New Business Contracts: Convention Data Services, Mills James, Fern and Corcoran Expositions Nab Contracts

January 3, 2017

Before 2016 wrapped up, a few suppliers signed new contracts and renewed others to provide services to shows and venues.

The American Telemedicine Association selected Convention Data Services (CDS) as its new registration partner. The contract runs through 2018 and calls for CDS to provide full registration and lead retrieval services, along with housing and membership integrations for two events: the ATA International Conference & Tradeshow and the ATA Fall Forum.

ATA, the largest telehealth-focused organization, produces these two events to help educate industry professionals and transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.

The use of telemedicine has become a multi-billion dollar industry and is now becoming integrated into the ongoing operations of hospitals, specialty departments, home health agencies, private physician offices as well as consumer’s homes and workplaces.

With this advance, these two events require a streamlined registration process and the latest lead retrieval technology for their tech-savvy attendees and exhibitors.

“ATA is a growing organization with a strong focus on innovation and technology. We chose CDS as our new registration vendor because of their experience and commitment to our goals. We believe their innovative and flexible approach will best meet the needs of our members and event attendees,” says Courtney Mesmer, CMP, Director of Meetings and Events, American Telemedicine Association. 

The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center chose Mills James and Fern Exposition & Event Services as new service providers for the facility, effective Jan. 1.

“Both Mills James and Fern have been great partners of the GCCC through the years and their quality work and focus on providing an outstanding customer experience have placed them in a position of great success,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page.

He added, “As we enter into our future with an expanded and renovated convention center to sell and service, we look forward to raising the bar at the GCCC with continued growth in our customer base and enhanced experiences that will be provided through these new partnerships.”

Mills James will become the GCCC’s preferred provider of production services and its exclusive provider of rigging services.

The employee-owned company produces videos, spots, broadcast programs, corporate meetings, special events, digital signage and mobile apps for its clients.

“Our mission is to redefine convention center audiovisual services,” said John Aldrich, director of event technologies for Mills James and primary contact for the GCCC account.

He added, “Clients increasingly value one-stop shopping, and with our help, the convention center can now provide production support ranging from small business meetings to immersive experiences for thousands of people.”

Fern will become the facility’s new preferred general service contractor and will be responsible for decorating and other trade show services.

Fern is a leading national marketing support and trade show services contractor that provides unmatched customer service, best-in-class creativity and innovative solutions for exhibitions and large-scale events. Fern is among the top three face-to-face event service providers in North America, serving more than 1,100 live events annually, including many top 100 shows and dozens of Fortune 500 companies.

“Fern has served clients of the Greater Columbus Convention Center since the center’s opening in 1993,” said Fern Executive Vice President Mike Cox.

He added, “With the 2017 scheduled completion of an expanded and renovated GCCC, Fern is anticipating that GCCC will continue to attract many events for which Fern’s service offering is well suited.  As the in-house preferred contractor for the GCCC, Fern will be well positioned to assist the GCCC and Experience Columbus in continuing to maximize opportunities for Columbus.”

Corcoran Expositions, an independent trade show organizer, has been retained to manage one new trade show and also renewed with an existing client.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with the American Dental Hygienists Association, as well as the International City/County Management Association, co-sponsor of the National Brownfields Training Conference, in producing their upcoming trade shows,” said Tom Corcoran, founder of the 26-year-old Corcoran Expositions. 

He added, “We pride ourselves on our long client relationships, so are always thrilled when an existing client decides to continue working with us, as is the case with the International City/County Management Association who have been a client for 15 years and who we have partnered with for the National Brownfields Training Conference since 2011. We hope that the American Dental Hygienists Association also becomes a long-term client.”

For the Chicago-based, American Dental Hygienists Association, Corcoran Expositions will provide exhibit sales and management services for the “CLL 2017 94th Annual Session,” to be held in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2017 and in Columbus, OH in 2018. 

The most recent show featured 15,000 net square feet and drew 1.800 attendees and 130 exhibitors.

For the Washington, DC-based based International City/County Management Association, Corcoran Expositions will provide exhibit sales, sponsorship sales and management services for the “2017 National Brownfields Training Conference,” to be held in Pittsburgh, Penn. The most recent show featured 13,000 net sq. ft. and drew 3,000 attendees and 120 exhibitors.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.