Jan 31, 2024
In January, the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) released its 2024 public policy agenda.  The headline: ECA is ‘all in’ on supporting government policies to help you attract and train the business events industry’s future workforce.  Why? Our industry has a skilled workforce shortage. But it’s not just us. Our country has a skilled workforce shortage, and working together, we can make a difference.  How is ECA helping? In Washington, DC we are advocating for two bipartisan bills in Congress with the potential to be game changers for the industry. Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act… more
Jan 24, 2024
Google recently issued a guide to inclusive event design, detailing ways organizers can make spaces and content more accessible. Critical areas, like mobility access, sensory accommodations, dietary options and more, are considered, but there is a key component missing that event planners must take into account to enable next-level accessibility: digital indoor mapping. Creating an indoor map of a facility improves accessibility in public, as well as private places, making it easier and more inclusive for everyone to navigate them. According to the World Health Organization, 16% of the world… more
Jan 17, 2024
In the whirlwind world of trade shows, where hordes of companies are elbowing their way into the spotlight, making your mark is like a real-life game of “Where’s Waldo.” Amid the frenzy of companies vying for attention, it might seem like a waste to offer trade show swag for fear of it ending up in the trash. However, well-executed and unique swag that promotes your brand is worth the effort. So now we come to that question in the minds of everyone running a trade show booth: How do I offer event swag that people actually want?  Why Trade Show Swag Matters  At conventions and trade shows… more
Jan 10, 2024
Generation Z, commonly defined as those born between 1996 and 2012, is the most diverse generation in history, having grown up with technology embedded into their everyday lives and being more socially and environmentally conscious than previous generations.  As a result, the needs and interests of Gen Z are quite different from other generations, and event planners must understand their unique characteristics to make events more relevant and appealing to them.   Here are eight key characteristics of Gen Z that event organizers should consider when planning events that cater to this… more
Jan 03, 2024
Bruno Giaccio Sr. was my first show floor mentor. He survived the Nazi invasion of Italy when he was six years old, emigrated to the Bronx before he was 18 and started his own upholstery business before joining the event industry and rising through the ranks.  First as a union decorator and eventually vice president of sales for the country’s largest general services contractor, he was a giant on the show floor, making sure to communicate the importance of the event business, of serving your clients, of bringing people together to share ideas that can change the world.   At home, he was a… more
Dec 20, 2023
In the dynamic world of trade shows, where innovation and engagement collide, 2024 promises to be a year of transformative trends that will reshape attendee behavior, design floor plans and product choices. As we look ahead at the trade show landscape, let’s delve into the key insights that will define the experiences of planners, exhibitors and attendees alike. Creating an Engaging and Productive Experience for Attendees The heartbeat of any trade show lies in the interactions between planners, buyers and exhibitors. In 2024, we anticipate a continued shift towards more intimate and… more
Dec 13, 2023
Success in the trade show and events industry often hinges on the ability to reflect on what works and focus on what truly matters. In the world of displays and visual appeal, two fundamental elements come into play: mirrors and lenses. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two components and explore how they relate to our industry. Mirrors: Reflecting Back Mirrors are a staple in the world of event design. They are versatile tools that can be found in various forms, from full-length mirrors in dressing rooms to tabletop mirrors used for centerpieces. In the trade show and… more
Dec 06, 2023
It took our face-to-face industry only two years to essentially recover from the most serious pandemic in more than a century. The industry has managed to deal with global inflationary pressures not seen in a generation. On top of that, we have faced new wars and growing geopolitical tensions.  Despite all of those challenges, our industry has recovered and returned to growth mode. And as investor fantasies around the metaverse and virtual events imploded, there is no lack of investors willing to put their money into our industry and our core business model.  All of this is quite remarkable… more
Nov 29, 2023
The people you already know can lead you to prosperity because multiplying network connections creates a self-perpetuating cycle of growth. The Network Effect is not new, but it may be time to take a fresh look at the methods and software technology tools that are enabling it today because there is potential to reshape an event’s success. Marketing methods for consumer shows and events are always evolving and knowing the latest tactics can stretch marketing budgets. By strategically leveraging network connections and referral strategies, event organizers have the potential to significantly… more
Nov 21, 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of business events, where people-to-people interactions continue to rise, the significance of networking events cannot be overstated.  These gatherings, whether in-person or online, offer a unique platform for professionals to exchange ideas, collaborate and form connections that have the potential to shape the trajectory of their careers and businesses.  However, amidst the buzz of exchanging business cards and collecting leads, it's crucial to recognize that business relationships forged in these settings are the true golden nuggets of networking. Beyond… more
Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact