Meetings Focus set out to discover the convention center news that planners can use, and the current and recent activity is simply staggering. Here’s a look at some major highlights.

Made in Manhattan
The Javits Center in New York City will be wrapping a large and important upgrade this year, according to Karen Shackman of NYC DMC Shackman Associates.

“Its massive renovation project will be complete in 2013,” Shackman says. “The center received a much needed eco-upgrade, which includes installing a new green roof, mechanical systems and a complete redesign of the exterior glazing. The changes will create a more waterproof building and produce energy savings of 26 percent. Despite proposals to build a new convention center elsewhere, the Javits Center is booked for the foreseeable future and spectacular boutique hotels are popping up around it.”

Big Easy Expansion
The Morial Convention Center in New Orleans has been the recipient of a recent ‘grand’ expansion that planners should have on their radar for any Louisiana events in the works.

“The Great Hall opened in January 2013,” says Jenn Lotz, communications and P.R. manager for the New Orleans CVB. “The future site of many a command performance, the Crescent City’s New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center now features a 60,300-square-foot divisible Great Hall, 25,400-square-foot, multiuse pre-function space, and includes hotel-like appointments throughout.”

Lotz informs that the Great Hall is part of $140 million in upgrades made to the facility since 2006, with a focus on technology a major emphasis of the improvements.

“Key-card access and a fully integrated, digital signage system with screens were implemented in all 140 meeting rooms and throughout public space,” Lotz explains.