Holiday Parties at the Bayfront Convention Center

by Danielle Steffan, Event Coordinator at the Bayfront Convention Center

Thinbccxmas.pngk it’s a little early to be planning for the holidays? Think again!  Here at the Bayfront Convention Center, we are already planning and booking holiday parties! ‘Tis the season!

While we host a multitude of events inside the walls of the Bayfront Convention Center — ranging from weddings to concerts to Erie Insurance meetings — we also boast a healthy amount of holiday parties for organizations in Erie and in surrounding areas. As the holiday season quickly approaches, it is worth saying that we take special care to respect each group’s specific cultural background. Most of our clients do host holiday parties for their employees and families, but we are actively searching for other culturally diverse holidays.

The Bayfront Convention Center is the perfect venue for a gathering around the holidays. We have an array of space available from large ballrooms to small meeting spaces. The building boasts just under 70,000 square feet of meeting space. Our beautiful campus is transformed into a winter wonderland from the end of November until the beginning of January. It is a truly wonderful experience for any guest who enters the building.  Whether it is a corporate Christmas party or an intimate dinner party with friends or family, we do it all! We have a talented culinary team that can customize and create the perfect menu!  From specialty cocktails to a completely custom holiday themed menu, we love to make ideas a reality.  The Convention Center is connected to the Sheraton Erie Bayfront and the Courtyard Marriott Bayfront hotels, making it very convenient for any out of town guests.  Did I mention we have great views of the lake and downtown Erie?

We do still have space available for this coming holiday season! If you’re feeling particularly festive, feel free to contact us for details about hosting your own gathering this season!

Be Careful When Buying Tickets

by Brandon Boyd, Coordinator of Communications and Client Relations

If someone came to the Erie Insurance Arena, purchased a small popcorn for $2.50, and then turned around and offered to sell it to you for $15, would you buy it?

No?

So why do that when it comes to tickets?

It seems obvious when we plug in other items, but when it comes to tickets, we find that every once in a while people purchase their ticket from a third-party vendor.

We only sell tickets at http://www.erieevents.com or in our box office. Any other website, AKA a third-party vendor, is serving as a middleman and taking money from you. They are purchasing tickets from us and reselling them to you at a higher price. Or, even more dangerously, they could be selling you a ticket they don’t actually have.

When you Google search “erie events tickets” or other similar search terms, these third-party vendors will pay to disguise themselves as the top link for the search. If you see “ad” by the listing, it’s likely not us. We are ONLY at http://www.erieevents.com

TICKETEXAMPLEwitheditsJust as an example, I pulled a ticket for Trans Siberian Orchestra (now on sale!) for the 8 p.m. showing on November 21. To keep it all equal, I even chose the same section. In this case, I chose section 208. The Erie Events price includes fees; the other sites do not.

  • http://www.erieevents.com price: $49.25
  • Bad Ticket Site 1: $73
  • Bad Ticket Site 2: $74
  • Bad Ticket Site 3: $81
  • Bad Ticket Site 4: $150

Yikes! Big difference, right?

If you’re overpaying for tickets you can get from us for cheaper, you’re getting played like the music at the concert you’re going to. If you’re extremely picky about your seats and we’ve sold the exact ones you’re looking for, perhaps it may be worth exploring your options. It’s likely we’ll be able to get you into seats you will like, however, and we recommend going through us for all your ticketing needs.

badticketsites

oursite

See you soon at http://www.erieevents.com. Or give us a call at 814-452-4857. Or, if you’re nearby, just come to the box office!

 

Erie, Local Sports Teams, All Benefit from RACP Award

by Casey Wells, Executive Director

The RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) award of $12 million for UPMC Park will have a profound impact on our community by creating and retaining jobs, increasing economic impact and improving the quality of life in our region.

The Erie Otters and Erie SeaWolves are professional sports teams, but also local business in our community.  Each organization has a team of employees that include management, marketing, finance, and operations that help fulfill their respective business plans.

This RACP Grant will ensure that our Otters and SeaWolves remain in Erie for another 10 years. This is especially gratifying since other communities have attempted to “steal” our teams. Losing these teams would not only damage Erie’s psyche, but also hurt our economy.

Communities recognize the value of professional sports and often offer significant incentives to attract teams to their city.  These teams not only invoke civic pride, but also create positive economic impact and improve our quality of life.  Just ask any downtown Erie business what these teams mean to them. They consistently share that the half million visitors who attend games annually are the difference between their success and failure.

Some criticize the use of State funds for ballparks because many other funding needs exist for education, employment, social services, etc.  The State has created funding opportunities through the RACP Grant Process that is separate and distinct from other State programs so we are not competing with education, social services or any other program for these funds.  If Erie did not secure these funds, they would simply be spent in other areas of Pennsylvania.  We deserve to have a portion of our State taxes reinvested in NW Pennsylvania, since we have historically been underfunded when compared to other areas of the Commonwealth.

Erie should be optimistic about the new opportunities ahead.  The completion of our downtown cultural, sports and entertainment district will contribute to our collective success by helping Erie be a great place to live, work and play.

