Anaheim, a family-friendly destination, is also a great location for meetings, incentive trips, conferences, and corporate events.
Ever since Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, Anaheim, in Orange County, California, has earned a reputation as a destination that offers great getaways for families. That’s only part of the story though. Anaheim also offers unique ways to play, future focused attractions, musical experiences, exotic culinary fare, and proximity to beaches. In addition to amazing theme parks, there are many reasons for associations and corporations to select Anaheim for conferences, meetings, and events.
All of the venues and attractions that we have highlighted cater to groups. Some can be used as event venues for private events and others offer group rates. Here are 10 reasons to meet in Anaheim.
Anaheim has the Infrastructure for Meetings, Conferences, and Events
In partnership with Baltimore and San Antonio, Anaheim is part of the tri-city Synchronicities brand. The 3 cities share client profiles, convention center reports, and key learnings from past events, which means that event professionals don’t have to start from scratch when planning future events. Launched in 2014, Synchronicities aims to the maximize return on investment for meeting and event planners.
Shaped by in-depth focus groups and surveys to uncover the needs of meeting planners, Synchronicities offers:
- a unified marketing platform.
- industry education for event planners.
- cost-savings for clients holding events in more than one city.
- support staff for trade shows, conventions, and large conferences.
- assistance in promoting and driving attendance for conferences and trade shows.
Anaheim has over 150 hotels providing in excess of 20,000 rooms. There are facilities to support the full spectrum from small meetings to large conventions.
The Anaheim Marriott
Located near Disneyland® and the Anaheim Convention Center, the Anaheim Marriott has 1,030 guest rooms and 44 meeting rooms. The largest meeting room is 25,636 sq. ft. Amenities include a resort-style pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, and nFuse Restaurant serving fresh California cuisine.
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim Convention Center has 51 meeting rooms, 5 ballrooms, and 7,500 arena style seats. It is within walking distance of hotels that provide 4,000 room nights of accommodation. Meeting planners will be particularly appreciative of the free WiFi and LEED Gold® certified practices. In partnership with ARAMARK, the “Chefs to End Hunger” initiative ensures that surplus food is distributed to feed the hungry.
The venue is currently undergoing expansion to add 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting, exhibition, and conference space. By fall, 2017, the total capacity will be 1.013 million sq. ft. of flexible function space. There will be parking on-site for 1,350 vehicles.
Anaheim Offers Unusual Venues
Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center, a complex spanning 25,000 sq. ft., celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Muzeo “re-imagines” the cultural center for the 21st century.
Muzeo is home to the historic Carnegie Gallery, which opened in 1908, and the Muzeo main gallery. The Carnegie Courtyard and Plaza is available for outdoor events. All function spaces at Muzeo are available for private and corporate events.
Every year, the main gallery hosts 3 travelling exhibits. Exhibits in the Carnegie Gallery, which is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places, are always free.
Brookhurst Community Park
Dr. Seuss meets caves in this surrealistic park with unusual play structures reminiscent of the stalactites and stalagmites of underground caves. Brookhurst Community Center has 6,000 sq. ft. of conference and banqueting space that can accommodate 25 - 500 meeting participants and up to 350 guests for a seated dinner (with a dance floor). The Marguerite Lee Art Gallery is on-site.
Club 33 at Disneyland
This exclusive venue, which was created 5 months after Walt Disney passed away to thank Disneyland’s original investors, offers 5 star cuisine prepared by world renowned chefs. Some of the unique and fun features include microphones in the chandeliers and a sound room with 2-way mirrors. To access this hidden gem, requires a connection with one of the club’s 450 members.
Anaheim Serves Sustainable Culinary Fare with Flair
Anaheim’s revitalized downtown core, spanning one square mile, is a “foodie haven” with culinary delights from every corner of the globe.
The Packing House is located on a historical site which opened in 1919. Originally known as the Anaheim Citrus Packing House, at this location, farmers used to unpack, wash, grade, and crate their produce. The venue has been restored as a 2- level food hall with atrium. The vibe is an indoor market surrounded by 28 gourmet eateries, cafes, and kiosks. There is an outdoor garden that is perfect for picnics. The Packing House, which has been nominated for the prestigious National Register of Historic Places designation, is available for private events.
