The City of Shawnee has selected Spectra to become the new venue management provider for Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center. Spectra, an industry leader in venue management, hospitality and partnerships, officially took over operations Aug. 1.

With 52 acres of fairgrounds, 152,400 sq. ft. of exhibit space, and indoor and outdoor arenas seating thousands, the exposition center is Shawnee’s premiere space for rodeos, home and garden shows, gun shows, dog shows, livestock sales and more. The facility’s newest addition, a 32,000 sq. ft. conference center, is equipped to professionally manage almost any event with multiple conference and meeting rooms.

“Spectra’s market reach, experience and depth of bench makes this a tremendous opportunity for Shawnee. Spectra brings new vision, broader market options and favorable economic impact to a facility seeking to reach its full potential,” former Shawnee Interim City Manager Eric Benson said. “I am continuously impressed by Spectra’s ability not only to raise the bar, but to exceed expectations. This is a new era in Shawnee: one that will benefit the city, the county and the state.”

After being with Spectra for three years, Erin Stevens accepted an internal promotion to become general manager for Heart of Oklahoma. She comes to the exposition center from her previous role as director of finance at Spectra-managed Curry County Event Center in Clovis, NM. Erin holds an MBA in business administration.

“We’re looking for ways to improve efficiencies across the board, whether that means optimizing corporate meetings in our new conference center or adding supplemental events surrounding our best-selling events like the International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR),” Stevens said. “Ultimately, we want to enhance the event-goer experience, and as a result, our event profitability.”

Rick Hontz, regional vice president for Spectra, added, “Erin’s a perfect fit in Shawnee. Her equine background and time spent in Curry County gives her a great feel for the exposition center from the outset — and her experience in finance keeps her eye on the bottom line. With Erin at the helm, we’re excited for what’s to come at this budding property.”

Spectra currently manages 184 facilities, including 46 convention centers and 57 arenas, including: Dallas Fair Park, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, Santa Clara Convention Center, Miami Beach Convention Center, Atlantic City Convention Center, Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, and Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

About Spectra

Spectra is an industry leader in hosting and entertainment, partnering with clients to create memorable experiences for millions of visitors every year. Spectra’s blend of integrated services delivers incremental value for clients through several primary areas of expertise: Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Learn more at SpectraExperiences.com. Follow Spectra on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.