Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center, is excited to celebrate our official 5th Year Anniversary today!
The venue opened its doors on January 31, 2014 with a Grand Opening Gala that included performances by the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra Second Street Big Band, the Jimmy Church Band, artist Aaron Kizer, and headlined with a concert by CMA Award winning country star, Sara Evans with over 2,200 people in attendance.
Over the course of the weekend, even more people visited the new convention center with a public ribbon cutting and various performances including Great American Country TV stars The Willis Clan, as well as an interfaith blessing luncheon.
Since opening, 590,636 visitors have come through the doors, and the venue has hosted 1,380 events, bringing in more than $14,598,131 in gross revenue.
Many conventions and shows have been part of the Owensboro Convention Center since the beginning and return every year – including
- Green River Firefighters Association – Bryant Stiles Officers School (which was the first convention to sign an agreement)
- Ag Expo
- River Valley Cluster Dog Show
- Home Builders Association of Owensboro Annual Home & Garden Show
- Girls Inc. Athena Awards
- Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce Rooster Boosters
- And many more.
While conventions continue to be the main focus for the building as they represent substantial economic impact to the community, the Owensboro Convention Center has proven its versatility as a host for a wide variety of special events and concerts. On November 10, 2015, An Evening with Casting Crowns along with Special Guest, Lauren Daigle sold out! Other performances since have included icons such as Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, for King & Country, Black Stone Cherry, and Travis Tritt. The Spectra Venue Management team continually cultivates relationships with trusted promoters ensuring world-class acts are coming to Owensboro.
“We like to offer quality shows at an affordable price in an intimate setting,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center. “Transforming your exhibit hall into a concert hall is something that a lot of conventions centers do not attempt, but we like to think outside of the box.”
Other ways the Owensboro Convention Center has proven its versatility over the last half decade has been through the creation of events by the Spectra Venue Management Team, which are done primarily in an effort to provide entertainment options to the community that fill gaps in the calendar year. These events are created, produced, and marketed by the local Spectra team. These annual signature events include:
- Your Perfect Day Wedding Show in January
- Shamrock Bash in March
- 4th Fest in July
- Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Expo in November
- Quarterly Cork & Cuisine wine dinners.
In the past 5 years, the Spectra team has worked hand in hand with several partners on sponsoring these events as well as sponsoring areas of the building, including Owensboro Health, Kentucky Legend, and Gulfstream Enterprises. “Our goal is to work with organizations on what they are wanting to accomplish over the next few years and see how we can be of align with those goals,” Alexander says. An example of this is the partnership with Kentucky Legend, who wanted an avenue to test sample some of their products so they sponsored the Kentucky Legend Artisan Café in the lobby. “Partnering with local vendors and organizations is a big priority for us. We try to use local products and local vendors as much as we can, “said Alexander. ‘The local community comes out to support us and we want to support them.”
In August of 2015, the Owensboro Convention Center and partners launched OwensboroTickets.com – a full scale platform for online ticket sales, marketing, admission management, and more. In Fiscal Year 2017-2018, 168 unique events were listed on the system and 103,154 tickets were sold online with purchases from 41 states and 4 countries for total gross sales of nearly $2 million last year.
The Owensboro Convention Center has won several accolades over the last five years and was most recently distinguished with a 2018 Facilities & Destinations Prime Site Award Winner. The Owensboro Convention Center is a three-time ConventionSouth Reader’ Choice Award Winner (2015, 2016, and 2018).
Our Facebook page has grown to over 21,000 Likes, Twitter Followers at over 2,800 and Instagram at over 1,300 Followers. Share your memories of the past 5 years with us! #OCCShareYourMemories We’re looking forward to making more!
FAST FUN FACTS:
- Largest Publicly Attended Event – Owensboro Flea Market in March 2014. Over 12,000 in attendance over the 3 days.
- Celebrities You May Not Have Known Who Have Been at the Owensboro Convention Center
- Former President Bill Clinton (Campaign Stop for Alison Lundergran Grimes on 10-21-14)
- Three’s Company Star, Joyce DeWitt (Collector Con on 11-1-14)
- Over 325,000 sodas and bottled waters have been sold since opening