Albany Capital Center Celebrates Six-Month Anniversary
Since opening its doors March 1, the Albany Capital Center in New York has been a busy building.
To date, the six-month-old convention facility has hosted 83 events, with 47 contracted events still to come this year for a total of 130 events scheduled. Total events for 2017 span 184 event days, resulting in 4,225 booked hotel room nights and drawing upwards of 60,000 guests to downtown Albany.
Meanwhile, ACC Operator SMG is continuing to focus on bringing new and more group business to the facility and the Capital Region, with additional events in the pipeline through 2019 and beyond.
“It’s been a rewarding experience to be a part of the opening of this property and watch it come to life through the various events we’ve hosted here to date,” said Doug McClaine, ACC general manager.
He continued, “Witnessing the space’s versatility while collaborating with clients to bring a variety of exciting events to this area has truly been gratifying, especially when they turn around and book their event for future years. We’re thankful to the team at the Albany Convention Center Authority for their vision and dedication, as well as the many officials in Albany who helped make this a reality.”
Since its ribbon cutting, the ACC has hosted a variety of events and groups, many new to downtown Albany, including the Leet Systems ANYCON, which attracted 120 industry leaders; the Hudson Valley Agri-Business Development – 3rd National Farm Viability Conference, drawing 275 people and exhibitors from 28 different states, and the Empire State Society of Association Executives, a conference and trade show for association and meeting professionals that brought 500-plus attendees to the area.
In November, 2,000 guests are expected to visit the Capital Complex and use nearly 160,000 square feet of combined meeting and event space for the Capital Region BOCES meeting.
“The Capital Center is introducing business to Albany that has never been here before and also providing the opportunity for some important current clients to grow their business and become more valuable to our destination,” said Michele Vennard, president and CEO of the Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The ACC is already booking events 1-3 years out, including the Empire State Comic Con, which will take place at the ACC for a three-year run starting in spring 2018, with an option for an additional two years. Scheduled for April 6-8, the event will use the entire building and is expected to draw more than 5,000 people.
“Altered Reality Entertainment, producers of the event, is excited to bring its historically popular events to Albany,” said Susan Soares, press relations manager for Altered Reality Entertainment.
She added, “Fans can expect to meet current and legendary actors of the large and small screen, and other icons of pop culture, as well as talented comic book artists and cosplayers.”
Next year, 40 events spanning more than 86 event days have been confirmed at the ACC thus far, business that is projected to bring 19,500 people and an estimated 3,110 booked hotel room nights in the Albany area.
In its ongoing efforts to secure events for future years, the ACC Sales Team has contracted 22 additional events for 2019 and beyond, resulting in another 53 event days and 4,800 hotel room bookings, and bringing a projected 20,800 people to the downtown Albany area.
The ACC is an interactive facility that utilizes both a real-time kiosk provided by the ACC&VB that includes updated daily information about current happenings in Albany and through original murals depicting the city’s rich 400-year history, from a small riverside settlement to a booming state capital.
Comprising the ACC, the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, The Egg and the Times Union Center, Albany’s Capital Complex is the largest meeting space in upstate New York.
When fully established in the market, the ACC is projected to bring an additional 150,000 attendees to the Capital Region and have an estimated economic impact of $36 million, with added fiscal benefits of nearly $1 million annually for New York State, Albany County and the City of Albany.
“We’re thrilled with the progress thus far, as the Albany Capital Center was a project years in the making,” said Megan Daly, ACCA interim chairperson.
She added, “We’re looking forward to the great things it will continue to mean for the City of Albany and the Capital Region more broadly.”
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.