May 2018

Anaheim Shows Its New Face to the Meetings World

by Tyler Davidson

Visit Anaheim Crushers of Convention Marketing Promo

Visit Anaheim Crushers of Convention Marketing Promo

Anaheim is not being “Mousy” when it comes to promoting its new image.

The Southern California city was put on the map with the 1955 opening of Disneyland, and since has benefited from family travel to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Family-friendly hotels, family-friendly food, family-friendly … you get the idea.

But one industry or demographic does not a destination make, and even though Anaheim boasts the largest convention center on the West Coast—which unveiled a nearly $200 million expansion as its ACC North facility opened last fall 2017—some may still associate it with that aforementioned big-eared, animated mouse.

[Related Content: New Meetings Options Brewing in Anaheim]

Well, the Mouse has roared, as Anaheim has embarked on a marketing campaign to show the world it’s all grown up, willing and able to sate the appetites and slake the thirsts of visitors and meeting attendees alike, with a burgeoning hotel scene that will tuck them in in luxury at the end of the night.

“The overall objective is to introduce both meeting planners and decision-makers, and our leisure audience, to a side of Anaheim that is not as well known,” said Charles Harris, senior vice president of marketing for Visit Anaheim. “Certainly people know this destination because of Disney, and we’re grateful, but there’s so much going on here that people are discovering that helps to tell the true story of who Anaheim is.”

To bring the message home, Visit Anaheim launched an Uncommon Characters marketing campaign that shows off its new image with a contemporary spin that aims to appeal especially to Millennials.

Following is the cast of characters involved with the Uncommon Characters campaign:

Meetings/conventions characters:

  • Meeting Moshers: Showcasing Anaheim’s nightlife and the memorable experiences meeting attendees can delight in after their program ends for the day.
  • Crushers of Convention: Portraying the versatility of the Anaheim Convention Center campus and how meeting planners can create exceptional and unconventional programs for groups.

Visit Anaheim Uncommon Character The Meeting Moshers

Leisure vacation characters:

  • Captain Brew Beard: Take a tour through Anaheim’s emerging craft beer scene with Captain Brew Beard. The cinemograph includes Greg Nagel, Anaheim local and beer expert depicted at BARBEER, Center Street Promenade’s barbershop and beer bar.
  • Libation Sensation: Discover the city’s creative culinary explosion and unique neighborhood concepts. Robert Adamson, owner of the Blind Rabbit speakeasy is highlighting one of his fiery cocktails in the cinemograph.
  • Pho Fan Girl: Explore the region’s most authentic food destination and cultural gems found in Little Saigon.
  • Virtual Ace: Transform into a junior jet pilot in the midst of an aerial dogfight at Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center.

Visit Anaheim Uncommon Character Pho Fan Girl

Aside from all of the new cuisine and libation offerings, the most relevant happenings to the meetings industry include not only the celebrated expansion of the convention center, bringing its total space to approximately 1.8 million square feet, but also four new luxury hotels that aim to bring a more refined product to the destination.

On the horizon are four new luxury hotels: the 613-room Westin Anaheim Resort, a four-star offering attached to the convention center that has already broken ground; the first JW Marriott in Orange County, a 466-room property that is breaking ground at GardenWalk; a new four-diamond, 700-room resort at Disneyland; and a fourth four-star offering with 580 rooms that is still in the planning stages.

“There’s a lot more to discover before and after a meeting,” Harris said, who also singled out off-site facilities such as City National Grove of Anaheim, Angel Stadium, Honda Center and the House of Blues Anaheim—a prototype for the brand’s newest design. “Certainly when you have a meeting and convention there’s lots of opportunity to discover Anaheim.

“Our goal is to delight the imagination of every visitor, and part of that is active storytelling to share all of the fun things that are happening here,” he added.

To discover more about Visit Anaheim’s Uncommon Characters campaign, visit

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