Jeanne O’Grady Goldschmidt, executive director of the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Center, moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles eight years ago. She gravitated to the city of Pasadena, 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, for its charm and cosmopolitan feel. Goldschmidt describes Pasadena as a “sophisticated city full of culture that’s also lush and green with beautiful mountain views.”
PCC is a complex with the perfect blend of the old and new with four buildings for events, including the historic 2,997-seat Pasadena Civic Auditorium that opened in 1932. The auditorium hosts Broadway musicals, ballets, symphonies, the Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Built in 2009, the convention center’s 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 55,000-sq.-ft. hall celebrated 10 years of excellence in May.
Full Steam Ahead
Pasadena is the gathering place for innovations in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Sunset Magazine voted the city one of the world’s most innovative cities of the West. In 2018, the convention center hosted 322 events with more than 420,000 attendees:
- Committee on Space Research International Assembly, 2,500 attendees
International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging,
Great Minds in STEM, 3,000 attendee
CA Science Teachers Association, 1,800 attendees
Alta Med Health Services Corporation, 2,800 attendees
In & Out, 1,300 attendees
Mary Kay, 1,400 attendees
When to Visit
For the best rates, Goldschmidt suggests meeting in Pasadena in mid-to-late-August, after school starts. Or, plan a gathering around one of the city’s upcoming events:
- Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game – Jan. 1, 2020
Where to Stay
Within the last year and a half, $150 million was spent in renovations on Pasadena’s four primary hotels, and the Hyatt Place is brand-new—proving the city’s commitment to meetings.
- Hilton Pasadena
- The Westin Pasadena
- Sheraton Pasadena
- The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
- Hyatt Place Pasadena
Where to Eat
Pasadena is a foodie’s dream. “There are more restaurants in Pasadena per capita than New York City!” Goldschmidt says. Hot, new restaurants are easily walkable from the convention center.
- The Arbour
- Entre Nous
- Dan Modern Chinese
- The Crack Shack
What to Do
Pasadena is a dynamic city with many activities to keep individuals, couples, groups and families entertained.
- Visit the historic Rose Bowl Stadium, which conducts myriad events throughout the year.
Take an architecture tour at The Gamble House.
Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment at ArtNight.
Luxuriate at the Chuan Spa at The Langham Resort.
Take a walking food tour with the Melting Pot.
Take your youngsters to the popular Kidspace Children’s Museum.