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Anaheim-area conventions pump $850 million into the economy in 2010

And one local official says he's confident that 'business is back' this year.

By Kristen SchottPublished: January 25, 2011 01:47 PM

Courtesy of the Anaheim/O.C. Visitor and Convention Bureau
Convention and meeting business in the Anaheim area pumped about $850 million into the region last year. And that, coupled with a strong showing at this month's National Association of Music Merchants trade show, has led at least one Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau exec to believe it's a sign that "business is back" for 2011.

Last year, overall convention and meeting attendance in the Anaheim/Orange County area hit about 1.2 million – with the Major League Baseball's All-Star Summer drawing some 200,000 guests. The Amway China event also had a significant impact; the show brought about 13,000 visitors to the region. In total, 44 "citywide groups" – those whose attendance reached at least 1,500 – were held in the area last year, according to the bureau.

Looking ahead, Anaheim/O.C. Visitor & Convention Bureau officials expect meeting attendance levels to hover around 1 million this year. So far, 32 citywide groups have been confirmed for 2011, including the NAMM event, which drew more than 90,000 attendees. (For more on that story, click here.)

“We finished the year strong, and as we enter 2011 with the blockbuster NAMM Show, we feel confident business is back," said Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim/O.C. Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Among the events scheduled for the first half of the year: the Natural Products Expo West is expected to bring in 60,000 visitors; the Medical Design and Manufacturing trade show is slated to draw 50,000; and the Religious Education Congress is projected to see 40,000 attendees, according to the bureau.

"With the Anaheim Convention Center’s planned developments, as well as new entertainment options on the rise," said Ahlers, "we are optimistic about our area’s strong position as a premier meeting destination.”

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