New Menus at Erie Insurance Arena

By Beth Wilkinson, Concessions Operations Manager

MenuBoardIdea2

When you go to order food at the Erie Insurance Arena this year, you’ll notice a different look.

Don’t be intimidated! We feel change is a good thing, and we’ll tell you why. We’re presenting options in a clear, concise way in bright colors and text that you can read from far away. This will allow you more time to scan for your favorite option, and our hope is you’ll know exactly what you want when you get to the register. If you’re at the Club Level, in our suites, or watching the BayHawks courtside, you’ll also see a new menu.

We’re also excited about where you see the Coca-Cola ad in our example picture above. There, it will be moving video that shows several options that you will have. In that spot, we’ll be showing you items like pop, beer, and popcorn to further help you visualize some of our options.

One item of note, as well: Don’t be afraid to move around the Arena! We have specific items at each area that can’t be found in the rest of the Arena. Those items include a walking taco, root beer float, brownie sundae, gyro, philly cheese steak, chicken tenders, poutine, and more.

We look forward to serving you this year at the Erie Insurance Arena!

The Art of Food in Our Community

by Jake Juliano, Sous Chef at the Bayfront Convention Center

Sometimes, we have to take a moment to smell the (cantaloupe) roses.

For us here on the culinary side at the Bayfront Convention Center, we do something, we do it again, and then we do it again. And in the back of house, it’s easy to get lost in the fact that, for example, we’re doing a fruit platter every day. And yes, we might be cutting cantaloupe or pineapple in a different way on different days, but for us, it’s still cantaloupe and pineapple. For people here only once in a while, that palm tree made of pineapple and that flower made of cantaloupe made them go “oh, wow,” and it could be a reason they come back or bring someone else in.

Watermelon fruit display

An example of just some of the cool things we do here at the BCC. 

There’s a couple who called Lisa DiLuzio, our director of marketing and sales, who had their wedding here five years ago. Their family is in the area, but they are not. At the wedding, they had the candied bacon we do in house, and they loved it at the tasting. However, they weren’t able to have any the day of the wedding due to their responsibilities, but all their guests still rave about it. They’re going to be in the area for their five-year anniversary and requested a bouquet of the candied bacon skewers to celebrate.

How cool is that? For five years, something we did made such a lasting impression on them that they came back to us. What we put out into the community may be just another event to us sometimes, but the littlest parts and things we do live on in hearts, minds, and future celebrations.

This is a lesson I learned from Chef David Robbinson here at the Bayfront Convention Center. One of the first things I learned was professionalism, but then I also learned the community aspect. I don’t think I truly realized the finesse of things until I got here. And to be in this industry, as much as I love food, you have to enjoy the artistry and the aesthetic.

Cooking is one of the few art forms that utilizes all five senses. If I bring out a plate of fajitas, you’re going to see them, hear them, and – hopefully – taste them.

Some people say there’s a box you’re limited to when you work a job. And there is a box here, but that box is so much bigger than anywhere else. If you’re working at Lucky Louie’s, you’re making hot dogs. If you’re at Cloud 9, it’s poutine with some occasions for something fancier. Don’t get me wrong, those are great places. But here, yes, you have your hot dogs and hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, but you also have the opportunity to work with food that no one else in the area gets to work with. And to be able to work with food in that way, whether it’s a cantaloupe rose or a four-pound block of ice, it’s amazing.

First Concert Memories

by Dawn Betza, Marketing Coordinator

This blog comes on the heels of a big first in my family – my daughter’s first concert, Taylor Swift at Heinz Field. And wow, what a show — or better yet, what a spectacle! Taylor does not disappoint. My daughter is 9, much younger than I was when I saw my first concert…Rick Springfield back in 1983. But I remember so many details, almost like it was yesterday, because it was such a memorable event in my life.

TS

My daughter and and I in front of Taylor Swift’s semi.

Music inspires, empowers and motivates. We listen together with our peers, go to concerts with friends, dance with significant others – exciting & meaningful times in our lives. When you hear a song from the past, it transports you back in time to a particular moment or feeling as if you were actually there.

I recently read an article about the ‘reminiscence bump.’ Psychologists say that we tend to recall more memories under the age of 30 than any other time in our life, this is because we experience things for the first time & everything is new.

So what was your first concert? I thought it would be interesting to share some of the artists who have performed at the Erie Insurance Arena & Warner Theatre over the years.  I’m sure many of you have special memories or a few good stories from attending one of these shows!

concertsinerie

We would love to hear your stories or see your pictures from your first concert…or from any other show!  Share with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ErieEvents/

Warner Theatre Perfect For Your Event

by Brighid O’Brien, Executive Assistant/Premium Services Coordinator

Are you newly engaged, looking for AH6A1220a party destination or a place to hold your next class reunion?  Have you thought about the Warner Theatre Grand Lobby?

This historic location provides a wonderful backdrop for any wedding, party or reception.  A four hour rental of the Grand Lobby is $1000.00.  Currently with this space you have the ability to bring in your own caterer, although the bar is handled through the Theatre.  To confirm this space for months other than June, July or August date availability cannot be confirmed until 90 days in advance.

Many past clients and guests have fond memories of participating in a dance review, graduating or even attending their first performance at the Warner.  They have found that the Warner Theatre served as an ideal location for that next monumental event in their life. AH6A1697

Please check out our brochure for additional information and feel free to contact me with any questions.  I can be reached at 814-480-6035 or brighid@erieevents.com

http://www.erieevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Wedding-Reception-2018.pdf

Taking On Geese One Coyote At A Time

By Dave Yusz, Building and Grounds Superintendent

Have you ever played a game of chess with hundreds of geese and three fake coyotes?

It’s a constant battle. Down on the Bayfront, we have a bit of a geese conundrum. I must have 300 geese down here. Before Roar on the Shore, we had maybe 25-50 geese. I don’t know what the difference is, but now there’s a lot more!

geese3

On the left, one coyote. On the right, geese. It’s a constant battle.

Where they come from, I don’t know. But they’re making a mess!

Apparently, a group of geese is called a ‘gaggle,’ but I’d like to propose a new way to describe ‘gaggle’ – the amount of goose poop is enough to make you gag, but you’ve got to laugh at how ridiculous of an issue it is! You’re laughing while you’re gagging.

Even funnier is the way we’re combating the problem.

If you see coyotes on our grounds, don’t be alarmed. We have three realistic-looking coyotes that we strategically place to scare off geese. Every morning, we reposition them so they don’t get used to it. As you can see from the pictures, it sort of works.

We also have one at UPMC Park that keeps the birds away there.

When we’re not battling geese, we’re doing plenty of other things, too. One item we put a lot of work into is making sure the public walkways down here are clean. If I had to guess, I’d say there’s a half-mile of shoreline down here, and there are some spectacular views. People often fish here by the Bayfront Convention Center and many walk by our hotels.

geese2

Look at all these geese! Apparently, they think they’re like our guests at the Courtyard and can stay here. 

We do rounds of each of the three buildings every day and take a look at the shoreline. Three or four guys go out and they’re out there for two hours every morning. We clean up cigarette butts, trash, and yes, goose poop! We also do lawn mowing and edging to prepare for the public.

Speaking of preparing, in the beginning of August, we prep our snow equipment. Plows, snow blowers, shovels – all swear words here in Erie. People say “But it’s only July right now,” and I’m like, dude, if we don’t get this done early enough it’s going to be too late.

We all know how bad snow can get here. Last year with the snow storm, we were in trucks 18 hours a day for seven days straight. We took two days off after that and I told people not to contact me. It was that bad!

That said, I’m thankful that as of right now, I’m dealing with geese instead of snow. I only wish we could keep it that way!

Erie Insurance Arena Has Plenty to Offer in Coming Months

by Ed Snyder, Assistant Director of Sports Facilities

It may be the middle of summer, but here at Erie Events we are always looking to what is next.  Once hockey starts in a few months, our staff will transition the arena multiple times a week to set up for the wide variety of events held at Erie Insurance Arena.  The Arena Operations Department will begin working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in August and that will continue until the end of the hockey season in the spring.

Our all-star crew of six full time employees and 20+ part time employees are always busy.  Whether they are constructing a stage and setting up dressing rooms for a concert, laying down the basketball court for a BayHawks game or working to improve the arena, it is non-stop action all season long.  It is simply amazing see how different this building looks in just eight hours!

A big thank you to our Erie Insurance Arena Operation staff!  Without their tireless work behind the scenes, none of the events at the arena could go on!  Follow Erie Events on Social Media this season for some behind the scenes photos and time-lapse videos of what it takes to set up the arena for various events.

Below are a few events we are really looking forward to. Hope to see you at the arena!

The Otters start their 2018/19 season with their annual training camp on August 25th.  The multiple day process of installing the ice surface will take place a week prior to training camp.  Arena staff have already begun the process of preparing for the season completing multiple projects including repairing the dasher walls, prepping the ice equipment and washing the Zambonis.  The Otters open their season on home ice for the first time in team history on September 22nd.

The Erie Sports Commission and Mercyhurst University will host the prestigious Ice Breaker Tournament at the Erie Insurance Arena on October 13th and 14th.  This four team tournament will feature Erie’s own Mercyhurst University as well as Miami University, Providence University and the University of Notre Dame.  This is a great chance to see some of the best collegiate ice hockey teams in the country. Make sure you come out and support the hometown Lakers!

The BayHawks are back to defend their Southwest Division Championship this fall.  Look for their schedule to be released later this summer.  It will be another exciting season as they continue their affiliation with the Atlanta Hawks and look to bring a NBA G-League Championship to Erie!

The Presque Isle Partnership’s Best Summer Night Concert will at Erie Insurance Arena on September 6th.  The arena staff are working with the Partnership to ensure the fundraising event for Presque State Park is a great experience. Tickets from the beach concert can be exchanged at the Box Office and will go on sale to the public on August 1stIMG_1432

Monster Jam returns to the arena for the first time since 2015 this November.  We will go through the two day transition of unloading over 50 of trucks of soil to transform the ice floor into a dirt track for the two day competition on November 9th and 10th.   Seeing monster trucks up close in an environment like the Erie Insurance Arena is an experience you can’t find anywhere else!