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The Owensboro Convention Center Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary!

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
  • OMG!con
  • 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

The Owensboro Convention Center Prepares to Celebrate its 5 Year Anniversary with the Big Ticket Giveaway!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owensboro, KY (January 14, 2019)  Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center, is preparing to celebrate our official 5th Year Anniversary later this month.  The venue opened on January 31, 2014 and has seen just under 590,000 visitors come through the doors since then.

For the 5 year celebration, we are looking to award one special visitor with 2 (two) tickets to every event* at the Owensboro Convention Center in 2019 with the Big Ticket Giveaway!

“We wanted to do something special that was open to anyone in the Greater Owensboro area since the convention center impacts much more than just the Owensboro community,” said Spectra’s General Manager, Laura Alexander. “The winner will receive two tickets to all of the public ticketed events throughout the year – Four (4) Cork & Cuisines, Air Show, 4th Fest presented by Kentucky Legend, and much more!  The first event the winner will receive tickets to will be to comedian Bill Engvall’s show on Friday, February 15th!”

Additional event tickets throughout the year will include Aaron Lewis’s “Sinner Tour” on March 15, Shamrock Bash with the Louisville Crashers on March 16, Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Expo in November, and the 2019 New Year’s Eve Party.  More tickets may be added as additional events are scheduled to take place at the Owensboro Convention Center throughout 2019.

The Big Ticket Giveaway will start on Monday, January 14 at 8:00am Central Time and end on Monday, January 28 at 11:59:59pm Central Time.  Entries will be accepted through the following avenues:

There will be a limit of one entry per person, per day, regardless of the method of entry. *Complete rules will be available on the Big Ticket Giveaway registration.  The winner will be drawn on January 31.

Other anniversary celebrations include featuring $5 Lunch Specials at the Artisan Café by Kentucky Legend® on January 28 to February 1.  The café will be open 10am to 3pm, and the specials will be highlighted on the Owensboro Convention Center Facebook and Twitter pages.

Owensboro Convention Center Again Honored with ConventionSouth’s Readers’ Choice Award

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center, and the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau are excited to announce that they have each received the 2018 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 the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau have 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 the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau both indeed display 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. With over 7,000 voters participating in the selection process and the highest social media interaction to date, this has been the most successful and engaging year yet.

“It’s an absolute honor to receive this incredible recognition.  I’m very proud of our staff and the convention center staff for their commitment to world-class service and hospitality,” said Mark Calitri, President and CEO of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This recognition is a perfect example that when our community works together as a whole, we can achieve amazing things.”

“You must be nominated by an event planner to even be considered for the award and then the general public gets to vote,” said Spectra’s Laura Alexander, General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center.  “We are very thankful that our clients think Owensboro is a top notch location for conventions and hope to continue working with the CVB on bringing quality events to Owensboro.”

Since its creation in 2001, this is the third time that the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau have received the award, making it an even greater honor to present both with a 2018 Readers’ Choice Award.  The Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2018 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

 

Spectra Announces New Hire and Promotions for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter is pleased to announce some promotions and welcome a new member to their Owensboro team.

Jessica Wilson Beckmann is now the Director of the Owensboro Sportscenter.  She was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, a graduate of Daviess County High School (2005), and a KWC Lady Panther Basketball Alumni (2005-2007). Jessica graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelors in Business Administration, specializing in Sports Management and Marketing. She has attained the designation of Certified Event Management Expert (CEME), is a Graduate of Venue Management School (VMS), and recently received the Certified Venue Professional (CVP) designation from the International Association of Venue Managers.

She has spent the last 10 years in the St. Louis area managing events at a variety of venues including a casino, convention center, ballpark, and arena.

She joined Spectra Venue Management at Chaifetz Arena in 2015. In her three years with Spectra, she has worked with clients such as the St. Louis Sports Commission, the Olympic Committees, NCAA, AEG, and LiveNation.

“The Owensboro Sportscenter is nostalgic for me.  I look out the window of my new office and I can see where my Grandfather Bullet Wilson, KWC Hall of Famer, coached. Like many others, I grew up on the sidelines of this arena in the heyday of the Ray Harper and Bruce Pearl rivalry.  My family history is tied to this building, the tenants, and this city. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be back home to help grow the Sportscenter and continue to bring a number of new events to the facility.” Jessica stated.

Heather Terry has been promoted to Director of Sales for the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter. Heather started her career with Spectra as a Sales Manager in 2015.  When Spectra was awarded the contract for the Owensboro Sportscenter in September 2016, she became a Sales Manager for that property as well.  Her primary responsibility in her new role will be to book conventions and special events while overseeing the Sales Team.

Prior to her work with Spectra, she worked as an Inside Sales Manager for Dell, Inc. as well as a Supervisor at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, both in Nashville, TN.

Heather graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College with a Bachelors in Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations and Advertising.  She has an Associate’s Degree from Owensboro Community and Technical College in Organizational Communications.

Cody Ball has been promoted to Operations Manager at the Owensboro Convention Center. Cody joined the Spectra team in 2017 as a Housekeeping Lead and quickly transitioned over to setups and AV, including the new videoboards at the Owensboro Sportscenter. “We look forward to great things from Cody in his future with Spectra,” said Allen Herzog, Director of Operations.

 

 

Spectra Announces New Hire and Promotions for the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter

Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter is pleased to announce some promotions and welcome a new member to their Owensboro team.

Executive Chef Matthew Dewalt joins the Owensboro team from another Spectra Venue, Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA.  A graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, PA, he has over 18 years of experience, including country clubs, restaurants and the Ritz Carlton. “His menu planning skills, management style, and teaching abilities will be a great asset,” stated Spectra Food and Beverage Director Mark Pruett.  “We look forward to his ideas, creativeness, and cooking techniques to help elevate the Convention Center and Sportscenter to a higher level.”

 

Natalie Russell has been promoted to Sales Manager.  A graduate of the University of Kentucky, she has been with Spectra since 2015.  Most recently as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator, she became the Event Producer for the two largest signature self-promoted expos the Convention Center produces – Kraftucky in November and the Your Perfect Day Wedding Show in January.  Her new role will also include booking consumer and trade shows.  Natalie is excited to bring new events to Owensboro and to continue to grow the existing expos.

 

Mallori Betz joined the Spectra team as an Event Manager in July of 2017 and has been promoted to Wedding Sales Coordinator.  A graduate of IUPUI, Mallori has 5 years of event experience, most of which has been driven by the wedding industry.  She previously worked as a Day of Wedding Coordinator in Indianapolis, IN and says, “It is truly an honor to be part of a couple’s wedding day!”

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center or the Owensboro Sportscenter, please visit OwensboroEvents.com.

Spectra Promotes Laura Alexander to General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owensboro, KY (July 20, 2018) – Spectra, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter is pleased to announce the promotion of Laura Alexander to the position of General Manager.

Alexander, a graduate of Western Kentucky University, started her career with Spectra as Director of Sales and Marketing in 2012 at the Owensboro Convention Center prior to its opening.  Since January of 2017, she has held dual roles of Assistant General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing and has lead the staff as interim General Manager since March.  In her new role as General Manager, she will be responsible for the overall management and staff of both facilities.

“Laura has been an essential and committed part of the Center’s team since its beginning,” said Dean Dennis, former General Manager and Vice President of Spectra.  “She has done an outstanding job of promoting and selling the Center and the Sportscenter and we are confident that she will provide the leadership necessary for continued success of the facilities and the City of Owensboro.”

“I’m pleased that our partner Spectra has selected Laura Alexander as General Manager of the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter,” said Nate Pagan, City Manager with the City of Owensboro, KY. “With her background in the hospitality industry and service as Assistant General Manager, Laura has the knowledge and experience to lead and maximize the economic impact of both facilities.  As an Owensboro native, Laura knows the community well, and should provide stability to the position.”

Laura is a 2016 Venues Today Generation Next Award Recipient which honors young professionals who make a difference in sports, music, conventions, family shows, and festivals.  She is also a graduate of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Venue Management School, regarded as one of the best professional education programs available for venue managers.

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center or the Owensboro Sportscenter, please visit OwensboroEvents.com.

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Owensboro Convention Center and Kentucky Legend® Announce Pier Naming Rights Agreement

Owensboro, KY (June 29, 2017) Kentucky Legend® will hold a ribbon cutting for the unveiling of the new Kentucky Legend Pier on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The ceremony will commence at Noon CST on the Pier, which is located behind the Owensboro Convention Center.

Representatives from Kentucky Legend, a division of Specialty Foods Group, LLC will host the event to local city and government officials. The Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to celebrate this event and cut the ribbon.  At nearly 8,900 sq. ft, the Pier sets over the beautiful Ohio River and is the main location for various events throughout the year; i.e. Friday After 5, endless amounts of performances, etc.

Kentucky Legend® has its roots firmly planted in Owensboro, Kentucky and continues to strive on the community values set forth by founder Charles Eldred Field. With over 100 years in the meat manufacturing business, Kentucky Legend knows a thing or two about bringing inevitable flavors and families to the dinner table.

“In the midst of all the new and exciting things happening in Owensboro, we are excited to be part of it all.  As the city continues to grow, we strive to ensure Kentucky Legend’s presence is known. Expect to see more of us as the year continues.” said Brooklyn Maple, Brand Manager for Kentucky Legend®.

“We are excited to enter into this long-term partnership with Kentucky Legend, an iconic worldwide brand that continues to grow,” Owensboro Convention Center General Manager, Blake Henry said. “This partnership puts the “stamp” on Kentucky Legend’s long standing commitment to Owensboro and our western Kentucky region.”

If interested in reserving the Kentucky Legend Pier for upcoming meetings or events, please contact the Owensboro Convention Center Sales Team at (270) 687-8800.

Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter to Help the Western KY Botanical Garden as Part of Comcast Cares Day

Owensboro, KY (April 14, 2017) – More than 20 local Spectra by Comcast Spectacor employees from the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter and their families, friends and community partners will “make change happen” as they volunteer to improve the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden in Owensboro, KY on Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18 as part of the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day.

Spectra, part of Comcast, provides Venue Management and Ticketing and Fan Engagement to the Owensboro Convention Center and the Owensboro Sportscenter.

Comcast Cares Day is more than just a day – it’s the culmination of Comcast NBCUniversal’s commitment to volunteerism that began when the company was founded more than 50 years ago. From using technology to create positive change, such as wiring community centers and libraries and teaching digital literacy skills, to mentoring youth, to beautifying parks, Comcast NBCUniversal employees volunteer on this day, and throughout the year, to make a lasting impact.

This year, the vast majority of projects will take place on Saturday, April 22nd and the Company expects more than 100,000 volunteers to participate in approximately 900 projects across the country and around the world.  To date, volunteers have contributed nearly 5 million volunteer hours at 7,700 projects since Comcast Cares Day began in 2001.

With several established gardens – Butterfly, Rose, Daylily, Iris, Herb, Fruit & Berry, and the Takahashi Japanese Memorial Garden – the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden is becoming a center for the growth and display of hundreds of outstanding plant selections as well as a beautiful location for social gatherings.  Spectra’s team at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter has committed to the beautification and clean-up of the Garden.

“As we celebrate our 16th annual Comcast Cares Day, we are so proud to partner with the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden to give back in our community,” said Spectra’s Blake Henry, General Manager at the Owensboro Convention Center and Owensboro Sportscenter. “It’s truly amazing what’s possible when volunteers donate their time to make a difference in the lives of others.”

“The Spectra team’s volunteer service to the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden is vital to the upkeep of The Garden’s 12+ acres,” said Garden Director, Susie Tyler. “They are to be commended for their initiative in contacting The Garden and offering to aid and assist a unique community asset that relies greatly on volunteers.”

The Comcast Foundation will also provide grants to local community partner organizations across the country on behalf of everyone who volunteers on Comcast Cares Day. The grants will help Comcast’s community partners continue their mission of serving the community throughout the year.  To date, the Comcast Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to local non-profit organizations who have served as partners on Comcast Cares Day.

For more information on Comcast NBCUniversal volunteer and community investment initiatives, visit www.comcast.com/community. If you are interested in becoming a part of Comcast Cares Day as a volunteer, you may sign-up online at the volunteer portal at www.comcastinthecommunity.com.

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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Owensboro Convention Center Announces Promotions and New Hires!

Owensboro, KY (December 22, 2016) – The Owensboro Convention Center, proudly managed by Spectra Venue Management is excited to announce the promotion of some current staff and welcome some new members to their Owensboro team.

 Jared “Buddy” McCarter has been promoted to Executive Chef.  Always having had an interest in food, Jared completed the Culinary Arts program at OCTC and went on to work as the Sous Chef at the Campbell Club for three years before joining the Owensboro Convention Center team in 2015 as Sous Chef.  Jared stated, “I am looking forward to a long and productive career with the Owensboro Convention Center.”

Jim Riggs is now the Director of the Owensboro Sportscenter.  He’s a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University. Jim has managed a number of professional sports teams in the East Coast Hockey League, Central Hockey League, American Hockey League, and Arena Football 2 before coming to Owensboro. He has also served as a sales and marketing consultant for a number of teams in both the United States and Canada. “I’m excited about the opportunity to help grow the Sportscenter and bring a number of new events to the facility,” Jim stated.

Cody Thomas is a new Event Supervisor. Cody has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Management from the University of Kentucky and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Western Kentucky University.  Previous experiences included being President of Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity, Event Coordinator with Owensboro’s Chapter of U.S. Bank Development Network, and Interning with Kentucky Mavericks. Cody is very excited to start his career in Event Management with the Owensboro Convention Center.

Caleb Farkas joins the Owensboro Convention Center staff as the new Ticketing Manager and will oversee all ticketed events on OwensboroTickets.com.  Caleb is originally from Muskegon, Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University with his Bachelor of Applied Arts in Sport Studies. He has worked in ticketing for the sports and live entertainment industries for the past seven years including working in collegiate athletics, professional sports, and live events and shows.  Most recently he worked for IMG in Coral Gables, Florida as a Box Office Manger overseeing the ticketing for a variety of events; including PGA and LPGA golf events.

For more information about the Owensboro Convention Center, visit OwensboroCenter.com or call 270-687-8800.