Anaheim Convention Center: 25 Examples of Powerful Sponsorship Ideas

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The Anaheim Convention Center and ACC North Balance Fun and Business

This is a sponsored post by Visit Anaheim. More information about Event Manager Blog’s sponsored posts.

Finding a venue that offers exactly what you want is hard enough. But finding one that has all that plus incredible opportunities for additional revenue and sponsorships streams is a dream come true.

The Anaheim Convention Center, located just minutes away from Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park, thrills audiences of all ages, while the promotional placements can excite even the most reticent sponsors. Let’s take a look at how you can increase sponsorship dollars through innovative venue opportunities.

Most event planners know Anaheim is synonymous with fun. But what they might not have uncovered yet is the fact that the Anaheim Convention Center, and its newest expansion, ACC North, covers all sides of event planners’ needs. They offer up an amazing guest experience while providing all of the business practicalities a planner requires. Such considerations include:

  • Over 1.8 million square feet of meeting space, the largest on the west coast.
  • indoor and outdoor meeting space (with 300+ sunny days a year, outdoor space is highly valued in SoCal).
  • 153 hotels in Anaheim.
  • LEED certified for a greener meeting experience.
  • The ACC North expansion includes 200,000 square feet of space with a 100,000 square foot carpeted column-free multi-purpose space featuring north-facing windows and movable airwalls for a variety of meeting room layout options.
  • ACC North offers rigging points in the ceiling and water and power in the floor for fewer limitations in setups.
  • The convention center is included in the larger Anaheim Resort complex, a pedestrian-friendly area that includes Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, and the convention hotels. The area creates a coherent visitor experiences set amidst lush gardens and gorgeous walkways designed for meandering but easily navigable as well.

With all of these fabulous options, how are meeting planners putting them together to increase sponsorships opportunities?

Check out these ideas to inspire your sponsors:

Outdoor Meeting Spaces that Bring in More Dollars

Most people feel energized when they’re outdoors and that’s not just an opinion, there’s science behind it. In the book, Your Brain on Nature, Harvard physician Eva M. Selhub writes that being in nature is like morphine to the brain. It stimulates the same reward neurons. What an amazing experience to be able to share with your attendees!

Being outside places people in a better mood, which could make them more receptive to sponsor’s messages. Outdoor spaces allow for sponsorship opportunities in stage signage, lighting, and decor like umbrellas. At NAMM, they used large banners on stage.

anaheim stage

But there are also subtler opportunities with column flags as you can see in this dreamy outdoor event.

Anaheim outside

What about a 10,000 square foot outdoor space that offers unparalleled views of Disneyland’s nightly fireworks display?

ACC North’s balcony area provides a spectacular (and ultra-comfortable) viewing platform of the show, something attendees won’t soon forget.

Another benefit of outdoor meeting space is that it can easily be used for a wellness initiative at your event. Check out this idea for a yoga class your attendees will love to be a part of.

Anaheim yoga

You can also provide sponsors with some outdoor space. In this image, you’ll note that the Natural Products Expo West used gazebos to catch attendees as they entered the main doors.

Anaheim external

Character Hijinx Creates Branding Ops and Improves Attendee Wow! Factor

Anaheim is a place dedicated to flights of fancy and whimsy. Your attendees will feel it too. Using characters (or offering your own themed-costume event) will make an impression on your guests. Encourage sponsors to get into it with their own creations. The branding possibilities are only as limited as their creativity.

Remember, branding ops don’t just reside inside your meeting room. Costume play like these Wondercon characters or those at Blizzcon can bring the branding opportunities to the outside world as well as letting passersby enjoy the show.

#batman #joker #wondercon

A post shared by Howard Gensler (@bat_shark) on Apr 24, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT

Never a dull moment when #BlizzCon is in town!

A post shared by Visit Anaheim (@visitanaheim) on Nov 3, 2017 at 3:23pm PDT

While these examples are from meetings where cosplay is part of attendance, you can incorporate this fun idea at any event. Anaheim brings out everyone’s love of entertainment.

Outdoor Signage Opportunities That Make an Impression

The Anaheim Convention Center and ACC North have some of the most amazing signage opportunities on the planet. Part of that comes from their natural inclination towards creativity and the desire to make the space something attendees revel at. The undulating glass front of the building provides a breathtaking frame for signage that is highly-visible during the day and transforms into something almost magical at night.

The American Heart Association spotlighted their 3D logo in front of the convention center, creating a photo op flanked by convention flags and a larger banner on the building front.

Life is why. #AHA17

A post shared by Jordan Strom (@jordopolis515) on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:33pm PST

D23 Expo, a conference for Disney fans, also used the striking glass backdrop of the convention center for their signage.

I am so thrilled to say that I can finally cross off the D23 Expo from my geeky conventions bucket list 😭🙌🏼💖 I’ve been wanting to go since 2009! 🙀 but let me tell you the wait was definitely worth it!!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼😌😌😌💘💘💘 I had the most insane experiences & made the most wonderful memories that I’ll never forget 😌💕 & special S/O to @itsjess_yooo for coming along on this wild & crazy journey with me 🤗😘❤️ I wouldn’t have been able to endure the crazy long lines without you 😂🤗💕thanks for putting up with my sleepy & whiny attitude due to lack of sleep 😅😴😂 you’re the best Jess! 😘💕 until the next D23 expo ✌🏼😁💖🐭2️⃣0️⃣1️⃣9️⃣

A post shared by SHANNON (@shiny_shanny) on Jul 17, 2017 at 7:31pm PDT

NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants trade show, incorporated a collage of outdoor signage. Here’s an example by the entryway.

Anaheim ACC

The expansive canvas of the convention center allows for multiple sponsorship opportunities without feeling cluttered.  Notice how the signage lights up with the glass backing of the building for a striking sponsorship possibility.

Wondercon also captivates attention in this colorful display as did Natural Products Expo West with these sponsorships.

New Hope Network, a part of Informa, had another record-breaking year of attendance for their 30th annual Natural Products Expo West and Engredea at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California. The Expo is globally the largest natural, organic and healthy products event with more than 85,000 attendees. It brought together 3,521 exhibiting companies to include 600 first-time-plus exhibitors. The Natural Product Expo West and Engredea is the show for spotting the latest popular trends in the food and CPG industry. . . . Photo: @mayracardenasphoto . . . #natural #organic #food #products #people #newhopenetwork #engredea #anaheim #california #orangecounty #confidence #anaheimconventioncenter #informa #naturalproductsexpowest2018 #love #naturalproductexpowest #organicfood #exhibitor #attendees #positivevibes #wellness #healthyfood #health #wholesomegoodness #confidencemag #confidencemagazine #loveyourself #healthyinmindbodyandsoul

A post shared by Confidence Mag (@confidencemag) on Apr 29, 2018 at 11:28pm PDT

Credits: Confidence Mag and Mayra Cardanas

Need something on a smaller scale? Lampost signage is a good way to recognize many sponsors at once, as well as make sure your audience knows where they’re headed.

Anaheim signage

Indoor Branding Opportunities to Get Attendees Talking

The branding opportunities don’t end at the front door. There are plenty of creative things event planners can do inside as well.

An angled sign in an unconventional shape will get noticed:

Anaheim ACC

Sure, there’s indoor signage but what about giant balloons like we see here at D23:  

When you’re in a pillarless space, these types of over-the-top whimsical branding ops are possible. Plus, the pillarless ballrooms of ACC North mean large items like cars (or campers) can be accommodated for creative effect.  

Bombs Magazine hosted their indoor car show at the ACC.

But not all of your offerings need to be large-scale undertakings. The National Products Expo West has a green theme so indoor installations that play up that angle are very much in keeping with the theme. Here’s a great example from the 2018 convention:

#naturalproductsexpowest #naturalproducts #herbpharm #organicproducts #engredea #anaheimconvention #anaheim Natural Products Expo West 2018

A post shared by ℳᎯℛℐℕℰℋ ( on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:49am PDT

You can also use sponsorships for functional spaces like NAMM did with these magazine stands.

Anaheim Stand
Lighting can also be used in creative ways like in this area leading up to the convention center.

Stairway to… #anaheimconventioncenter #california #colours #work

A post shared by Alexander Thomas (@zandervideo) on Apr 15, 2018 at 9:38am PDT

Bold directional signage presents other sponsorship possibilities.

Anaheim booths

Add-on Activities to Increase Attendee Happiness and Spend

A destination like Anaheim, begs attendees to bring travel companions, not to mention the possibilities of add-on activities. Whether you leave attendees on their own to discover the many options or you coordinate tours for additional ticket revenue or sponsorship dollars, the local entertainment options are numerous. Outside of the nearby parks, there’s Downtown Disney (a shopping and eating extravaganza) and many sporting events with the Anaheim Angels and the Ducks.

Some people assume Anaheim only offers activities that appeal to families and children. But there’s plenty of “grown-up” fun to be had as well.  There are food tours, breweries offering beer tastings, the Packing District (upscale artisanal eateries, entertainment, and a farmers market), the House of Blues, and a lot more as seen in this video.

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon spent in the Packing House! 😋

A post shared by Visit Anaheim (@visitanaheim) on Nov 8, 2017 at 1:48pm PST

As explored in this video:

Photo Ops with Hollywood-esque Sizzle for Increased Branding

Earlier, we explored the branding and sponsorship opportunities with costumed characters. That option provides a lot of fun and selfie shares but don’t forget the standalone photo ops as well. For instance, Gibson Brands at the National Association of Music Merchants created its own version of the iron throne from the popular HBO series Game of Thrones using a guitar design. The branding was subtle but the image sharing possibilities were great.

At the LuLaRoe Convention, they assembled an outdoor photo op, a 3D installation “Be” that included mirrored and iridescent surfaces that reflected the company’s colorful approach to business.  

First day of LuLaRoe Convention down!! I was able to experience honestly the wonderful world of LuLaRoe! I got some awesome LuLaRoe Swag 🙌🏼😍 I was able to meet new friends, and lastly I was able to LEARN! Friends, this has been such a great first day- can’t wait to see what else this convention will hold 🎉🦄🌟 #yasmeenlularoeboutique #lularoesarah #lularoeamelia #lularoevision17 #lularoe @lularoe #lularoevision17d1

A post shared by Yasmeen’s LuLaRoe Boutique (@lularoe_yasmeen) on Jul 27, 2017 at 10:52pm PDT

Do Something Different: Creativity Causes a Buzz

A destination like Anaheim brings out the creativity in event planners, vendors, sponsors, and attendees alike. That’s great for the enjoyment factor but it’s also fantastic for marketing. Word of mouth marketing is some of the most powerful out there and it doesn’t cost a thing to get people talking about you. The sponsorship examples mentioned in this article certainly created buzz.

If you’re trying to look outside of the general signage and lighting ops, we have a few ideas on how creative offerings can hit home with your audience and generate story after story on social media.

The Anaheim Convention Center has ample outdoor space, which means you can do some creative things with breaks and food such as hosting your own food truck rally. But what might surprise you is that not all “food trucks” carry food. There are portable options for a number of deliverables. How about this book truck to liven up a break at your next event?

A gorgeous pool is an expectation in southern California so why not take a creative note from Vidcon and surprise your attendees with a fun ball pool?

Another creative sponsorship opportunity is creating a daily video wrap-up of the day’s events. Attendees love this for several reasons. First, it can be a nice way to replay recent memories and see themselves participating in the events. It also serves to show them things they may have missed out on or missed because they had chosen to attend another simultaneous event. Let’s not forget its marketing value as a terrific tool for selling your event to those who aren’t there. Industry influencers can use it (or pieces of it) to share their experiences and commentary. Check out how D23 used it as a wrap-up and interview piece for attendee mini-testimonials.

Multi-media Offerings that Increase Virtual Attendance or Attendee Experience

Meeting planners are embracing the trend of virtual meetings and multi-media, high-tech presentations. Some are creating virtual attendance packages, while others are simply making content and sessions available online. Whichever stage you are in with the virtual experience, it’s a wise move to work with a venue that can help you expand your event offerings. Expanding your offerings and the quality of those offerings can help you pursue additional revenue opportunities as well.

ACC North’s recent construction means that it is equipped to handle the technological demands of today’s conferences and event planners in ways that older centers will require major overhauls to achieve. The state-of-the-art technology, electrical wiring, and knowledgeable team lends itself to incredible versatility and tech options.

The American Heart Association renamed a ballroom the “Cardiovascular Expert Theater” (complete with the signage) and showcased a panel of industry experts in several sessions on the latest in cardiovascular practices, services, and tools. Each session offered lunch and was sponsored by a supporter.

Blizzcon is a video game convention that was held in Anaheim in 2017. It’s always an amazingly energetic crowd. But there’s nothing that exciting about standing over someone’s shoulder and watching them play video games. To get your audience excited, you need a much more engaging atmosphere. Check out the viewing area they used:  
blizzcon arena
The stage itself was lit with exciting graphics on the contenders and the game was broadcast on multiple screens. The esports arena room was set up in the round with a four-faced video screen so all areas could see the contest and participate in the excitement.

When you have a space as large and flexible as the Anaheim Convention Center and ACC North, it’s possible to easily construct temporary, branded spaces to suit your needs, like this one. NAMM created a media center in which to host its NAMM show.

Anaheim media center

In Conclusion

Venues contribute a lot to a conference or convention. Attendees and sponsors may make a decision to attend based on location. Those attendees may even bring travel companions based on the desirability factor of your venue. But when it comes down to planning, the two most important aspects of venue selection are that the venue can accommodate your needs and that it provides you with plenty of revenue opportunities.

The Anaheim Convention Center and ACC North provide the ideal venue for your event because while the destination will wow your audience, the revenue and branding possibilities will impress your stakeholders. It’s rare to be able to balance making dreams come true and optimizing your event budget. But here in Anaheim, one of the most creative spots on earth, you’ll be amazed at what you can do.