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Housing and Travel

Official event venue: Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

Housing Reservations

Delegates are encouraged to make their hotel reservations at the earliest possible date.
Rooms will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Housing Deadline:  September 4, 2024

Element Philadelphia Downtown
1441 Chestnut Street
Tel: +1 223-213-950

From $294 USD 
plus taxes and fees

0.5 miles (11 minute walk) to the venue.

Individuals: Book a room »
Groups: Contact Fiona Macleod at

Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Tel:  +1 215-231-7320

$269 USD 
plus taxes and fees

0.2 miles (5 minute walk) to the venue.

Individuals: Book a room »
Groups: Contact Debbie Huon at

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown 
1201 Market Street
(guest entrance: 1200 Filbert Street)
Tel:  +1 215-625-2900

From $314 USD 
plus taxes and fees

0.1 miles (4 minute walk) to the venue.
(also connected to the PCC)

Individuals: Book a room »
For groups of 10 people or more: Contact Chaunte Hickok at

The Notary Hotel, Philadelphia, Autograph Collection
21 N. Juniper Street
Tel:  +1 215-496-3200

$314 USD
plus taxes and fees

0.2 miles (4 minute walk) to the venue.

Individuals: Book a room »
Groups: Contact Arsenia Taborada at

General Information


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Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is approximately 11 miles (17 minutes) from the Philadelphia Convention Center.  Taxi service from the airport is approximately $30 - $35 USD not including gratuity (traffic during peak times will cause delays and increased fares). 

MDS will not be providing ground transportation between the meeting venue and hotels.

Passports and Visas

If you plan to apply for a non-immigrant visa to come to the United States as a temporary visitor, please review the current wait times for an interview using the tool on the U.S. Department of State’s website.  It is strongly suggested that all attendees review the websites below and/or contact their local embassy to determine what, if any, travel documents they will need to travel to the United States.

•    U.S. Visas:  US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs
•    U.S. Homeland Security:  Visa Waiver Program Requirements

MDS is able to provide you with an Invitation Letter and any International Congress related documentation needed to assist in this process. Please note that MDS is unable to contact the Embassy on your behalf. It is the responsibility of each delegate to make the necessary arrangements related to this process. However, if the official handling your application needs further clarification, please have them contact Sarah Smith at

Personal Insurance

Personal travel and health insurance policies are recommended for your trip.

In Philadelphia, PA, USA

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The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the official currency of the United States of America. Most restaurants, stores, cafes, hotels, etc. accept major credit cards. Depending on your credit card, you might be charged a currency conversion and international transaction fees. Check with your credit card company prior to travel to keep these fees to a minimum. Only US Dollars will be accepted as cash payment for any onsite registrations at the International Congress registration desk.


Currents and electric outlets are standardized and operate on 110/120 volts in the United States, so international visitors may need a voltage converter to operate your appliances if they operate on 220/240 Volts.


In the United States, 911 is the universal emergency number. You can dial it toll-free from any phone. The 911 operators are trained to alert emergency responders (police, fire department and ambulance) if necessary. This is also the number to use for emergencies like auto accidents, crimes in progress and fires. You can request language translation services if you do not speak English. You cannot text 911 to report an emergency; you must call.

Sales Tax

Sales taxes are not included in the price of goods or services in the U.S. The amount of sales tax on goods and services varies from state to state. State sales tax ranges from nearly 3-7.5% nationally. However, counties and cities can impose additional sales taxes. If you are making a large purchase, you may want to ask about the sales tax in advance (It will also be printed on your sales receipt.).  When you are securing a service, you might also be charged a tax. 

Services like hotel rooms and rental cars are also typically taxed at higher rates that vary from state to state and from city to city. The U.S. Government does not refund sales tax to international visitors. Sales tax charged in the U.S. is paid to individual states, not the federal government.


The average temperature in Philadelphia at the end of September is around 73º Fahrenheit (23º Celsius).


Tipping is a common practice throughout the United States, especially at restaurants. Most service employees rely on tips for much of their income and appreciate being acknowledged for their hard work.  

Here are few tipping suggestions:

•    Dining: 20% for a sit-down meal or 10% for a buffet
•    Gratuity: Some restaurants may add a gratuity or service charge automatically with parties of six or more (this is usually noted on the menu or on your check).
•    Bartenders: $1 per drink or 20% of tab
•    Hotel bell staff: $1-$2 per bag
•    Cab drivers: 10-18% of fare
•    Shuttle drivers: $1-$2 a bag
•    Housekeeping services: $2-$5 per night
•    Parking valet: $3-$5 when picking up car
•    Tour guides: 10-20%, depending on their service
•    Spa treatments, hairdressers, manicurists: 10-20%

At the Venue

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MDS asks delegates to refrain from taking children to any educational session offered at the 2024 International Congress. For local childcare options, contact the concierge staff in your hotel, or one of the resources below:

Kiddie Corp
(858) 455-1718

Philadelphia Nanny Network
 (610) 645-6550

Sitter City
(866) 205-5625

*MDS does not recommend nor endorse any childcare company. 

Coffee Breaks

Complimentary coffee and tea will be available onsite during the following times:




Friday, September 27 10:00 - 11:00 Grand Hall
Saturday, September 28 10:00 - 11:00 Exhibit Hall A
Sunday, September 29 10:00 - 10:30 Exhibit Hall A
Monday, September 30 10:00 - 10:30 Exhibit Hall A
Tuesday, October 1 10:00 - 10:30 Grand Hall


Dress Code

The recommended meeting attire for attendees is business casual.

Nursing Stations

There are two portable “Mamava” lactation suites for nursing mothers to use. The units are self-contained, mobile pods with comfortable benches, an electrical outlet and a door that can be locked for privacy. One is near the Concierge Desk on the Convention Center’s second level between Halls A and B (down the hall from the MDS Poster and Exhibit Hall) and a second unit is located on the street level on the Broad and Arch Concourse.

Prayer and Meditation Room

Open to all delegates for the duration of the International Congress in Room 104A.


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The official language of the MDS International Congress is English.

Recording of Sessions

Individual recording of educational sessions is not permitted.

Recordings of all scientific sessions of the International Congress will be available on demand approximately two weeks after the conclusion of the live meeting. Access is free for MDS Members and attendees of the in-person meeting in Philadelphia, and $250 USD for non-members.



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