The Anaheim Convention Center unveiled its new Grand Plaza courtyard in January during the NAMM Show, the largest music trade show in the nation. The show brings over 95,000 attendees over the course of the four day trade event. The Anaheim/Orange County VCB celebrated the grand opening of the plaza on January 24th by hosting funk band Tower of Power for a high-energy concert.
“The NAMM Show and Anaheim are synonymous,” says Tom Tait, mayor of Anaheim. “Expanding the show outdoors gives guests added meeting and communal space and a greater experience in the city.”
The 100,000-sf plaza is ideal for receptions, dinners and concerts complete with three fountains, a “river” of lights, 60 fresh orange groves, 151 new palm trees and covered gathering space. Every night there is a light show staged every thirty minutes. The design is a nod to the agricultural roots of Anaheim and Orange County and each of the fountains onsite represent a different area in southern California.
“We knew that we wanted a beautiful, resort-themed exterior space, but also one that was very flexible in terms of potential uses,” says Tom Morton, director of sports and entertainment for the Anaheim Convention Center. “We knew that the NAMM Show would utilize it to its fullest potential.”
The NAMM Show is the first group to use the new Grand Plaza for a live concert. Tower of Power played classic hits like “What is Hip” and “You’re Still a Young Man” duing the opening reception. The event brought hundreds of music-lovers and professionals to the new Grand Plaza and the space was comfortable for cocktails and dancing. Throughout the weekend famous faces like Randy Jackson, Pete Townsend, Brian Wilson, Steven Tyler and Elton John performed.
With the NAMM Show in mind, the $15 million project was completed in eight months. In 2014 the Anaheim Convention Center will add more meeting space to the facility to accommodate larger events and run concurrent meetings. The overall space will be over a quarter million sf.