Mar 30, 2021
My dog dreams a lot. He’s 16 years old and I’m convinced he dreams about his younger self running through fields and swimming in rivers. His feet and nails scratch the wood floors, kick the Roomba and slam into the wall. All of this while I’m four feet away wearing earplugs to drown out the scratching so it won’t wake me up and tumble me into anxiety. But it always does. I wake up, readjust his position and climb back into bed. My eyes are closed but my brain turns on, thinking — about how I’m going to make a hybrid event I’m planning successful; about keeping my team motivated and… more
Mar 25, 2021
The Pandemic has dramatically changed speaker sourcing and performance. Last year saw far fewer bookings, compelled most professionals to reskill and revamp content for virtual, lower their pricing and become more flexible. Many trends will endure as in-person events return - here are a few to consider: Content and Formats: Pre-recorded virtual talks reduce risk while enabling questions afterwards. This enables better participation from those in different time zones, too. In-person engagements are adding webinars at a later date for more value and extended learning. Fireside chats/AMA (… more
Mar 23, 2021
Whether caused by taking part in a series of daylong video conference calls, catching up with loved ones from afar, or attending an event or meeting via an online platform (or a combination of all of these), virtual fatigue is a very real thing. Now a year since the pandemic began, it’s clear that certain brands and organizations are coming out on top — those paying attention and addressing virtual fatigue by placing both their audiences and storytelling at the heart, thinking creatively and embracing new yet equally relevant technologies to enhance the virtual attendee experience. Let’s… more
Mar 18, 2021
Last year, I took the Yale certificate course on the science of wellbeing. This fascinating topic really hit home with me. I started to dig into more of what makes long-term happiness sustainable. Once I grasped Yale’s model behind sustainable wellbeing, I started translating that to my events and to my daily life to test it out. It turns out that Yale was on to something. Below are some tips and tricks to make your events (and perhaps your personal life) more joyful! 1. Human Connection We all crave some sort of human interaction — even introverts like myself weren’t spared when the… more
Mar 16, 2021
In my last blog post, I discussed how several virtual platforms and standalone matchmaking services tout the promise of highly effective matching between attendees to attendees as well as attendees to exhibitors. In reference to the data that is available to any matchmaking system and the subsequent value that’s likely to be output, I dug up that age-old saying “garbage in, garbage out.”   There are also more than a few vendors out there that love to put the ”AI” label on their process as if to assure event organizers that just because artificial intelligence is being used that highly… more
Mar 11, 2021
Major live events are where sales conversations get jump-started — those major venues where marketing, product and sales teams engage with hundreds or thousands of prospects and customers. However, for the first half of 2021, virtual events will be the norm: 95% of enterprises are now implementing virtual events and webinars (compared with less than 25% before the pandemic). To drive ROI from your events budget this year, focus on booking more virtual customer and prospect meetings in connection with your virtual events. B2B meetings, whether they are in-person or virtual, are excellent… more
Mar 09, 2021
Before the pandemic, brands were investing in the consumer experience more than ever. Pop-up shops, interactive ads and more helped brands deepen their connections with customers, which is critical because nearly three out of four consumers believe real-life connection is essential to companies’ success. But it all came to a halt with the pandemic’s limitations on in-person gatherings. When quarantine and social distancing restrictions became the new normal, the events industry faced two choices: adapt or sink. Industry professionals quickly traded in-person events for digital experiences,… more
Mar 04, 2021
The travel world has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing destination marketing organizations to pivot the way they operate in lieu of steady in-person leisure and business travel. While there is certainly hope in 2021, with approved vaccines making the rounds, the tourism industry will no doubt be in recovery mode for some time. That being said, there are trends that will dictate the way destinations navigate – and react to – a new phase of the pandemic. Here are some hot-button issues that all industry professionals should consider as their destinations eye recovery: Technology… more
Mar 02, 2021
Dating back to local artisanal trading in medieval Europe and evolving through the Industrial Revolution to the 20th century, trade shows have survived war, disease, economic disaster and travel restrictions. So, why did the COVID-19 pandemic have such a devastating impact on a deep-rooted business practice? Some may blame political direction or public disenchantment, while others claim the delay in preventative science or sensational media reports. Regardless, the virus has led to an undeniable amount of deaths, ultimately propelling the temporary, but prolonged elimination of face-to-face… more
Feb 25, 2021
What would happen if we reset the events industry to zero? There are no shows booked years in advance and no opportunities to meet customers and prospects face-to-face. This is the unimaginable experiment we all found ourselves in 2020. While on the treadmill of a typical event cycle, it can be hard to make a strategic assessment of which shows are working and which are not. But these are atypical times. Now is when you should decide which events should remain a core part of your marketing strategy. Here are four key components to help you decide which trade shows will help you achieve your… 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: