A record number of events were held at the PBC Convention Center in 2016

Convention and meeting bookings at the Palm Beach County Convention Center surged to record-breaking levels in 2016, boosted largely by the opening of the neighboring Hilton West Palm Beach and an enhanced sales push.

April and May are also shaping up to be banner months for the convention center, which opened in 2003 but struggled without a connected hotel to house conference attendees.

Over the next two months the center will host six conventions and meetings, including the governor’s annual hurricane conference. In all, the convention center will host events on 45 days during the 2-month stretch, bringing thousands of domestic and international tourists to the county.

Discover the Palm Beaches, the county’s tourism marketing organization, said hotel bookings as a result of meetings and conventions last year grew by 94 percent compared with 2015’s level.

“We’ve been fortunate to nearly double our business in the ever-competitive groups and meetings sector,” Discover’s President & CEO Jorge Pesquera said. “We’re proud of our team members who have worked strategically to secure new business in close collaboration with hotels and the excellent Palm Beach County Convention Center team. The Palm Beaches continue to earn a broader appeal and reputation as a second-tier meetings destination, and meeting planners will find a full range of local experiential services to ensure their meetings and events are memorable.”

Before the Hilton opened in Jan. 2016, the convention center was limited to competing for events that would generate a maximum of about 450 nightly hotel bookings, officials have said.

But when Hilton’s 400 rooms are combined with those at other nearby hotels, including the West Palm Beach Marriott, the Hyatt Place and the Residence Inn in downtown West Palm Beach, the convention center’s sales team can vie for much larger events.

Here’s a look at the events planned at the convention center over the next two months:

April 6-9, 2017 – Society of Pediatric Nurses

SPN 27th Annual Conference structured for individuals within pediatric nursing and those interested in pediatric healthcare who want to enhance their professional and personal growth while providing a forum and share updates in  pediatric research

April 11-13, 2017 – Environmental Systems Resource Institute Public Sector GIS Conference

State and local government professionals coming together to learn the latest GIS(Geographic Information System) technology. Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system build to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and display all kinds of spatial or geographical data

April 22-25, 2017- Florida Water Resource Conference

Individuals dedicated to preserving and enhancing Florida’s water environment through an educational conference and scientific research

May 2-4, 2017- National Business Aviation Association Maintenance Management Conference 2017

Educational sessions, speakers, lectures and new technology and products exhibition on aviation maintenance

May 8-13, 2017- American College of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners

Serve as a resource to support all nurse practitioners and physician assistants with an interest in dermatology and provide information on the standards in dermatology practice, education, research, and professional development

May 14-19, 2017- Governor’s Hurricane Conference

Nation’s largest and best-attended conference focusing on hurricane planning, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation
an opportunity to learn from the successes of others and identify proven best practices, as well as learning what mistakes to avoid before it’s too late.