Image Courtesy of VisitPittsburgh

Preparing for Pittsburgh: What to Know Before You Go

April 17, 2017

By Allison Ebner

MSA Forward 2017 is just 4 days away! It’s high time to start packing your bags, taking stock of what you’ll be looking for on the Expo floor and planning out your schedule for the entire Conference & Expo. (Make sure to leave some time to explore our host city of Pittsburgh, too—it recently was highlighted in The New York Times as a city now thriving on culture.)


Museums to Visit in Pittsburgh

The Steel City is rife with personality—and museums that highlight it. Looking for something to fill a hole in your schedule? Want to see how other museum stores merchandise their products? Here are some of the most loved museums in the city to explore at your leisure.


Restaurants within Walking Distance

These are just a taste of what the Pittsburgh restaurant scene has to offer—and they’re all practically right outside of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.


Transportation Options from the Airport

Pittsburgh International Airport is a little less than 20 miles (approximately 25 minutes) from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. There are a number of ways to get between the two, including SuperShuttle, zTrip and zTrip Taxi. There are also traditional taxi, Uber and Lyft options available.

If you’re staying at The Westin, there is an airport shuttle bus that provides transportation to and from the Pittsburgh International Airport. Advance reservations are required. Cost is $24 one way, $46 round trip.



The MSA Staff is traveling from one side of the state to the other—and it’s going to be a road trip. If you’re driving to MSA Forward 2017, too, you’ll find a parking garage with an 8’ clearance and room for 700 cars at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Staying at The Westin? For $26 per night, you can enjoy on-site hotel valet parking with in and out privileges. For $22 per night, there is self-parking without in and out privileges that is subject to availability. For oversized vehicle parking, you’ll need to contact the hotel for assistance.


Schedule at a Glance

The MSA Forward 2017 mobile app will be available very soon, but you can start planning your schedule now with the online Schedule of Events. View a printable version here.


2017 Buyer’s Choice Awards

This year, dozens of exhibitors are vying to be the winner of a Buyer’s Choice Award in one of five categories: Custom Design, Books & Multimedia, Education & Games, Fashion and Paper Products. Your vote will determine which company and product walks away with a win.

Inside the MSA tote bag you’ll receive at Registration, you’ll find the official 2017 Buyer’s Choice Awards Ballot. Voting will be open during Expo hours on Friday, April 21, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Winners will be announced during the Networking Lunch on Sunday, April 23.

Once you’ve looked at the products and cast your vote, remember to drop off your completed ballot in the drum at the Registration Desk by 12 noon on Saturday, April 22.


Silent Auction

Are you ready to win a bidding war? The Silent Auction returns this year with more than 90 donations from MSA Forward 2017 exhibitors, attendees and supporters up for bid!

Located in the front, left-hand side of the Expo Hall, the Silent Auction items will be on display and open for bidding during Expo Hall hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning. The bids close at 12 noon on Sunday, April 23, and the highest bidders will be able to pick up their goods starting at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.



If you’re attending or exhibiting at MSA Forward 2017, you will be receiving an email chockfull of additional information to help you upon arrival at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center very shortly. See you soon!

Allison Ebner is the Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, for Museum Store Association.

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