Meeting planners will be pleased to discover that Anaheim features farm-to-fork dining at a number of venues including:
- The Ranch in Anaheim, where, depending on the season, 20% - 70% of the dishes on the menu are prepared with ingredients from a 2 acre farm that is 8 minutes away.
- True Seasons Organic Cuisine features an Asian-inspired menu that showcases dishes prepared with locally sourced, 100% organic, non-GMO, and certified pesticide-free ingredients. All meat is hormone-free and seafood has been caught in the wild, not farmed.
Anaheim is a Brewery Hotspot
Anaheim is Orange county’s draft beer capital. Except for the Prohibition era, the taps have been flowing freely since 1870 when Anaheim Brewery opened. Some of Anaheim’s most well known breweries in The Packing District include:
- Anaheim Brewery: Forced to close during Prohibition, it reopened in 2011 and offers four flagship brews as well as seasonal draft beer.
- Unsung Brewing Co: This brewery blends draft beer, layered with a variety of flavors, and pairs it with delicious gourmet fare.
Anaheim Pulls Out All the Stops at Night
At the end of the day, there is no shortage of places where conference participants and event attendees can take in Anaheim’s nightlife and “cut loose”.
- Heat Ultra Lounge, at Anaheim Gardenwalk, is a 10,000 sq. ft. venue with two distinct party zones. Located near Disneyland® and the Anaheim Convention Center, it has capacity for 900 guests.
- ESPN Zone® in the Downtown Disney® District, is a sports themed nightspot with a restaurant, a screening room, and an interactive game zone.
- Tribune, a speakeasy tucked away in Fullerton, serves over 65 varieties of bourbon, whiskey, and scotch. It’s just 5 miles away from the Anaheim Convention Center.
Anaheim is a Musical Mecca
California is the birthplace of classic American genres like surf music (e.g. The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean), West coast hip-hop (e.g. Ice Cube), and psychedelic rock (e.g. The Doors, Jefferson Airplane). Guests can enjoy music catering to a variety of tastes at:
- House of Blues
- Disneyland® Resort and Downtown Disney® District featuring a variety of eateries and live music
- Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen
- Rumba Room Live
Anaheim Offers Unique Ways to Play
In addition to world famous theme parks like Disneyland, Disney California Adventure®, and Knott's Berry Farm®, Anaheim offers a number of unique ways to play for children of all ages. All are available for corporate group events.
- Discovery Cube Orange County, where more than 100 exhibits put an entertaining spin on science
- Sky Zone Anaheim Trampoline Park
- Big Air Trampoline Park
At the Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center, participants can experience the thrill of taking the helm in the cockpit and flying an airplane.
Anaheim is Future-Focused
Word of Color at Disneyland offers an eye-popping extravaganza against the backdrop of a 19,000 sq. ft. projection screen and 1,200 dancing fountains. Fogging, lasers, and 3D projection mapping create stunning special effects.
While virtual reality (VR) is still “on the horizon” in many destinations, groups visiting Anaheim can experience it firsthand. During the Halloween and Christmas seasons, Disneyland features special attractions that incorporate virtual reality. Other attractions include:
- 9D VR Cinemas
- New Revolution Virtual Reality Coaster, located 40 minutes away at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia
The ATX West trade show, which takes place in Anaheim every year, showcases the hottest automation technology.
Anaheim is Within Reach of the Beach
With more than 300 days of sunshine every year, meeting and incentive groups will welcome the fact that Anaheim is less than 30 minutes from beaches on the Pacific Ocean that stretch along a 42 mile coastline. Groups can take their pick from:
- the historic Oceanside Pier, the longest wooden pier on the Pacific Ocean, which stretches 1,942 feet.
- Huntington Beach
- Newport Beach
- Laguna Beach
Anaheim is Close to Eco-Tourism Attractions
For groups that are interested in enjoying the natural surroundings while supporting eco-tourism initiatives, there are a number of possibilities near Anaheim including:
- Zip Line Eco Tour at Catalina Island
- Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area
- Upper Newport Bay State Marine Conservation Area
Anaheim’s winning combination integrates a solid infrastructure for meetings, conferences, and events by day and places for participants to party, play, and tickle their palates at night. Keeping attendees engaged throughout their stay is a breeze and they will rave about their experience for years to come. Synchronicities also provides added benefits and support for event planners considering Anaheim as a destination.