07:56 PM

Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau and National Association of Music Merchants Host Grand Plaza Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Anaheim, Calif. (January 24, 2013) - The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau (AOCVCB) and National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) commemorated the grand opening of the Anaheim Convention Center’s Grand Plaza today with a colorful ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by a who’s who in the music and convention industries.

The event served as the opening ceremony of the 2013 NAMM Show, and hundreds of attendees joined to celebrate the latest expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center meeting campus, recognized as one of the top convention destinations in the United States.

“We are pleased to welcome NAMM back to Anaheim, and are delighted they are the first show to utilize the beautiful Grand Plaza,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait.  “The NAMM Show and Anaheim are synonymous, and expanding the show outdoors gives their guests added meeting and communal space, and a greater experience in our city. We look forward to welcoming NAMM back to Anaheim for many years to come.”

The NAMM Show is the largest and longest-running musical instrument and product trade show in the United States. This is NAMM’s 35th year in Anaheim, and it is projected to draw more than 95,000 registrants to the Anaheim Convention Center over the course of the four-day trade show.

“When we sat down to begin design of the 100,000-square-foot Grand Plaza, we knew that we wanted a beautiful, resort-themed exterior space, but also one that was very flexible in terms of potential uses,” said Tom Morton, Anaheim Convention Center, Sports & Entertainment executive director. “We also knew that the NAMM show would utilize it to its fullest potential and they are doing just that.”

The industry-only NAMM Show is the first trade show to fully utilize the new 100,000-square-foot Grand Plaza event space. The Grand Plaza is a uniquely Southern California outdoor environment that can be utilized year-round for a wide variety of events, meetings and gatherings. Here, groups can take advantage of the ideal Southern California climate and dine al fresco, listen to concerts or attend receptions and exhibitions. The Grand Plaza enhances the open, campus-like space surrounding the Anaheim Convention Center and flows between the Hilton Anaheim and Anaheim Marriott hotels. The area also features a special Transit Plaza for efficient transportation flow.

“The long-awaited Grand Plaza is a welcome addition to our meeting campus,” stated Charles Ahlers, president, Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. “This new outdoor environment offers our guests, and meeting and event planners a place to call their own while they are in Anaheim. This space is filled with possibilities and gives Anaheim a distinct edge in the competitive meetings market.”

The Grand Plaza’s design is a nod to the agricultural roots of Anaheim and Orange County. Beginning at the “Mountain Fountain,” the nearby Santa Ana River is represented by a distinctive bright blue pathway (“River Walk”), filled with 300 lights as it flows through the city of Anaheim, which is represented at the center of the Plaza with tall arbors and an intimate meeting area. From there, the blue river path makes its way to the “Ocean Fountain,” located nearest to the Anaheim Convention Center. Interspersed throughout the Grand Plaza are 60 Valencia orange trees that represent the destination’s early agricultural history. In addition, there are 151 palm trees, California-style landscaping and ample seating throughout. There is also a special colorful light show staged every evening (every 30 minutes) that includes a multi-color Ocean Fountain show and twinkling “River Walk” lights.

Providing event planners with an inside look at the Grand Plaza, the AOCVCB has designed a special microsite to showcase all the possibilities this space offers. The site also features detailed information about the Grand Plaza, aerial photographs and a time-lapse video of the construction process from beginning to end.