News

Feb 17, 2021
Swapcard announced on Wednesday that events industry leader Julius Solaris has joined its team as head of engagement. With more than 15 years of experience in event management, long standing relationships with some of the world’s most respected brands and deep knowledge of the global events industry, Solaris was a clear choice for the role, according to Swapcard.  Prior to joining Swapcard, he served as founder and editor-in-chief of EventMB, a respected resource on event technology, where he operated at the forefront of the event app revolution, integrating social media with both live and… more
Feb 17, 2021
How do you guarantee a new experience for your next meeting? Book at a hotel that is not even open yet. That’s what Sandra Geiger, a global account executive with ConferenceDirect, opted for when planning an Alabama association’s annual membership meeting. The June 2021 event will be held at Hotel Effie in Destin, Florida. The boutique property opened its doors the first week of February. From all accounts, the hotel appears to be the latest gem along the Emerald Coast. Geiger is certainly counting on it—as she signed the contract without setting foot on the property. “We have never… more
Feb 16, 2021
An army of events industry leaders is taking a stand to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Take a look:  Reed Exhibitions On Jan. 15, global event producer Reed Exhibitions announced that it will donate $1 million over the next five years to select global charity partners that are working to improve inclusivity and diversity in their local communities by supporting social change, fighting injustice and fostering development. The charities that will benefit from the first portion of donations through the Reed Exhibitions Charity Fund include The Adus Instituto, Business Initiative for… more
Feb 15, 2021
It’s noon on a Wednesday (somewhere) when Intrado Digital Media President Ben Chodor jumps on a Zoom call. There is no ballgame to catch, rush hour to beat or train to hop on. Gone are the days of the easy excuses to take a break from work. Chodor is, for better or worse, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On the bright side, Intrado employs 1,500 workers in 17 countries. The flexibility to meet with a team across multiple time zones has distinct advantages. It allows for more brainstorming sessions, which, in turn, facilitates innovation. Given Intrado’s crucial role in advancing… more
Feb 14, 2021
The business events industry will be represented under a unified voice with the formation of the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), an advocacy group that will champion the common interests of U.S. exhibitions and conferences with legislators. This new coalition of eight industry associations will promote the impact of the sector, drive general industry awareness, initiate legislation on behalf of business events and work with partners globally as needed to maintain a favorable operating environment within the United States. Existing advocacy initiatives, Go LIVE Together and… more
Feb 12, 2021
When General Motors rolled out its new electric battery capabilities at CES last month, the car advancement was only part of the story. The presentation, viewed by thousands at the entirely virtual trade show, was a case study for how the world will consume information in the future. INVNT, an innovative branding and events company, partnered with GM to create virtual environments to simulate the car company’s research and development laboratory. The keynote team used 3-D imagery to take a deep d(r)ive into the inner workings of the technology. Making this all possible was a mixed-reality… more
Feb 11, 2021
Representatives from CVBs across the world are scheduled to descend on Baltimore July 10-15 for Destinations International’s annual convention. The summer event is the highlight of DI’s lineup, announced last week, as the association looks to play a pivotal role in the travel and hospitality industries’ recovery.  As is to be expected, the Baltimore-based convention will be hybrid, allowing attendees unable to travel to participate in the education and network virtually. All of DI’s major events this year will be hybrid, with only CDME courses being solely face-to-face. “The 2021 Annual… more
Feb 11, 2021
It’s no secret that the U.S. hospitality and travel industries have taken a major hit since COVID-19 took hold. But a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor confirms that they took the lion’s share of damage during the past year. The latest DOL jobs report has found that 39% of the American jobs last since February 2020 came from the leisure and hospitality sectors—triple the number of the next most devastated industry (government, which saw its workforce drop by 13%).  There is a current 16% unemployment rate among leisure and hospitality companies, nearly triple the overall U.S.… more
Feb 10, 2021
Global live and digital brand experience agency, Sparks, has acquired leading trade show exhibit company 3D Exhibits. The acquisition of the Chicago-based company, which has additional locations in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Milwaukee, allows Sparks to complete its Midwest expansion strategy while positioning itself for continued growth in new and current client channels. “This acquisition significantly increases our trade show business and is consistent with our approach of viewing this challenging time as an opportunity for dynamic moves that might otherwise not have been… more
Feb 09, 2021
A slew of new hires and promotions at event-related organizations are a positive sign of growing confidence in the resurgence of the trade shows and events industry this year. Check them out:   UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has tapped Marie-Laure Bellon to serve as its next COO, effective March 1. She will work out of the organization’s Paris headquarters. Bellon is currently the CEO and general manager of French exhibition organizer Eurovet, a trade show organizer for lingerie and swimwear, and a subsidiary of Comexposium and the French Knitting and Lingerie… 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