News

Apr 12, 2021
If a booth stacked with free knickknacks to take home is Exhibit A that trade shows are bouncing back, then PMSI Promos President Marty Bear’s hotel closet is a close second. When there is a rainbow of suits ready to be trotted out over the course of three days, all will be right with the events word. Bear, the seemingly ubiquitous jack-of-all-sales, is currently signed up for 14 face-to-face events in 2021. He hopes to increase the number to 25 due to an expected rush on meetings late this year. “In the past 30 days, we have seen a sharp increase of over 35% in new quotes,” he said.  That… more
Apr 09, 2021
Soon after founding Meetaway three years ago, Scott Barnett conducted research for how his platform could work best for conferences. All it took was one question, asked pre-COVID: What is your favorite part of an event? About 90% of respondents cited one-on-one hallway meetings — impromptu or pre-planned. “There’s something magical about that one-on-one conversation,” said Barnett, who has built his product to “take that magic moment and run an entire networking session around that.” Flash forward to the past 12 months, when many attendees and exhibitors have cursed their virtual… more
Apr 08, 2021
Two shows in major metropolises surpassed expectations, demonstrating that the need to reconnect is a powerful propeller for an industry looking to rebound. It is striking that both JIS Miami and the Dallas March Market welcomed participation that exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Here, we look at how the marketing, planning and execution of safe events proved persuasive to large crowds. JIS Miami Calling it a “liberating experience,” exhibitors and attendees welcomed the March 2021 Jewelers International Showcase at Miami Beach Convention Center. One of the first in-person trade shows of the… more
Apr 07, 2021
Always a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of face-to-face gatherings big and small, Global Meetings Industry Day takes on added significance this year. Just as last year’s all-virtual celebration was a reflection of the pandemic’s beginnings, planned meetings this Thursday, April 8, offer a preview of the future. Created by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition in 2016, GMID 2021 “represents a milestone in the safe return of major in-person events and for the people, communities and cities who rely on them,” according to Coalition representatives. Events will occur on three… more
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

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: