Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

Meet in RI

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to Rhode Island's hospitality and tourism industry. With meetings and events halted for the last year, hotels, venues, restaurants, shops and more have had to deal with abruptly losing an entire customer base brought in by these events. 

As we move forward and plan for the return of meetings and events, we are looking to Rhode Island's business community to help rebuild our industry. A straightforward and impactful way to do this is to Meet in RI. Commit to hosting a future meeting, event or convention in your home state. Keep your meetings local and invest in the future of the state you live and work in.

The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to assist with booking events of any size. Offering expert complimentary services, the PWCVB team makes planning a meeting easy. Take the pledge and commit to meeting in RI.

Click here to pledge



A Snapshot of RI's Meetings Industry Before & After COVID-19

2019

There were 250 meetings, conventions and sporting events booked by the PWCVB that took place, resulting in:

$74.9 Million 
In Direct Spending

110,120
Hotel Room Nights Utilized

186,577
People Attended These Events

2020

There were 44 meetings, conventions and sporting events booked by the PWCVB that took place, resulting in:

$18.4 Million
In Direct Spending

28,670
Hotel Room Nights Utilized

60,800
People Attended These Events

All of the 2020 events were held in January, February and the first half of March.

There was a 75.3% reduction from 2019 to 2020 when comparing calculated direct spending.


What is Direct Spending?  

  • Room revenue
  • Catering
  • Dining in restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Parking
  • Transportation
  • Business services
  • Convention Center rental fees

Providence 2019-2020 Hotel Occupancy


Warwick Occupancy 2019-2020


The Impacts of the Pandemic on the Hospitality Workforce in Rhode Island

7.3%
Unemployment Rate Overall in RI

In Nov. 2020

18.9%
Unemployment Rate for Hospitality Workers in RI

In Nov. 2020

It takes 13 booked hotel rooms to keep a housekeeper employed for one day.


The Road Ahead

Meeting Planner Sentiment as Reported by US Travel

Close to six in 10 (58%) do not anticipate resuming face-to-face events until the second half of 2021 — Q3 (29%) and Q4 (29%)

More than eight in 10 (81%) believe it will take until 2023 to return to at least 80% of pre-COVID-19 annual event levels



Meet in Rhode Island

For Rhode Island to begin the slow climb back we will need the support of our corporate community.

Commit to holding at least one of these in Rhode Island between 2022–24:

  • Meeting
    • Sales
    • Board
    • Committees
    • Retreats
    • Product Launch
    • Incentive
  • Convention
  • Trade Show

Let the PWCVB Become Part/an Extension of Your Meeting Planning Team

The PWCVB’s staff of professionals will work with your team to:

  • Research hotel availability and rates and coordinate proposals
  • Recommend off-site venues and free time activities
  • Host site inspections of the area for decision makers
  • Onsite support for tourism info
  • Assist with additional details to make the event a success

Find out more about our convention services offerings here.


How We Are Adapting To Planning Meetings in the COVID-19 Era

This past year gave the PWCVB and Rhode Island Convention Center the rare opportunity to closely evaluate how we do business. We're embracing new technology and developing processes to ensure our destination comes back stronger and ahead of the curve when meetings return. Some highlights of our plans for safe and successful meetings are:

  • Access to rapid testing
  • Value
  • Detailed safety and sanitization information
  • Equipment for outdoor meetings
  • Opportunity for hybrid meetings that blend in-person meeting with online content 
    • New virtual studio at RI Convention Center
    • Remote live-casting opportunities

Pledge to Meet in RI

Businesses committing to the pledge will be recognized by our partner Providence Business News and on GoProvidence’s website and social media platforms. Click here to pledge now.

PBN Logo

Meet the PWCVB Sales Team

THOMAS RIEL

Vice President of Sales & Service

Phone: 401-456-0229

JOHN GIBBONS

Executive Director of RI Sports Commission

Phone: 401-456-0240

KATHLEEN CESERETTI, CMP, CEM

Director of National Accounts
Mid-West Region / International

Phone: 401-456-0234

KERRI FURTADO

National Sales Manager
Southeast Region/Religious & Fraternal

Phone: 401-456-0238

Anissa Ladd

Director of National Accounts
DC Market

Phone: 401-456-0233

Jonathan Neis

Sales & Services Manager

Phone: 401-456-0236

Questions? Please email meetings@GoProvidence.com.