News

Jan 02, 2024
Like many event professionals, Stefanie Rowe did not follow a direct path into the hospitality and events industry. If anything, she imagined opening her own dance studio and performing company. While teaching dance classes post-graduation while serving at a local high-end restaurant inside a hotel, Rowe was recognized by a hospitality leader who noted her natural abilities in sales and negotiation and encouraged her to consider hospitality sales and marketing as a possible career.  “I instantly was drawn to the relationship-building, negotiating contracts, the fine details of a perfectly… more
Jan 02, 2024
On Dec. 14, hundreds of dignitaries gathered to celebrate the completion of the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) expansion, a $233 million project that includes a new ballroom, pre-function space and outdoor terrace. The expansion is expected to bring more meetings and conventions to Denver, which last year welcomed more than 36 million visitors who generated $9.4 billion in spending, according to VISIT DENVER officials. The expansion of the CCC includes the new 80,000-square-foot Bluebird Ballroom that can be subdivided into 19 rooms of varying sizes. Located on the roof of the existing… more
Dec 20, 2023
Reposite, an AI-powered meeting and event planning tool, is collaborating with MPI Academy, the educational arm of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), to introduce the AI-Enhanced Event Professional certificate program for meeting and event organizers. Set to launch in January 2024, the new educational program is designed to equip event professionals – including event planners, managers and coordinators, marketing and communication professionals, hospitality and venue managers, and anyone interested in leveraging AI for event design – with the knowledge and practical skills needed to… more
Dec 19, 2023
San Francisco’s Moscone Center has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance (EB:OM), the highest level of LEED developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Following the completion of Moscone’s $551 million expansion program in 2019, the new Moscone North and South complex received the highest score possible for LEED Platinum certification for new construction of a convention center. Now, with this latest re-recertification, the entire facility, including Moscone West, is now LEED EB:OM Platinum… more
Dec 19, 2023
Eleven exhibition organizers have come together to pilot the rollout of a program called Better Stands, which aims to reduce single-use disposable stands at exhibitions in favor of reusable structures. “The concept of Better Stands was fostered within Informa, and so we’ve seen the benefits of it first hand at a number of shows in our portfolio,” said Ben Wielgus, head of sustainability at Informa, a public company that produces hundreds of B2B trade shows and events annually and expects to generate 2023 full-year revenues of £3.15 billion+ ($3.91+ billion). “As such, we’re firm believers… more
Dec 18, 2023
Exclusively sponsored by Honeycomb Strategies Connecting with people to generate leads is an essential part of live exhibitions like trade shows and conferences. Traditionally, it's been easy to hand out stress balls, key chains and other cheap-to-produce swag to start that initial conversation. But – at what cost to the environment? And does that fidget spinner really provide the memorable impact you want it to go? Let's explore what it takes to make a disposable tchotchke and discuss the values of an alternative.    
Dec 18, 2023
With a portfolio of nearly 8,700 properties, Marriott International has introduced neuroinclusive practices at events hosting 250 people or more, aiming to accommodate approximately 15-20% of the world's population with neuro differences, including conditions like ADHD, autism, dyslexia and epilepsy.  Previewed at Marriott’s Corporate Partnership Customer Conference, THE EXCHANGE, which was held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Marriott’s neuroinclusive measures will include dedicated quiet rooms, sensory and fidget toys, noise-canceling earplugs, printed… more
Dec 15, 2023
Maritz, an experience design company that provides event registration services, has partnered with CLEAR, an identity platform with 19 million members, to launch an identity verification solution for trade shows, corporate events and conventions. The goal: Deliver friction-free, secure customer experiences for on-site event registration. At the recent International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Expo! Expo!, we caught up with Maritz Vice President Product Management Aaron Dorsey and CLEAR Senior Director Channel Partnership Sam Adeyemi to find out the scoop on the new… more
Dec 14, 2023
An array of show organizers, CVBs, event agencies and industry associations have been steadily hiring and promoting staff while bolstering their executive teams as they look ahead to a busy New Year.  VISIT DENVER   Twenty-five-year hospitality industry veteran Lee Ann Benevidez has joined VISIT DENVER as its new senior vice president and chief sales and services officer. In her new role, she leads and directs convention and meeting sales efforts, including driving convention bookings for the newly expanded Colorado Convention Center and overseeing the organization’s destination strategy… more
Dec 13, 2023
Geopolitics and political uncertainty now pose the greatest risk to business growth, according to a recent survey of more than 1,300 CEOs of the world’s largest businesses. The persistent flux in global politics, trade dynamics and international relations has required a new level of resilience from business leaders, who have been tasked with re-assessing their strategic priorities, focusing on the rise of generative AI, talent management and elevated stakeholder expectations in addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.  Derived from the KPMG 2023 CEO Outlook — the annual… 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