Jun 03, 2021
As business event and trade show professionals grapple with the decisions surrounding virtual, in-person or hybrid, exhibitor dissatisfaction may tip the scales. That is problematic. Exhibitor dissatisfaction cannot be assumed to be a byproduct of virtual in and of itself. Exhibitor dissatisfaction may in fact be the direct result of organizers who have not aligned the event experience with exhibitor needs and with exhibitors who have not calibrated their measurement to this new environment. I’ve been an exhibitor and supported exhibitor service for 20 years. I know the push-pull inherent… more
Jun 01, 2021
With things looking more optimistic for a return to in-person interactions in 2021, it’s natural to wonder what will happen with large gatherings and events. Companies were forced to move online in 2020, which disrupted their existing in-person event marketing strategies. It might be difficult to imagine “returning to normal” at this time, but plenty of people are ready to get out of their houses and do something different. This summer, you should think outside of the box when it comes to experiential marketing. Brands are already designing live experiences that preserve contactless… more
May 27, 2021
With a return to normalcy in sight, event organizers can finally look forward to reopening venue doors and welcoming delegates in-person, but even as restrictions ease, venues are unlikely to be able to safely cater for an audience at full capacity. This is why when planning upcoming events, it is crucial to include both physical and virtual elements in the form of a hybrid event. Hybrid events — a mix of live and virtual — not only allow audiences to participate and engage no matter their geographical location, they also enable organizers to increase their reach, gain more attendees and… more
May 25, 2021
The future of live events has been a hot topic throughout the past year. As we get closer to a return to live events, let’s explore how events are likely to evolve in the short term, but with potentially some long-lasting effects.  First of all, furniture is more important than ever in planning your return to in-person events, from both a seating and a safety standpoint. Discussions about furniture need to happen much earlier now as it factors into health, ensuring that participants can be appropriately distanced and that a planner and venue can accommodate participants while still adhering… more
May 20, 2021
One of the biggest communication challenges for trade shows is training booth staff to drive potential leads to scan their badge. The team is often made up of technical people, salespeople and or part-time people unrelated to the company. Depending on the show, your booth may be in a high traffic area with lots of browsers or in the far corner with only the occasional lost attendee. The challenge remains the same. How do you capture as many leads as possible? Not to fear, this simple approach will tame the trade show tangles. To begin, it helps to look at a few of the roles in the sales… more
May 18, 2021
Last year brought us the COVID Pandemic, but it was also the year that America confronted racism head-on. After the murder of George Floyd, I reached out to my colleague Derrick Johnson, director of diversity programs with Talley Management Group. We decided that event planners should be empowered to affect real change in the business of events, so we founded “Events: From Black to White,” a free weekly (now monthly) open online discussion on all things equity in the meetings industry. We felt that by giving the events community a safe space to come together to talk, listen, learn, educate… more
May 13, 2021
My 6-year-old daughter Jetty is many things—caring, precocious, faith-filled, and also already an intrepid, ambitious entrepreneur. I recently came home to discover she had gathered together family heirlooms, clothing, and pieces of furniture, then moved them to a central area and tagged everything with prices. “Darling, whatever are you doing?” I asked, at a loss for what game she’d invented this time. She looked me straight in the eye and replied with inherent glee, “We’re going to have a sale so we can buy a puppy!” What can I say? It should be no surprise that enterprising thought is in… more
May 11, 2021
Most trade shows across the world have been canceled or converted to virtual events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the worldwide exhibition industry contracted by 68% in 2020 and 2.4 million full-time jobs were affected. There is cause for concern that this trend will continue in 2021. However, with vaccinations slowing the tide of the pandemic, companies are beginning to wonder when in-person trade shows will begin again. And when they do return, will anyone attend?   Show organizers will need to ensure the safety of… more
May 07, 2021
Despite uncertainty from planners in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first few months of 2021 have shown that people are eager to attend events again. But it’s up to organizers to keep them safe and make them feel comfortable. In March 2021, some governments began to ease restrictions on social gatherings in various states and cities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also issued updated guidelines, with many updates being especially relevant to organizers of large events. If you’re involved in trade shows, expos or any event that requires attendees, consider… more
May 06, 2021
The rollout of more and more vaccines will help large venues reopen and allow our industry to bring back in-person events in the coming months. It will be critical for event organizers and venues to work together to deliver events where attendees feel safe participating. Technology plays a key role in this effort and can streamline health safety measures for event organizers. Here are four ways technology takes event health safety plans beyond sanitizing stations and facial coverings: Technology Allows Participants to Easily Attest to Their Health Mobile, web-based technology allows event… 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: