Southern Cal Convention Centers Weather the Storms

SANDI CAIN, NEWS EDITOR
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Oceanside, CA – Southern California has been battered since Monday by a series of severe rainstorms that have knocked out power, flooded streets and freeways, toppled trees and spawned at least one tornado near the coast. But the region’s convention centers so far have avoided any damage or interruption to events, according to reports provided to Trade Show Executive today.

On Tuesday, budding funnel clouds appeared to be headed straight for the harborside Long Beach Convention Center, but changed course and came ashore at Seal Beach instead. Long Beach had only one small group in-house at the time.

In Anaheim, move out crews from The NAMM Show drove forklifts through several inches of water in the loading dock parking area. NAMM, organized by the International Music Products Association, drew more than 87,000 attendees last week. [Read a full report on NAMM in next month’s issue of Trade Show Executive.] Anaheim’s next show, a regional meeting of 4,000 for nutritional beverage company MonAvie, will begin setup tomorrow. That’s when another storm wave—possibly the most severe of the week—is expected to arrive.

Verizon Wireless is in the midst of a full-building event at the Ontario Convention Center today. It will be followed by the California Bar Association and Premier Design within the next week. But general manager Bob Brown said there have been no glitches. “Other than people complaining that it’s wet outside, there are no problems,” he said.

The San Diego Convention Center bid adieu to Mary Kay Cosmetics at the end of last week and has no other events in house this week, according to Steven Johnson, vice president of public affairs for the San Diego Convention Center Corp.

A few people also cancelled or postponed site visits of the Los Angeles Convention Center, according to Michael Krouse, senior vice president of sales and client services for LA Inc.

Storms are expected to continue to hit the Southland into next week. We will continue to bring you developments concerning any impact on convention centers and trade shows as we get them.

Reach Steve Johnson at (619) 525-5251 or steven.johnson@visitsandiego.com; Bob Brown at (909) 937-3001 or bbrown@ontariocvb.com; Michael Krouse at (213) 236-2359 or mkrouse@lainc.us.