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California

Anaheim The host of IAEE’s Expo! Expo! 2016 is poised to welcome more meetings business

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ur last visit to Anaheim, featured in the 2014-2015 Winter issue, introduced readers to a meetings city on the upswing. We highlighted the Anaheim Convention Center’s (ACC) newly built, 100,000-sq.-ft. Grand Plaza, and the announcement of ACC North, an annex to the convention center. We were excited to return to Anaheim for the 2016 edition of IAEE’s Expo! Expo!, which showcased all the convention center’s assets. Walking the floors of the exhibition halls that housed the tradeshow put the vast space into perspective, and seeing the Grand Plaza in action was especially impressive. Opening night festivities showcased an array of cuisines from regionally celebrated food trucks under the night skies, accompanied by an Andy Grammer concert. We also were fortunate to have gotten an up-close look at the soon to be completed ACC North and its new parking facilities. Convention Center Executive Director Tom Morton explained that ACC North would immediately add value, increasing the city’s ability to attract larger conventions. Not only will the annex “allow larger groups like NAMM to host more of their activities onsite,” said Morton — the group’s annual event attracts over a hundred thousand people to Anaheim — but it will also be a boon for “hotels, enabling concurrent and overlapping events” to take place. Morton added that the 200,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, with 100,000 sq. ft. on each level, could be utilized for exhibitions, and will address a growing need for meeting space at the facility. Once completed, the project will also include a new onsite 1,300-space parking garage reachable via bridge from the convention center, the return of the outdoor plaza adjacent to the ACC’s arena space, an independent 12,000-sq.-ft. kitchen and a 10,000-sq.-ft. balcony overlooking West Katella Avenue. Aside from hosting outdoor events, the balcony space will provide unobstructed views of the nightly fireworks displays at Disneyland Resort.

Facilities & Destinations 2016-2017 Winter

The Anaheim Convention Center expansion, ACC North (above), and new Grand Plaza (top).

The new ACC North will “allow larger groups like NAMM to host more of their activities onsite” and “enable concurrent and overlapping events” to take place. —Tom Morton, Executive Director, Anaheim Convention Center 37

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