Jul 08, 2021
One of my few joys of lockdown began when my state allowed limited re-opening of our local health club, and with it, the pool where I can swim laps in the morning. I had not been a regular visitor to the lap pool back in the “before times,” but I knew that the virus couldn’t thrive in chlorinated water, so it seemed safe to return.  There were a number of changes to my routine visit. I now scheduled my swim times in advance, and upon arrival, I had to hold my forehead in front of a digital thermometer, and then scan my membership key tag to record my visit. I have gone through this process… more
Jul 06, 2021
The new season of “The Food that Built America” is a fantastic show – there’s drama, conflict, emotion and lots of fascinating stories about the brands we see almost every day. It’s both inspiring and entertaining. And there are some mind-blowing lessons on business strategy, too – real stuff you can use right now. We just finished the episode on the “cola wars.” We all know the story of the “Pepsi Challenge,” where Pepsi sent people into shopping malls and street corners, asking people if they could tell which cup had Pepsi and which had Coca-Cola by taste alone. At the time, Pepsi had… more
Jul 01, 2021
Branding doesn’t just happen. It’s like every other business asset you’ve created. It takes time, effort and thoughtful action. Branding gives you and your employees a guidebook of how you want customers, clients, stakeholders and the general public to see and experience your business. And like any good guidebook, it is something that is carefully researched, planned and discussed. When you allocate the time and resources to engage in meaningful branding, you create a vision of how you want the world to see what you have to offer! If your business has been slow to embrace branding or if you… more
Jun 29, 2021
Universities and colleges have played a unique role throughout the pandemic. Many have acted as a voice of authority and trust, conducting world-leading research, analyzing findings, tracking the outbreak across the globe, and sharing this information with us across our news networks.  At the same time, these institutions recognized that the lives of their students were changing in rapid and tremendous ways, and simultaneously transitioned to virtual classes both quickly and seamlessly.  How, then, have their event programs been faring amid all of this? From donor and alumni networking… more
Jun 24, 2021
Nobody can predict the future, but I keep getting asked what the world of events is going to look like after COVID. After speaking with hundreds of individuals responsible for booking, planning and coordinating company events, here are the common themes I hear people reflect on. These insights come from doing hundreds of events during the pandemic and speaking to leaders in human resources, client engagement teams and event planners about how they are planning on returning to a world where we can do business in person once again. The new normal doesn’t mean we won’t have in-person events,… more
Jun 22, 2021
Exhibitors in a broad Ascend Media study shared some major pain points, recently published on LinkedIn. The feedback is worth digging into, and worth digging into EARLY in experience design, not late. It’s worth elevating these ideas to a strategic planning level and finding solutions for the stakeholders that financially support your events. We are addressing the Top 10 Concerns in a series of posts that outline solutions for supporting exhibitors in a virtual environment. We’ve distilled the Top 10 pain points into four big ideas to present solutions. The Four Big Ideas for Exhibitor… more
Jun 17, 2021
One interesting characteristic of virtual and hybrid events is that virtual (or digital) attendees can significantly outnumber those on-site. For example, February’s MWC Shanghai registered 25,000 attendees on-site and close to 125,000 virtually.  At large hybrid events, meetings and networking are key objectives for attendees whose business depends on making critical business relationships and decisions. Whether they’re participating in-person or remotely, attendees want to see the latest technologies and products and learn how they can apply them in their businesses. Similarly, exhibitors… more
Jun 15, 2021
The vaccine is here, and we are close to moving past this pandemic nightmare. It’s clear that in-person events are on the horizon, and event planners, like myself, are looking forward to hosting them again. However, whether or not attendees are ready to attend again is another question.  In a recent survey conducted by Event Farm, we asked event professionals, “What is your primary concern when planning in-person events amid the COVID-19 pandemic?” 76% of respondents cited attendee safety as a concern. Let that sink in for a minute: Attendee safety.  Being in the events industry for more… more
Jun 10, 2021
The concept of the traditional trade show is changing. Although the pandemic has accelerated the movement away from large in-person gatherings – or at least events that are restricted only to that format – companies continue to grow more creative in building their digital presence and enhancing their engagement with prospects at trade shows. Trade shows are a powerful place to show your company mission, messaging and branding to an oftentimes eager audience. According to CEIR: The Changing Environment of Exhibitions, 99% of marketers ѕаіd thеу found unique value from trаdе show еxhіbіtѕ that… more
Jun 08, 2021
The pandemic has necessitated a number of fundamental lifestyle changes. For many, the last year has been an opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate how we spend our time. Reduced travel and virtual meetings have freed up hundreds of hours. The work/life balance has been recalibrated on a global scale, and as lockdown begins to ease, attitudes towards how we spend our time have undergone a paradigm shift.  In the events industry, it is key that event creators respond to the needs of their audience to stay ahead of the curve. A recognition of the behavioural shifts around how individuals… more

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: