News

Blake Henry Named New General Manager

Owensboro, KY (February 10, 2017) The City of Owensboro and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the providers of Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality and Ticketing and Fan Engagement to the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter, today named Blake Henry, a 20-year industry veteran, as General Manager of both the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter in Owensboro, KY.

Blake joins Spectra from SMG where he most recently served as Director of Operations at the Baton Rouge Convention Center. During his career, he assisted in project development stages from conception to day-to-day operational aspects of three AEG ground-up public facilities projects, including the STAPLES Center arena in Los Angeles, CA.

He has served as an Executive Director for the YC Performing Arts Center in Prescott, Arizona; General Manager of the Nokia Theatre and the Best Buy Theater, both in Times Square in New York City.

He has successfully managed entertainment businesses with annual revenues of more than $15 million.

“Blake brings a tremendous amount of leadership skills to Owensboro,” said City Manager, Bill Parrish. ‘”We look forward to his arrival and what he can do with the very successful Spectra team that’s already in place here in Owensboro.”

“Blake’s vast array of experience in venue management and live entertainment supports our mission in Owensboro to continue to enhance bookings, provide exceptional guest services and showcase the Owensboro Convention Center as the premiere destination for entertainment, regional and local meetings and conventions, as well as build on our ticketing program, “ said Pam Plageman, Regional Vice President of Spectra Venue Management and Food Services and Hospitality. “Blake is excited to get involved in the community and work with the City and Spectra teams to keep the momentum going.”

Blake’s first day with Spectra will be Thursday, February 23.

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Dean Dennis Named General Manager for Atlantic City Convention Center

Owensboro, KY (November 30, 2016) – Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the providers of Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality and Ticketing and Fan Engagement to the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter has tapped General Manager, Dean Dennis to lead the company’s efforts at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A 20-year industry veteran, Dennis’ background and proven success were key factors in his relocation to one of the East Coast’s largest convention centers.  Dennis moved to Owensboro on behalf of Spectra in 2012 to open the new Convention Center and has been its only manager.  Under Dennis’ leadership, the Center recruited over $800,000 in corporate sponsorships and sub-naming rights for the facility and has aggressively booked more than 675 events.  Dennis and the Owensboro team have doubled the projected number of conventions, and have produced and promoted nearly 30 public events generating $455,000 in additional gross revenue attracting over 40,000 attendees. Furthermore, Dennis recognized the need for a regional ticketing system and thus partnered with Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement to create OwensborotTickets.com, a convenient and affordable ticketing service for the region’s events.

Most recently, Dennis and Spectra have expanded their scope of work to include management of the City owned 5,000-seat Sportscenter where Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro Catholic High School and Kentucky Mavericks are main tenants for basketball.

“It has been a privilege to be involved with such a great, progressive community”, said Dennis. “My wife, Michelle, and I have created wonderful friendships here and those will certainly be missed. Our core strength is our team of employees and our organizational structure which will continue to deliver quality service and exceed expectations for our clients.”

“Dean has done a tremendous job in returning Owensboro to the Convention and meeting business.  Because of Dean’s efforts, outside dollars are once again flowing into our local economy because of conventions and events that had left Owensboro after the closure of the Executive Inn.  While we will miss Dean and his efforts, it does speak highly of the transition we have made with the Owensboro Convention Center in that a much larger market wants to tap into Dean’s successful reputation in the western Kentucky region, said Owensboro City Manager, Bill Parrish.

In conjunction with the City of Owensboro, Spectra will immediately begin the search for Dennis’ replacement and expects a smooth transition. Potential candidates will be presented to the City for its final approval.

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Spectra Poised to Make an Even Bigger Economic Impact in Owensboro

Owensboro, KY (October 1, 2016) – The City of Owensboro will be moving forward with their plan to have Spectra by Comcast Spectacor to manage the Owensboro Sportscenter, a multi-purpose 5,000 seat arena and one of Owensboro’s classic, most historic buildings.

Spectra currently provides both Venue Management and Ticketing & Fan Engagement to the Owensboro Convention Center and those same services will now be provided to the Sportscenter, effective on October 1. Spectra will oversee the tenants at the Sportscenter, including Owensboro Catholic High School basketball, Kentucky Wesleyan College NCAA Division II basketball, and the Premier Basketball League team, The Kentucky Mavericks.

Mayor Ron Payne made the announcement Friday saying, “Dennis and the Spectra staff have contacts and promotion and marketing abilities the city cannot match. I think we will see utilization of the Sportscenter like we haven’t seen in years,” Payne said.

The timing of the announcement comes about a month after Spectra shared their successful annual financial report to the City Commissioners which included $1 million in business already being on the books going into fiscal year 2016-17 and over $1.3 million in system ticket sales from 45 states and Canada on OwensboroTickets.com, the online regional ticketing provider powered by Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement and launched in August of last year.

“At Spectra, we transform events into experiences,” said Spectra’s Dean Dennis, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center.  “We are excited to enhance the customer experience at the Sportscenter by leveraging opportunities at both facilities.”

As part of the engagement of Spectra, plans are being made to update the concession area, staging, locker rooms, and scoreboards inside the Sportscenter. The City of Owensboro has agreed to use $120,000 from the Economic Development Fund along with $40,000 from Spectra.

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Laura Alexander Named Convention Center Industry’s 2016 Generation Next Award

Owensboro, KY (September 16, 2016) – Laura Alexander, Spectra’s Director of Sales and Marketing for the Owensboro Convention Center was named a 2016 Generation Next winner by Venues Today (magazine), a premiere publication focusing on the live event industry.

The Generation Next Award winners are young professionals who have made a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows and festivals.  Alexander is responsible for securing conventions, meetings and events for the Owensboro Convention Center and was tasked with placing Owensboro back in the rotation for much of the state’s association business. The city’s destination marketing organization does not have a convention sales team, therefore Laura is the lead person for promoting, selling, and booking Owensboro’s convention business.

Tim Ross, City of Owensboro’s Public Events Director noted, “The City of Owensboro is thrilled for Laura and proud to have her as part of the Spectra management team.  This recognition confirms our confidence in her leading the sales team for us and getting Owensboro back on the map as a convention and meeting destination.

Coupled with Spectra’s resources and “Bring Your Meeting Home” campaign, she booked more than 67 regional and statewide conventions, with 48 of those occurring in the first two years of operation, more than double the projected number. She also leads the local sales team for all other events, exceeding expectations since opening in 2014.

Alexander has led the sales team into a strong start for the 2016-2017 fiscal year with $1 million in confirmed business for the Owensboro Convention Center.

“Laura is a relationship builder and brings great passion and inventiveness to the position and to our industry,” said Dean Dennis, Spectra’s General Manager. “We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to many years of her leading the way for Spectra and Owensboro.”

Laura joins another Spectra employee who received the award, Trent Merritt, Regional VP, Spectra Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality and General Manager, USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida.

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New Artisan Cafe to be Unveiled

The Owensboro Convention Center, proudly managed by Spectra, is pleased to announce the grand opening of the newly remodeled Artisan Café by SFG on Wednesday, November 11.  A brief media conference will be held at noon followed by the opportunity to enjoy free samples of the new menu until 2:00 pm and then again from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.  “The community is invited to stop by during their lunch break or after work to experience the new Café’” said Dean Dennis, General Manager of Spectra.

In conjunction with the grand opening of the Artisan Café, the Owensboro Convention Center and Specialty Foods Group are offering a unique fundraising opportunity to local non-profit organizations entitled “Make it Count Mondays”.  Each Monday, a local organization will be randomly chosen and featured on the Owensboro Convention Center’s Facebook page.  Additionally, 10% of the Café’s sales on that day will directly benefit the selected organization.

“SFG is proud to partner with the Owensboro Convention Center on this exciting venture.  The new Café will not only allow us to showcase our large variety of delicious locally made products but, more importantly, it provides a wonderful opportunity to support our community and those in need”, said Ric Herrera, SFG Vice President.  “We are thrilled with the Artisan concept and encourage everyone to come experience this new downtown eatery”.

The new Artisan Café by SFG is dedicated to providing fresh food using quality ingredients including SFG’s Kentucky Legend Ham, Kentuckian Gold Turkey and Field Bacon among others.  The Café is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and during special events at the Convention Center.  In addition to daily lunch specials, the menu features delicious sandwiches, garden fresh salad bar and wraps as well as an array of house baked pastries, specialty coffee drinks and more.

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Owensboro Convention Center Receives ConventionSouth’s Readers’ Choice Award

The Owensboro Convention Center, proudly managed by Spectra Venue Management, received the 2015 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth, the national multi-media resource for planning events in the South.

ConventionSouth readers and fans have voted to decide the best meeting sites in the South, and it is no surprise to us that Owensboro Convention Center has been selected to receive our annual Readers’ Choice Award,” said ConventionSouth Publisher J. Talty O’Connor.  “The value in receiving this prestigious recognition is that it comes from the United States’ top meeting professionals who hold events in the South. These planners demand the highest level of customer service and quality facilities, and they have contributed in determining that Owensboro Convention Center indeed displays the commitment to professionalism, creativity and service that they require.”

Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated meeting sites that provide exemplary service for group events. The nominated sites are then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best. More than 5,000 voters participated this year in the selection process – the highest vote count ever recorded.  “Out of only 10 total winners in the entire state of Kentucky, we had the highest vote count in the state over any other CVB, hotel, or meeting facility,” said Laura Alexander, Director of Sales and Marketing.  “We are honored to be a recipient and wish to extend our sincere thanks to all who took the time to help us win this award.”

In 2014, the Owensboro Convention Center was awarded for being a Top New and Renovated Facilities from ConventionSouth.

The Owensboro Convention Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2015 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine. A complete list of award winners can be found online at: http://conventionsouth.com/making_headlines/stay-tuned-for-2015-readers-choice-award-winners/

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Owensboro Convention Center Poised to Make a Great Start to the New Fiscal Year!

Owensboro, KY –  Spectra Venue Management (formally Global Spectrum) is poised to make a great start to the new fiscal year at the Owensboro Convention Center with over 20 conventions already scheduled.

“The expectation for this building is to book conventions,” said Dean Dennis, General Manager/VP of Spectra. “Our purpose is to bring visitors to town.”

In its second full year in operation, the Owensboro Convention Center has doubled the number of conventions booked over the original feasibility projections. Five are returning conventions and over 15 new ones have been scheduled so far.  For a complete list of the 2015-2016 conventions, please click here.  From July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, these conventions are forecasted to generate over 6,700 hotel room nights and more than *$4.3 million in economic impact for the City of Owensboro.
*based on regional tourism spending estimates from the KY Department of Tourism 

“Our goal is to promote the Convention Center as the ideal destination for our region,” stated Laura Alexander, Director of Sales & Marketing. “Many associations have a heavy membership in the western part of the state, and Owensboro is very centrally located for their members,” she added.

Many of the conventions currently scheduled were brought to Owensboro with the help of the local community. The Owensboro Convention Center encourages assistance for scheduling conventions and other events through the Bring Your Meeting Home program.  Individuals can help positively impact the local economy through recommendations.  Once the event is booked, the referring individual will be designated as an Owensboro Convention Center Ambassador and will be rewarded with a Visa gift card for up to $200 per lead. To date, the Bring Your Meeting Home campaign has generated over 5,300 hotel rooms and has paid out over $1,200 in gift cards.

Lean more about Bring Your Meeting Home and booking an event at the Owensboro Convention Center at www.OwensboroCenter.com or at 270.687.8800.

New Bulleit Bourbon Bar to Debut at Owensboro Convention Center

NEW BULLEIT BOURBON BAR TO DEBUT AT OWENSBORO CONVENTION CENTER

Owensboro, KY ( June 23, 2015 ) – The Owensboro Convention Center will debut a new and innovative bourbon bar at this week’s Friday After 5 “Party at the Pier”. Developed in conjunction with Bulleit Bourbon and Coastal Wine and Spirits of Kentucky, the customized bar will feature several drink specials at Friday’s event.

Designed and handcrafted by Brian Payne and The Mill Custom Woodworking Shop in Owensboro, the bar will showcase more than forty bourbons including Bulleit Rye, the top selling rye whiskey in the country as well as other limited, vintage bourbons such as Blade and Bow and Orphan Barrel.

“There is a bourbon for everyone, from the novice to the connoisseur,” said Mark Pruett, Director of Food and Beverage at the Owensboro Convention Center. “Bourbon is the fastest growing category in the spirits industry today,” said Jason Bott, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Coastal Wine and Spirits of Kentucky. “It is a pleasure to work with the Owensboro Convention Center to enhance their guests’ experience,” he added.

In addition to being featured at Friday After 5, the bar will also be available for other events at the Center. “The bar is portable, so it can be set up for weddings, receptions, meetings, just about any event can use the bar at the client’s preference,” said Dean Dennis, General Manager of the Center. “Bourbon is more than a drink. It’s the culture and heritage embraced by Kentucky. Owensboro’s long and rich bourbon traditions are celebrated right here with this fantastic new feature for our guests,” said Dennis.

For more information about the new Bulliet Bourbon Bar, visit OwensboroCenter.com or call 270-687-8800.

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Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services, Paciolan Are Now Unified as Single Brand

PHILADELPHIA (June 2, 2015) – Comcast Spectacor, a leader in the sports and entertainment industry, is raising the bar on live event experiences by announcing today that its three divisions – Global Spectrum, Ovations Food Services and Paciolan – now operate as Spectra, a singular, new brand.  Clients and customers look for seamless experiences whether at a trade show, concert or sporting event.  By serving clients as one business, Spectra can optimize full-service operations for the good of clients, customers and fans.  Spectra is committed to innovating the live experience in ways that drive revenue and growth for venue owners, teams, event presenters, advertisers and sponsors.

Full Press Release – Spectra Unified Single Brand

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3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward – ENEWS Global Spectrum

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3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward    

By Kristin Bowen, Marketing Manager for St. Charles Convention Center

3 Reasons Giving Back Can Move Your Business Forward

We’ve all heard about the studies proving that charitable acts make for happier people, but it extends beyond the individual. Charitable giving is also great for your business and here’s why:

1. Your clients prefer philanthropic companies. You’ve heard about companies losing customers due to bad business practices, but did you know businesses can gain business from taking part in good causes? A Cone Communications 2013 study revealed that, “Given similar price and quality, consumers are likely to switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause.” Consumers that were either somewhat or very likely to switch brands constituted 91% of the study’s population. By aligning yourself with a good cause, you show clients you care about more than just your bottom line; you care about them and the community at large.

2. Giving back builds relationships with your community. Global Spectrum’s St. Charles Convention Center’s Helping Hands for the Holidays event is a great example of how giving back builds relationships within the community. This charity event invites in-need individuals for a free hot meal, picture with Santa, winter clothing, and more. To make the event the success that it is, they also invite local businesses to help spread the word about the event, donate items, volunteer, and set up booths at the event to share their services. The Convention Center has received countless praise for leading the effort and they are not alone. Every Global Spectrum managed venue is involved in charitable giving to their respective communities and can help you do the same!

3. Charity events leave a lasting impression. Hosting a charity event during your next tradeshow, convention, or event is a great way to leave a lasting impression with attendees and the local community. Building a home, painting a house, and cleaning up a river bed are examples of charitable acts that you as an event and meeting professional can organize. Similar to a team building effort, attendee volunteering opportunities make you look (and feel) good as both a business and individual.