News

Apr 06, 2021
As manager of engineering services at Detroit’s TCF Center, Al Vasquez is typically responsible for directing and managing the maintenance of the venue’s buildings, grounds, equipment and utilities. He works to keep the facility compliant with local building codes and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations while assisting customers with their facilities requirements. But in the spring of last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was first hitting cities throughout the U.S., his role at the downtown venue took on a whole new level of importance and urgency. On March 30, 2020,… more
Apr 05, 2021
The Herculean efforts of the events industry to adapt during the pandemic will be rewarded at the Event Technology Awards. Organized by Event Tech Live, nominations for the ninth annual awards launched on April 1 and run through July 31. Fittingly, given the rapid rise of virtual events in the past year, five new categories have been added:  Best Hybrid Event Platform Best Live Streaming and Video Production Best Digital Event Production Company Best Visual Event Platform Event Tech’s Rising Star The additions mean 35 awards will be handed out during Event Tech Live Week, set for Nov. 1… more
Apr 05, 2021
Awaiting a renaissance of the events industry, Explore St. Louis turned to Michelangelo to drive customers to the America’s Center. The international touring exhibit, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition, adorned the ceilings of a 27,625-square-foot ballroom inside the convention center. Open Thursday-Sunday between Nov. 6, 2020-Jan. 17, 2021, the attraction sold 15,457 tickets and generated $210,000 in revenue at a time when meetings and conventions were not operating inside the facility. “We made productive use of American’s Center,” said Brian Hall, chief marketing officer at… more
Apr 01, 2021
With myriad U.S. convention centers launching health and safety programs as COVID vaccination rollouts pick up steam across the country, venues are starting to welcome scaled-back trade shows and events. The Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta is such a host venue. Buoyed by its extensive Galleria Safety First Reopening Guidelines, it recently hosted a trio of successful in-person trade shows that enabled buyers and exhibitors to get back to business.  Atlanta Shoe Market  In “normal” times, the Atlanta Shoe Market is a biannual three-day footwear event that typically attracts 2,200 attendees… more
Mar 31, 2021
The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association have agreed in principle to pool resources to form one mammoth global trade association. The organizations will finish the year working independently before joining forces on Jan. 1, 2022. Among the implications of the move is that the association’s vast annual conventions and expos will fall under one roof. PMA’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition in Anaheim, Calif., drew 15,648 attendees in 2019 and went virtual in 2020 when it could not meet in Dallas. It is scheduled to return in-person Oct. 28-30… more
Mar 31, 2021
Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman, knows — or should we say “nose?” — what triggers his mind back to a memorable business trip to China. All it takes is the simple waft of a traditional custard dessert to send him away. “If you can smell something, it will bring back a memory,” he explained. That natural human reaction is why there will always be a place for in-person meetings. Virtual experiences, while important, aren’t able to pass the smell test — at least not yet. (It’s worth noting that it took Priest-Heck years to find those same pastries outside of China to recreate that experience.) … more
Mar 30, 2021
Michael Hart, best known as the editor-in-chief for Tradeshow Week, died on March 12 at age 67, after a valiant, but tragic battle with cancer. "I am very sorry to hear of Michael's passing," said Rachel Wimberly, TSNN President and Tarsus, US, EVP of Business Development. "Michael was a passionate advocate of the trade show industry overall. He also was a meticulous editor, who I learned a tremendous amount from during our time working together at Tradeshow Week magazine."  Michael attended the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., graduating from Raymond College, and as a… more
Mar 30, 2021
On March 24, New York’s Javits Center hit an important milestone for the health of its community. Since opening its doors on Jan. 13 as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, the Manhattan convention center has distributed more than 250,000 vaccines at the record rate of more than 14,000 per day.  Considered the largest vaccination center in the U.S., according to Javits officials, the site is a massive effort carried out in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health and the New York National Guard. Hundreds of medical, military and civilian teams have worked in tandem to establish… more
Mar 29, 2021
There is more than one way to run a virtual event. Likewise, there are significant different objectives. Finding the right technological partner is crucial to securing the desired outcome. Here, we look at how two vastly different organizations — Connect and The Mars Society —have much to be proud of despite their paths.  Connect Cyber Connect is a business-to-business operation geared to develop business relationships between meeting planners and hosts ranging from CVBs to hotels, convention centers and other venues. Unlike many companies, Connect kept its flagship conference in-person in… more
Mar 26, 2021
Toby Lewis, CEO of the UK-based Live Group, used to be fearful for the future of the MICE industry. That was well before March 2020 sent us all into a panic. Lewis’ concerns grew over the course of the last decade while reading yearly analysis reports in which little changed besides dates and venues. The stagnation was equally perplexing and infuriating for someone who always looks ahead. “Live group was unashamedly geeky before [COVID-19] in terms of the way we adopted technologies across the board,” he said. “We were finding our clients were kind of resisting and we didn't really know why… more

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