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By Tammye McDuff
CaterCon 2016 is a one-of-a-kind catering and event planning expo for anyone and everyone planning any type event. From private parties to business meetings; event planners to wedding coordinators and food enthusiasts to wine connoisseurs, this event had it all.
Produced and hosted by Business Expo Center, CaterCon 2016 was the first annual expo dedicated entirely to anyone planning and organizing an event. CaterCon gathered caterers, wineries, breweries, event suppliers and entertainers in one place – making it the perfect one-stop store to shop and network. Businesses and clients were able to sample foods from the most popular event caterers and restaurants, taste a selection of beer and wine from local breweries and wineries, discover the best hotels and venues to host an event, network with all types of event planning professionals and meet with experienced event suppliers who provide ideas and solutions.
The Center is Orange County’s premier event venue and their second annual catering and event planning expo was held Thursday, September 8th. Located in Anaheim, the Center has 36,000 square feet with multiple connecting accommodations, from private rooms to open spaces. “We are able to accommodate events of almost any type or size,” says Jim Shab, Founder and CEO of the Expo Center. In terms of its sheer size, the Center as a stand-alone venue is one of the largest facilities in Orange County.
Attendees were able to sample food, wine, desserts and craft beers from various brand name caterers and restaurants. Several hotels in the Anaheim area returned this year, as well as entertaining and gaming equipment, photographers, music vendors and event suppliers, florists, and linens.
Special speakers presented new ways to produce a superior event and even how to deal with the event once it is over. Over 1000 attendees participated in CaterCon 2016, with more than 50 vendors, hotels and exhibitors from the catering and restaurant industry.
CaterCon differs from other catering conventions, because it is geared toward everyone, not just event professionals. “If you are in the industry CaterCon gives you the opportunity to meet with suppliers or you can showcase your own talents. As a consumer, you would rarely have the opportunity to meet and sample this many caterers in one space,” notes Shab, “Attendees can get advice on how to plan an event, or hire a planner on the spot. It is a one-stop-shop atmosphere.” Event professionals also had the chance to attend special presentations on how to attract more clients and grow their event business.
“This is a creative type of event. We as an organization receive all types of event requests. Our venue is large enough to accommodate a business meeting or a car show. We are continually asked for references and with this new convention, we can showcase the vendors we have used in the past as well as introduce new ones,” notes Shab, “We simplified the process.”
The venue has access to all the latest technology with ultra hi speed fiber WiFi. Large groups utilizing the venue can have simultaneous Ultra Hi-Speed access, electrical outlets are easily accessible and the large hall system offers 200 amp 4-wires, 3-phase 208/120-volt capabilities.
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