News

Jan 07, 2021
Leading travel and hospitality associations, many based in and around Washington, D.C., swiftly released statements condemning Wednesday’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.  A large group of protestors stormed the iconic structure, breaking windows, defacing the building and temporarily halting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory. At least four people died, many more injured and more than a dozen have already been arrested.  Congress ultimately reconvened and completed the process of certifying Biden as the next president. He is to be sworn in on Jan… more
Jan 07, 2021
 It was a dark and stormy night. The internet connection in Maor Ezer’s Israeli home kicked out only for the senior vice president of marketing at WalkMe to return to a Zoom call via a mobile hotspot. The scenario speaks to 2020’s challenges and the rewards that can be reaped by those agile enough to quickly adapt from business as usual. In the case of WalkMe, a digital adoption platform, the decision was to build fast, with company leaders like Ezer believing their product is a solution to challenges that have been amplified during the pandemic. Conceived when CEO and Co-founder Dan Adika… more
Jan 07, 2021
As the trade show industry rings in a new year, several event and event-related organizations have made big promotions and added new team members as they prepare for brighter and busier 2021.  The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has named Zac Craig president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. Craig comes to the position after more than 11 years with Omni Hotels & Resorts, where he most recently served as area director of sales and marketing and was based in Atlanta.  Craig replaces Mike Carrier, who retired Sept. 30, 2020. He will begin his new position in February. “… more
Jan 06, 2021
Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro’s wife is a doctor. In February 2020, she went in front of the organization’s board of directors and warned that the coronavirus would be nothing like anything we’ve experienced in our lifetime. At that moment, Shapiro knew that the next Consumer Electronics Show would be drastically different. “Everything she said turned out to be true,” Shapiro recalled on a video call on Microsoft Teams, among the suite of tools powering CES 2021, taking place Jan. 11-14. That knowledge allowed for nearly a year’s worth of preparing for an all-digital… more
Jan 05, 2021
Since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. last Spring, more and more convention centers have been demonstrating their commitment to protecting health and safety in the “new abnormal” by achieving GBAC STAR, a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention accreditation program designed for facilities of all types and sizes. Launched on May 7 by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of cleaning industry trade association ISSA, the GBAC program establishes requirements addressing work practices, protocols, procedures and systems to control risks associated with infectious… more
Jan 04, 2021
Casandra Matej has been tapped as the next president and chief executive officer of Visit Orlando, effective Feb. 1. She assumes the same position she most recently held with Visit San Antonio. Matej is credited for rethinking the structure of the San Antonio CVB that she served nearly a decade, first as executive director and then as president and CEO. During her tenure, Alamo City achieved record highs in convention sales and marketing programs. She also developed one of the largest tourism ambassador programs in the country—with over 2,000 CTAs brought aboard to ensure memorable visitor… more
Dec 30, 2020
One of the biggest challenges facing event planners as the world reopens are the inconsistencies between states regarding health and safety guidelines. The difference between say Florida and California are worlds apart. Trying to keep it all straight adds to the already stressful job of putting on meetings, conferences and trade shows. Meetings Mean Business, the industry-wide coalition focused on advocacy, is trying to simplify the learning curve. Its new Meet Safe platform is a portal for event organizers to share recent experiences. A re-opening tracker is another valuable information… more
Dec 28, 2020
As of Sunday night, associations across the travel and hospitality world were able to celebrate a stimulus package to boost the U.S. economy’s recovery from the pandemic. The bill offers much-needed assistance to airlines, hotels and tourism groups desperate for the world to re-open. “We can’t emphasize enough how desperately needed this funding is, or how much this action by Congress will add momentum to a global travel and economic resurgence,” said Shane Downey, vice president of government and community relations for the Global Business Travel Association, in a statement when Congress… more
Dec 28, 2020
Let’s face it: Not everything about meetings is great. But after the way 2020 played out, event professionals are yearning for even the awkward stuff. Rather than mope about all the good, bad and ugly of face-to-face gatherings we’ve missed, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is having some fun with it. The CVB in December launched a series of short animated episodes, “What We Never Thought We’d Miss About Meetings.” The first three episodes—about 30 seconds each—focus on too much swag, close talkers and (too) late-night networking.  Think of it as “Seinfeld” meets “South… more
Dec 22, 2020
As it closed out the industry’s most challenging year in recent memory, The International Association of Exhibitions and Events honored individuals whose innovative ideas and strong work ethic will be counted on for the recovery from COVID-19. The winners are some of the longest standing event professionals who have contributed far more than the events they have produced. This year’s virtually ceremony aired during Expo! Expo! put a renewed spotlight on Nancy Walsh, who accepted the Women of Achievement Award again, three months after first being presented the prize at IAEE’s Women’s… more
Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.