masks really make it hard to communicate during meetings for in-person events and conventions.

Masks are highly encouraged even if you are vaccinated. I did some research and found this interesting. The National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders state that about 16 percent of Americans has some degree of hearing loss and about half are younger than 65 years old. So, to this percentage of people, lip-reading is critical and is lost when others wear masks while speaking.

Everyone else that has no hearing issue there is also a communication disconnect with masks. Chris Frith, PhD professor emeritus of neuropsychology at University College London who has studied the role of facial expressions in communication, adds that people could misunderstand the words others are saying if they can’t see others’ mouths moving as they talk.

Conference Photography of female smiling in a breakout session.

Convention photography of female smiling in a breakout session. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

In addition, during networking or breaks for example, words alone cannot communicate feelings, thoughts or attitudes which is important for social and emotional bonds between people.

Smiling is a meaningful social cue for attendees, sponsors, and tradeshow staff.

When a person walks past someone whose they cannot see their facial expression it is hard to gauge if they are approachable or friendly. I have been looking at eyes lately to gauge that social cue but this is still a work in progress.

Face shields are an option but I have not seen this at any meeting yet.

Convention, Conferences and Events will survive COVID!

The goal is to wear our masks as much as we can, wash our hands and to be vaccinated. The meeting industry will survive this moment in time. It seems just like yesterday it was March 2020 and the world stopped.

Tradeshow floor photography at George R Brown Convention Center

Tradeshow and Exhibitors with attendees. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

So the new normal for Conventions Events and Tradeshows will be here with us for sometime. I hope that we can one day get back to true normal and until that time let us continue to be safe, wear our mask when possible and if not vaccinated please do, if not for you, then for your loved ones. Stay strong and please share this post.

Reasons to Hire a Convention and Event Photographer for your Meeting.

Reasons to Hire a Convention and Event Photographer for Your Meeting!

Hiring a photographer for Convention and event photography.

Convention and Event Photography is an industry that requires a lot of time and patience to capture the images that brand your meeting, so it’s important to make sure you hire someone who can be available for the duration of your convention or conference.

Attendees getting in line for at headshot station by proimagesphoto

Convention Attendees waiting for their turn for Professional Headshots by

How much does Convention and Event Photography cost?

Convention and Event Photographers have different rates depending on experience level as well as other factors like how many hours they will work during the event. The best way to find Convention and Event Photographers is by researching their work online and then talking with them over phone before hiring. Have a conversation will help you determine if they have knowledge of covering your meeting.

Ask for references of actual meetings they have covered that is similar to yours and insist they show you the work via online. Not just a few photos but a gallery of images from the event.

I provide an actual gallery showing a Conference I cover from start to finish. This helps my potential client see my style.

Rates do vary by state and region. A hourly rate if often charged but a full day rate is also available depending on the scope of the job.

Tips to get the Convention and Event Photography pricing.

  • Send the company a schedule with dates of where you will need photography services.
  • Give specific start and end times for each day and or event.
  • Location of each photography assignment helps determines time to get from place to another.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot expect the Convention or Event Photographer to work for less than a minimum of 2 hours that is consecutive and not broken up.

Here are some reasons why Convention and Event Photographers are great to hire for your Meeting!

  • Convention Photographs can be used on social media, which helps grow your brand.
    Convention and Event Photography of Robin Roberts at Vision Source meeting

    Convention Photography of Robin Roberts speaking at a Vision Source Annual  Meeting in Tampa Bay, FL

  • The Convention Photographer will help make sure you capture the best moments during your Conference or Trade Show.
  • Convention Photographer can provide professional Convention Photography for your event which will help maintain a professional image.
  • Convention and Event Photographers are great to hire because they can provide services like Headshot Stations, which is always a hit at Tradeshows, Events and Exhibitors booths. As more brands turn into large corporations with many employees, it’s important to make sure you’ve found someone who can take quality photos not just on site but also at all those high moments when potential clients come out from their private meetings or sessions.
  • Convention and Event Photography Services are great for your event which will help maintain a professional image. There is also video coverage that you can have done from aerial photography, product launches or conventions as well as other corporate functions that are always on the schedule.
  • Convention and Event Photographers capture all the action during the Conference or Trade Show, so it’s important to make sure they’re available on the date when you need them. Convention and Events Photographers are definitely worth hiring if they offer these services!

A side note on consecutive hours for Convention and Event Photographers.

