On January 6, IEI president, Robb Thornsberry produced the opening night event for 1200 attendees of The Special Event Conference & Tradeshow. Although this is a typical event for many Anaheim conventions, these were not your typical convention attendees and this was not your typical welcome reception.
Attendees of this event were other event professionals from around the world who have seen it all, so impressing them would not be an easy task. This would require a venue that no one has ever seen before. Since building a new venue would not be an option, Robb approached The Anaheim Garden Walk, a nearby outdoor shopping mall that had plenty of space and was within walking distance of the convention center or a brief 2 minute shuttle ride. The challenge was to create an event that had to impress in a venue that has never been used as an event venue before.
Utilizing two levels, in the back portion of the shopping center that sees very little foot traffic was transformed into a multi-level, multi-sensory experience that depicted the culture and style of the OC.