Venue News: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Baltimore Convention Center, Venue 42 by Convene and KAFD Conference Center

March 26, 2024

Meeting and convention facilities across the country and around the globe have been inking new deals with leading hospitality and management providers, upgrading technology infrastructure and launching new premium spaces to accommodate the ever-growing demand from event organizers.

Smart City Networks Completes Network Upgrade at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

Smart City Networks, provider of utilities, technology and telecommunications services for convention centers and hospitality venues, completed an almost $1 million network upgrade for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas (KBHCCD) in Dallas.

Started in July 2023 and completed in January, the upgrade encompasses improvements to edge switches, installation of new core gear, deployment of new wireless controllers and the rewiring of more than 180 fiber connections. The upgraded infrastructure guarantees uninterrupted connectivity, designed to enhance the technological experience for all visitors attending events at the KBHCCD, according to Smart City officials.

“This upgrade continues our long and ongoing history of continual upgrades at our partner facilities,” said David Langford, vice president of technology for Smart City Networks, which currently operates in more than 50 convention and meeting facilities nationwide. “This upgrade sets us on the path of ensuring the physical infrastructure is capable of handling ongoing upgrades for the next two decades at Kay Bailey Hutchison in Dallas.”

Looking ahead, Smart City will continue to partner with the City of Dallas and venue management company OVG360 as approved expansion plans for the convention center move forward.

Baltimore Convention Center Teams Up With Levy

  The Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) tapped Levy to serve as its exclusive food and beverage provider, beginning in July. Together, the two entities will work to bring an elevated, refreshed mindset to food and beverage at the downtown convention center, according to Levy officials.


“We’re beyond thrilled to partner with the Baltimore Convention Center to showcase what makes this city an incredible destination,” said Levy CEO Andy Lansing. “From the most high-profile national events and corporate meetings to special occasions, we’ll spotlight Baltimore’s food and beverage culture in unique ways.”

As part of the agreement, the BCC and Levy will work together to craft menus, dining concepts and catering experiences that will be activated throughout the venue. In addition to unveiling new offerings, the partnership will focus on creative, elevated catering for major events, as well as prioritizing partnerships with local community organizations and minority- and women-owned businesses, while also continuing to elevate and expand sustainability initiatives.   

Levy’s Convention Centers division serves events of all sizes at major venues, including the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio; David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh; Javits Center in New York; Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Austin Convention Center and Los Angeles Convention Center, among others.

ASM Global Assumes Management of KAFD Conference Center in Riyadh

ASM Global entered into a strategic partnership with the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC) to lead the operation and management of the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Conference Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  

Gautam Sashittal, CEO of KAFD DMC (left) and Iain Wooldridge, CFO and VP, Regional Planning, MENA, ASM Global (right).

The state-of-the-art facility features a 1,215 square-meter (13,078 square-foot) banquet hall that can accommodate up to 800 guests, a 600-seat auditorium with full lecture and cinema support and several outdoor plazas. The venue is fitted with operable walls and retractable projection screens that allow for different configurations and digital networking.

“Our commitment to excellence in venue management, event production and customer service aligns perfectly with the KAFD Convention Centre’s vision of becoming a global event destination,” said Paul Sergeant, ASM Global’s executive vice president of Asia and MENA (Middle East/North Africa). “With ASM Global MENA’s extensive global network, expertise and industry-leading technology, we aim to provide event organizers with the tools and support they need to host successful and memorable events.

Home to 1.6 million sq. m. (17,222,256 sq. ft.) of high-end office spaces, venues and luxury residences, KAFD is touted as the largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified mixed-use business district in the world, according to ASM Global officials. It is owned and managed by the King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Convene Announces New Location in Midtown Manhattan 

Convene, a global lifestyle hospitality company that designs and manages premium meeting, event and flexible workspaces, is gearing up to open Venue 42 by Convene, a new meeting and conference center located at 5 Times Square in Midtown Manhattan on April 1. 

Occupying approximately 30,000 square feet on the 5th floor of the 1.1 million sq.-ft. building, Venue 42 by Convene will be the 15th Convene location in New York City and will comprise nine meeting rooms, each of which can be customized for various event types, with the largest meeting room able to accommodate approximately 240 guests. 

Venue 42
Venue 42 by Convene

“Demand for meeting and event space in the area remains strong and we’re proud to once again be partnering with RXR Realty to create an exceptional amenity space and conference center at 5 Times Square,” said Alex Adelman, vice president of managed services at Convene.   

As a provider of dedicated meeting and event venues in North America and the U.K., Convene’s newest NYC venue grows its global network to 40 premium meeting, event and flexible office locations across its portfolio of brands, including etc.venues.

Additionally, on March 25, Convene unveiled its expanded space at Convene 101 Park Avenue, its 101 Park Avenue venue in Midtown Manhattan, which now boasts a second floor and a larger footprint of 23,800 sq. ft. Located just steps from Grand Central Station, the event venue originally opened in 2013 and was renovated in June 2022.

Connected by a grand staircase, the new mezzanine level offers a large conference hall with full theatrical lighting that can accommodate up to 223 guests, floor-to-ceiling windows and an open gallery for networking and food breaks. The venue now comprises eight unique meeting rooms across two floors and a full buyout capacity of 583.  

Convene's corporate meeting and event spaces provide everything needed for a turnkey experience, including spaces designed to maximize collaboration and productivity, full-service event production resources, catering and a dedicated A/V team for in-room and hybrid tech support.  

Have some venue news to share? Please send announcements and high-resolution imagery to


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on LinkedIn!

Add new comment

Expert Profile
Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here.   New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, more