I get a schedule that would have me all day but only in 20 minute increments and expected me to charge for those increments only. This is not realistic.

What do you do when you find a Convention and Event Photographer you like?

Once you’ve found some potential candidates, make sure that they’re available on the date(s) when you’ll need Convention Photographer Services. Ask if they will be the photographer or another person will cover the meeting. If another person other than the photographer you are talking with will be the photographer. It is highly recommended that you ask to talk to this photographer and see their work.

Event Photography of Attendees in Las Vegas sitting in Lamborghini

Social Media Event Photography using Lamborghini as the traffic builder.

Remember you will have a person covering a very important meeting or event. Your Convention and Event Photographer will create images that represent your brand.

This person also needs a very good personality and good verbal skills as well. Professional appearance is important. You do not want a photographer who dresses to casual or wears their backpack everywhere.

Convention and Event Photography has become much more competitive over the past few years as many new people have entered into the market.

Convention and Event Photographers in the past have offered CD/DVD or USB Disk with high resolution Convention Photography, but now it’s becoming very common for digital deliveries of images through cloud services like DropBox, Google Drive or WeTransfer.

Convention and Event Photographers are now also offering other services like Headshot Stations, Tradeshow Booth Photography, Social Media Stations, Medical and Health Care Photography and Group Photography to name a few.

If we can help you with your Convention or Meeting give us a call at 1.800.486-3241 or send us an email. Thank you for reading.

Conventions, Meetings and Conferences are coming back in 2021 in the United States!

Convention Photography of attendees waiting to enter General Session

Conventions, Meetings and Conferences are coming back in 2021 in the United States!

Conventions, Meetings and Conferences are coming back in 2021. I can say this with confidence because I have already booked and secured five already through November.

Event Photography of man holding sign with beear in hand in front of DINGLE PENINSULA, KERRY

Event Photography of man holding sign with beer in hand in front of DINGLE PENINSULA, KERRY

Looking back at March 2020, will always be a memory engrained in my psyche. The last meeting was cancelled March 11th and the calls and emails just kept coming. My last Corporate Event PhotographyConvention Photography | Conference & Event Photography assignment for the country of Ireland. I have worked with Hillarie McGuinness who represents Ireland’s National Trade Events & Luxury Travel, for about two years and travel to 9 major cities each year with her. The hope is that 2022 will get me back with this incredible group again as Europe can put the pandemic behind them.

So, what’s happening now in the meeting Industry in United States?

For starters, many meeting planners are getting busy with logistics. Those in the know, realize booking space is often a few years out to get the best dates needed for the yearly conventions, conferences, and industry tradeshow event.

Tradeshow attendees walking past exhibits

Tradeshow and Exhibitor Photography of Siemens Hearing Audiology Now booth.

Though the pandemic caused a disruption on all levels many hotels, venues and convention centers are working with groups to help them achieve their meeting needs. Now virtual is still a component and may be the new hybrid for conventions but still in person meetings at Hotels, Conventions centers and venues will continue to grow as the virus slows.

My first Convention Photography assignment is June 13-16th in San Antonio is 7×24 Exchange International.  Meetings are coming back to San Antonio.

Conveniton-Conference-Photography of Michael James Massimino former NASA astronaut speaking at 7x24 Exchange Conference

Conveniton-Conference-Photography of Michael James Massimino former NASA astronaut speaking at 7×24 Exchange Conference ©Joseph Rodriguez |

7×24 Exchange International holds their conferences twice a year nationally. This organization provides an educational forum focusing on challenges faced by mission critical industry professionals. Members are a diverse group as the industry itself. Aerospace, energy, financial services, government, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, media, technology and more.

7×24 Exchange International is committed to addressing the challenges of energy efficiency and sustainability, providing continued value to member companies and conference participants, and giving back through its social responsibility initiative.

2020 saw both of their meetings cancelled. June 2020 was supposed to be in Phoenix, AZ, and the Fall meeting in, Orlando, FL. Brandon Dolci is the Senior Director of Conferences for 7×24 Exchange International has been hiring me since 2003.

This year’s meeting is at the beautiful JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa with modern event space and conference rooms for any meeting or convention.

Meeting Photography of breakout room at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

Meeting Photography of breakout room at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.©Joseph Rodriguez |

I love this hotel because of the space it offers for not just guests, but for the meeting industry. The ballroom is huge. Total event space is 267823 sq ft and their largest space boasts 6300 sq ft and if you need breakout rooms, well, how’s 52 of them sound?

Saying I am excited to get back to what I love is an understatement. Being a Convention and Tradeshow Photographer, Covering a speaker on stage and creating strong images for my clients is exciting to me. Taking images from the start of a Convention to the end of the Convention is telling a story. Many of the photos I take are used in social and marketing applications and often in the apps, and schedules created.

Before we get too comfortable getting back to meetings.

It is important to note that the meeting industry is coming back but we need to also be careful to follow COVID protocol at your convention, tradeshow, or event.

Please note these are my recommendations and I am not a doctor.

  • Try to be 6 feet apart from others. I know it’s hard but we must try.
  • Wear your mask, when possible, even if you have had your vaccine.
  • Wash your hands often during the day.
  • Avoid grabbing the bathroom door handle where many come in and out.
  • Carry sanitizer with you.
  • Fist bump, elbow bump as much as possible.
  • If you have not gotten a shot. CDC recommends wearing a mask.
  • Refrain from using someone else’s pen, phone, or computers.

Why is In Person meetings on the rise in 2021 even with all the protocols in place?

We are at a point in meetings and conventions where we need to get back to in person face to face meetings and conferences. NorthStar Meetings Group’s latest survey found that 81 percent of meeting planners will hold their in-person event sometime this year. 81 percent of the meeting planners will hold their next in-person event in 2022. Approximately 59% will fall in the second half of 2021. About 19 percent will hold their in-person meetings in 2022.

Just a mention about Europe meeting planners during this COVID time of ours.

Meeting planners in the U.K. and Europe are cautious about getting back to in person meetings and are still doing virtual and hybrid meetings, this was talked and written about in the U.K. PULSE Survey

Recently I read that Maritz Global Events is reporting signs of recovery as well. Company President David Peckinpaugh recently stated.

“We recently delivered registration and on-site solutions for two in-person trade shows, and we are seeing increased sourcing volume for future meetings and incentives”

“Our data shows that we will begin seeing an uptick in late summer and early fall, with a more robust recovery happening in 2022.”

This is positive and can help us to make plans for meetings more confidently.

Is Vaccine Rollouts making a difference?

Vaccine Rollouts are a start and recent new data suggest it has made a difference. In Texas 1 out of 3 Texan are now fully vaccinated. I am not a doctor and my knowledge is limited so I will share what I have researched.

Gallup just put out this newsworthy article.

  • In U.S., 64% vaccinated, 12% plan to be
  • 78% of those not planning to get vaccinated are unlikely to change their mind

Graph showing three-quarters of the US Audlts Vaccinated Against COVID-19 or Plan to be.

As of the May 18-23 survey, 60% of U.S. adults report they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 4% have been partially vaccinated, 12% plan to be vaccinated and 24% do not plan to be vaccinated.

Among those not planning to be vaccinated, 78% say they are unlikely to reconsider their plans, including 51% who say they are “not likely at all” to change their mind and get vaccinated. That leaves one in five vaccine-reluctant adults open to reconsidering, with 2% saying they are very likely and 19% saying they are somewhat likely to change their mind and get vaccinated — equivalent to 5% of all U.S. adults.

To help people get the vaccine, some pretty thinking outside the box ideas have been popping up, like brewer Anheuser-Busch is offering Americans free beer if the nation meets Biden’s goal.

Free beer for a vaccine that can save your life? Where’s this line? I had my shots already and plan to wear my mask while working this coming weekend.

After all I am a Convention Photographer and my workspace is around people, a lot of people so I am well in the thick of the crowd but I practice safe measures and protocols.

Why do we need face to face meetings, conventions, and conferences?

Having face to face with your peers in your industry is critical on many levels.

Here is my personal list of why face to face meetings is important.

  • Face-to-face conventions, meetings, conferences or more productive because they are focused.

Think about this, in person meetings often are more positive and productive. Meeting face to face creates more ideas than a virtual meeting.

  • Technology at meetings is constantly evolving and improve our ability to meet and network at higher levels.

As a Corporate Photographer for meetings, I have seen conference attendees use their phones, tablets, and Laptops more, to look at the conference schedules and events. Also, social media usage skyrockets which relates to many mentions of the meeting they are at. Meeting attendees post their favorite speakers on their LinkedIn and other social media accounts. So being in person is an integral part of any meeting.

  • Building Strong Relationships

Face to face meetings is vital for long-term business relationships. Meeting your client shows that you value their business and time. Reconnecting at a convention or tradeshow with a client always brings positive results and helps create a bond and often friendship.

  • Loyalty and Trust

When you create the face-to-face interaction and find a common goal a trust happens and loyalty follows.

These are just some of many reasons why need to get back to in person meetings on all levels. This past year has created a different way of doing business and yet many still need to meet in person.

So, meetings are coming back and I hope by 2022 it will triple in size, the pandemic will be behind us and we can go back to doing what we love. If you have any thoughts or feedback please share. Looking for a convention, meeting or event photographer? Send an email at

Be safe and remember to wash your hands often, try to stand at least 6 feet part if you can. 2021 can be as productive as we want it to be if we stay focused on what is important and know we have great opportunities ahead. Subscribe to my news / blog.

Orlando Florida a fun place for Conventions and meetings!

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Orlando Florida is a great place for Conventions and Meetings.

Meetings and Conventions in Orlando, Florida have a huge impact on the economy and it’s not just Mickey Mouse that gets all that revenue. The main place for conventions is the Orange County Convention Center and here is what I found on their site to share with you. I love being a Convention Photographer and providing Tradeshow photography to meetings nationwide so my passion is this industry. When I talk to meetings planners and the sunshine state pops up I say that Orlando Florida a place for Conventions and Meetings is a good starting point to look for your groups needs.

I have written other blogs regarding this industry and you can go here to see one of them about when will meetings will be back.

Orange County Convention Center Annual Report form 2018-2019 for Conventions and Meetings

Convention Photography of Orange County Convention Center showing Convention Attendees

Orange County Convention Center
©Joseph Rodriguez

I have put what I feel is more in line with this industry so I won’t bore you with too many details. If you want to learn more please go the OCCC website.

  • $3 billion estimated economic impact (fiscal year 2018-2019)
  • $2229 is the average economic impact per delegate (attendee)
  • 1200 businesses impacted by the OCCC Activity
  • 2.2 nights average length of stay per meeting attendee.
  • 36% arrive by air.
  • 62% arrive by auto.
  • 8% of the meeting attendee head to the beach!
  • 10% nightlife
  • 23% dining. So many places to go.
  • 18% Theme parks
  • 17% shopping

Some of Orlando’s largest conventions and the economic impact in dollars below.

Please note, this just for the OCCC and not the other hotels that host their own conventions and meetings.

  • AAU Volleyball Nationals has 110,000 attendees and $141.2 million.
  • Premiere Orlando 2019 had 57,000 in attendance and 146.3 million.
  • HIMSS had 46,480 and $119.3 million.
  • PGA Merchandise Show 2019 had 43,000 and $110.4 million.
  • MegaCon Orlando had 68,000 and $87.3 million

When I cover a meeting, it has been at the OCCC but also many of the hotels and resorts. I just have a great time, every time. The locations are always beautiful and the experience that I hope anyone that goes to conventions and conferences will as well.

So, let’s start with the hotel that I go to a lot over the years. So many groups but I will just share my thoughts on the hotels listed here. I will keep it to 3 so as not to lose your interest but future posts will talk about the other properties, I have work and stayed with groups.

Here we go,

JW MARRIOTT ORLANDO, GRANDE LAKES a place for Conventions and Meetings

As with other locations across the country I have stayed here many times. I could probably walk blindfolded around the lobby and know how to get to the pool. Seriously this is a very elegant hotel with enough rooms for any meeting. 1582 Rooms is a lot and more than enough for the majority of conventions that I have been hired to do.

Plenty of meeting space at 144,785 sq ft, for general sessions, breakouts and events. The meetings I covered here over the years have been incredible. Events inside or outside are always unique and the local DMC’s know how to throw a party. Golf is also a favorite of mine and if you love the links you will like this course. Also, the waterpark is a favorite for families and attendees. Location is a bit off the beaten path but there’s a reason in my opinion. Groups that have hired me have told me they want to keep the attendees a distance from the parks to keep them focused on the meeting. There is nothing that you will not like about the JW Marriott Grande Lakes.

Convention and Meeting Photography of meeting attendees on bikes in front of the JW Marriott Grande Lakes

Convention Attendees biking for a morning event at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

Orlando can get pretty humid at times and with the meeting space this size, the air is always at a perfect temperature. The exterior of the convention site faces the championship golf course and offers great views between sessions if you want to go outside and make that call or just take in the fresh air.


Right in the middle of the Disney Theme parks. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a great place for meetings and conventions but also for families that want to be near the parks.

  • 1,001 guest rooms and suites
  • World-class dining: Harvest Bistro, *Bull & Bear, La Luce, *Oscar’s and Peacock Alley, plus in-room dining.
  • Lazy river with resort style pool and water slide on over 3 acres.
  • A great golf course. Rees Jones-designed championship golf course
  • Complimentary transportation to and from all the Disney parks and Downtown Disney
  • Fitness Center

The size of the convention place is something to consider for your larger groups. 122,000 sq ft of total meeting and events space. The main ballroom is 35,925 sq ft and can be divided into 12 sections. Also, there is 44 breakout rooms. So, your meeting will be successful.

Orlando Convention and Meeting Photography of the foyer of meeting space for Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek meeting space foyer. ©Joseph Rodriguez |


This beautiful breath-taking resort is on the other side of the meetings space of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and has 30,000 sq ft of meeting space as well. The largest ballroom is under 8000 sq ft and have a pre function space of under 5000 sq ft.

Orlando Convention Photography of Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, FL

Rear view Waldorf Astoria from Championship Golf Course. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

As an Orlando Convention Photographer, I have covered meetings that took both meeting areas and resorts. Walking to and from the Hilton and Waldorf from 6 am to 11 pm for 4 sometimes 5 days straight has kept me in shape but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Below are some of the amenities that the Waldorf has on property, note the * means that this is shared with the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

  • Rees Jones-designed championship course that is shared with the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.
  • Restaurants and Lounges: *Bull & Bear, *Oscar’s, Sir Harry’s Lounge, Aquamarine, The Clubhouse Grille and in-room dining.
  • A Pool of its own and Private Cabanas.
  • Fitness Center

Now these properties provide ample space for any convention or conference and event but off-site venues are what makes this destination stand out. Let me share a couple of places that my groups have had their events.


Orlando Event Photography of adults excited to be at Universal Studios The place for Conventions and Meetings

Convention Attendees having a blast at Universal Studios. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

Orlando Event Photography of Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk
©Joseph Rodriguez |

If you ever wanted to wow your group then this is the place. Universal Orlando Resort has a meetings department that can setup anything you need.

As the groups Convention and Event Photographer I covered CITYWALK BLOCK PARTY. Yep, that sound right. It comprises of a variety of venues that include restaurants and entertainment clubs. Your guests are provided with food at all locations served buffet style and the entertainment venues provide drinks onsite.

The entertainment venues can have karaoke, live bands at different areas. Heck the sky’s the limit. If you haven’t experience this you need to.

After the opening reception held at CITYWALK the group was escorted to an after-hours theme park event. The group picked Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

All attendees were invited to unlimited rides in the area and closed to the public no less. There was food and drinks until the event was over. What an end to a great convention week and the attendees were so happy.

Conventions, conferences, meetings and events bring people together, to make connections, friends, it’s how teams gets formed. New alliances made.

Showcasing your brand face to face and the opportunities are limitless. I miss the moments and know in time we will be back to having our meetings but until then I will continue to write about my experiences and places.

Thanks for reading my blog if you got this far. If you need a convention or event photographer, consider my company Professional Images Photography for your meeting. You can send your RFP here and remember, Orlando Florida is a great place for meetings and conventions.

Phoenix Arizona meetings and conventions

Phoenix, Arizona a great place for meetings and conventions!

Phoenix Arizona a place for meetings and conventions. I am a Corporate Convention Photographer and love covering meetings, traveling and photographing people having a great time. Also the awesome clients I have been lucky to be with for many years.

How do I start this blog? There are so many places in the country but I can say that Phoenix Arizona is in the top 10 for meetings and conventions.

Downtown Phoenix is where meetings and conventions come together.

Close the airport and easy to get downtown, is the Phoenix Convention Center.

My first meeting in Phoenix was mid 1990’s. The group was TCAA (Truck Cap & Accessory Association). Phoenix Convention Center was not what it is today. Mike Dwyer, CAE (hired me to be the official convention photographer for this association), he is now Chief Executive Relationship Officer for Association Headquarters, and serves on the AH Office of the President and a partner of Association Headquarters.

Phoenix convention center a place for meetings and conventions

Phoenix Convention Center
©Joseph Rodriguez |

Phoenix Convention Center meeting space breakdown.

The total space is 900,000 sq ft, Exhibit hall floor offers 502,500 sq ft and breakout/meeting space is 150,000 sq ft. I do have to mention the ballroom, with 45,000 sq ft., you can easily pack any large event or dinner. This a great place that Phoenix has for meetings and conventions.

My last job was in January 2020 for Vision Source. I was providing headshots for a 3-day meeting. What I liked about this location is the walking distance to just about anything you need.

Hyatt Regency was the my hotel while on assignment, which is across the street from the convention center. You can easily walk to the Arizona Center Shops and entertainment can be found at CityScape that is about two blocks from the Hyatt hotel. If you are like me and like to eat healthy you are in luck. A new Fry’s Food full-service grocery store which is just a couple blocks from the Phoenix convention center opened when I was there. Also, there are so many places to eat that are close by.

CityScape a downtown Phoenix mix use development for shops and entertainment.

CityScape Phoenix, AZ Downtown
©Joseph Rodriguez |

Sporting Event Venues nearby

Chase Field home of the Arizona Diamond backs is always a favorite place and the Phoenix Suns Arena home of the Phoenix Suns, also is just a short walk from the Phoenix convention center. MLB spring training camps in Phoenix, no pun intended, is a home run for any group that wants to take their members to watch a baseball game.


The drive from the airport is a nice scenic ride and well worth the time.

A luxury experience that makes this a AAA 4-Diamond JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona is a place for meetings and conventions.

7×24 Exchange is a great group to be associated with and Brandon Dolci, CMP Senior Director of Conferences has been hiring me since the early 2000’s to travel the nation with his them and other groups he manages.


JW MARRIOTT PHOENIX DESERT RIDGE RESORT & SPA  “perfect for any meeting or convention”
©Joseph Rodriguez |

Over the years, the resort has upgraded areas and that always improves and delight the guests. A google search said this resort offers about 212,500 sq ft of meeting space and with 950 hotel rooms, five pools, a river, a spa and two championship golf courses, (I have played the courses and they are always in the best shape and beautiful desert views.)

Convention Photography of attendees during break another great place for meetings and conventions

Convention Photography of attendees during break by sign at the JW Marriott Resort in Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & SPA

There is plenty of walking and jogging areas that the resort has mapped out. The Desert Ridge Marketplace has shops and restaurants. A 5-minute car ride or take the resort shuttle that leaves every hour. Check the hotel for specific times. If you like to walk, it is about 20-minutes. Great exercise in the dry desert air.


Facts and history of this amazing place.


Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ
©Joseph Rodriguez |

Another great hotel and resort to have meetings. Their meeting space offers 200,000 sq ft. The golf course is always in top shape. Great restaurants like Frank & Albert’s, Wrights at the Biltmore, and The Wright Bar.

If you are like me and like to explore there are some great art galleries nearby and Biltmore Fashion Park with many stores to choose from.

Opened in 1929 and the consulting architect was Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Biltmore was erected entirely of “Biltmore Rock” which is a textile block first used by Frank Lloyd Wright to build private homes.

Just a bit of trivia on the mansion. We all have had Wrigley gum to chew on at one time or another. Did you know that Chicago chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr became the sole owner of the Biltmore in 1930?

He built this mansion at a cost of $1.2 million back in 1929. That would cost $18,356,631.56. I googled this to be sure but that is a lot of money and the depression just started. That is a lot of gum to sell. He wanted a winter home because he was the majority owner of the Chicago Cubs, so he wanted a place of his own. In 1930 he then purchased the Biltmore.

The Arizona Biltmore currently has gone under some great renovation and slated to open in Spring 2021. They will reopen with a new pool and waterslide and renovated the spa and fitness center.

Arizona Biltmore a great place for meetings and conventions

Convention Photography of attenddees heading to lunch between sessions. ©Joseph Rodriguez |

If you get a chance to visit Phoenix stop by these places, get a drink, or just walk around. It is worth your time to see what you can offer your groups. There are many other places I have stayed in Phoenix but want to just write about a few and hopefully not bore you too much.

Meetings will come back this year and even stronger the following. I wrote a blog on this if you care to read it, click here.

Phoenix Arizona ia a place for meetings and conventions and if you are looking for a Convention or Corporate Event Photographer for you meeting, conference or convention, I hope you can consider my services. I love what I do and will always go above and beyond to capture the images for you. If you are planning a meeting I would love the chance to earn your business. You can send your RFP here.

Any thoughts please feel free to comment.

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