CRDA News

August 29, 2019

It’s All About the Greeks

The Connecticut Convention Center seems to have become a hot spot for fraternity and sorority gatherings with some groups choosing to return to for multiple years. Read why they say they keep coming back.

Just about everyone you ask will say college was the best time of their life. College grads are always longing to go back to their prime years. We all know there is no way to actually go back to the whimsical, carefree time period that shaped our adult life, but there is a way to reconnect with those who made the experience so remarkable. College after college; and I am not talking about grad school. College after college – convention style. The Connecticut Convention Center welcomes many people and many different groups from all places. Included among them are fraternities and sororities, a highlight of university life.

Just about everyone you ask will say college was the best time of their life. College grads are always longing to go back to their prime years. We all know there is no way to actually go back to the whimsical, carefree time period that shaped our adult life, but there is a way to reconnect with those who made the experience so remarkable. College after college; and I am not talking about grad school. College after college – convention style. The Connecticut Convention Center welcomes many people and many different groups from all places. Included among them are fraternities and sororities, a highlight of university life.

First, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority (AKA) of the  North Atlantic region held their conference in 2007, as did the Delta Sigma Theta sorority (Deltas). The AKAs returned in 2016 and the Deltas came back in 2018, along with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha). Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity will be in Hartford for the first time, while the AKAs return in 2020.

Hartford Has the “It” Factor

These fraternities and sororities come from large cities such as Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; and Carmel, IN. So, what keeps them coming back to Hartford? After all, Connecticut is not the first place you think of when seeking a wild time. It should be though. Not only is it a thrilling place to host conventions, but it also underscores its strengths by reassuring visitants that they are at the right spot with exceptional hospitality and unbeatable convenience.

On top of the many tourist attractions the city has to offer, the visitors remember how they felt during their stay. It is safe to say that few other groups appreciate a sense of community, unity, and exhilaration more so than fraternities and sororities. These are values promoted by the Connecticut Convention Center. The employees pride themselves on making everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. You don’t have to just take our word for it, though.  Each of the associations has expressed how positive the atmosphere of the convention center is one way or another.

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority credited their successful stay in Hartford to the convention center’s “attention to detail” and “quick response” to numerous emails and requests. This affinity for hospitality helped make the 2,200 women from all over the country especially glad they visited.

The Alpha Phi Alpha’s reminisced about their time at the convention center as a “world-class experience” when they gathered for their 86th Anniversary Eastern Region Convention. John Norfleet, their director of conventions, stated, “The Connecticut Convention Center provided stellar service and delicious meals for our events. Every detail exceeded my expectations.” Clearly, when these young crowds come to this part of the U.S., they feel like the residents of Hartford truly care about making their experience memorable.

You Can Get Here From There

            Another key feature of Hartford is its accessibility. Fraternities and sororities specifically include the types of people who embrace an eagerness for excitement. These special alumni are bound to travel somewhere, so they may as well pick an interesting place that is easy to get to. Well, luckily, Hartford fits right into that category. Located right in the middle of New York and Boston, this tier-two city is within a two-hour drive for 23 million civilians. It is also easy to get around for tourists on vacation.

There is a DASH (Downtown Area SHuttle) bus that loops around Hartford to all of the main attractions, even though most are within walking distance. This free (yes, free) bus service offers quick and easy transportation to the eight main hotels in Hartford. The convention center is partnered with over 40 restaurants in the area, and after dinner, one could even walk over to Dunkin’ Donuts stadium to catch a Yard Goats game. I know you get the idea by now, but just in case, I’ll reiterate. Everything. Is. Close.

            Here, take it from our friends in Alpha Kappa Alpha, “The Connecticut Convention Center and Front Street have proven over the years to be the crown jewels of Hartford by boasting excellent meeting facilities, a diverse cross-section of restaurants, entertainment venues and relaxing nightlife.

            When the Greeks are not at the convention center, they are enjoying free time at casinos, shops, movies, and concerts. I know it’s not quite the same as a frat party or a tailgate, but the sororities and fraternities never run out of activities to do and places to see during their stay in Hartford. Whether it is the entertainment, the uplifting attitudes, or the convenience of it all, these energetic Greek organizations really adore coming to the Connecticut Convention Center.

This article was written by Joe C. Cutuli. Mr. Cutuli is a native of Glastonbury, CT and a junior at the S.I Newhouse School of Communications of the University of Syracuse majoring in advertising. He was CRDA’s Marketing and Public Relations 2019 summer intern.

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