People in the News

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Jul 21, 2021
Cathy Song Novelli joined the popular event technology platform Hubilo as senior vice president of marketing and communications in April. But she is quick to point out that this is “not my first rodeo.”  Based in Silicon Valley, Novelli is rich with experience producing events, enhancing branding and delivering high-level marketing for household-name companies like MySpace and Pandora. So her BS alarm is sparked when she hears companies say platforms create events attendees love. “As a marketer, I take great offense at that,” she said. “Event organizers use all of their creativity to create… more
Jul 19, 2021
The first time Margaret Launzel-Pennes worked on a virtual trade show, it was still a year or two before Y2K became three infamous characters. In the more than 20 years since that groundbreaking endeavor, technology has changed (particularly in the past year) but the idea of bringing communities together regardless of distance is nothing new, Launzel-Penne says. It’s that kind of experience and knowledge that Launzel-Pennes hopes will help her new company, Pop Experiential, stand out among a crowded field of event companies. She isn’t going solo — not by a long shot — and is as prepared as… more
Jul 15, 2021
Mike Davis, newly promoted president and COO of CORT, describes part of the industry’s recovery process as being akin to walking into a child’s toy room. There are a bunch of stuffed animals, games and other odds and ends. The only thing missing is the floor, which is buried under the mess. Behind the scenes, as trade shows and events regain their foothold, is an ongoing clean-up process. When done correctly, there are fewer items to step on and clear paths forward. Less clutter and more room for movement, in other words. It is along those same lines Davis takes on added responsibilities at… more
Jul 02, 2021
The deluge of hiring and promoting continues in the trade show industry, with a plethora of event-related organizations appointing new leaders and boosting existing team members up the organizational ladder. Check them out:  Visit Phoenix Following an extensive nationwide search, the executive committee of Visit Phoenix has appointed Ron Price as president and CEO. He brings 25 years of experience in the tourism industry to his leadership role, most recently serving as president and CEO of the Arlington Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau, and prior to that, as the assistant executive… more
Jun 24, 2021
When faced with extraordinary challenges, focus on the things you can control. That’s a lesson that Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, had to apply in the summer of 2020 when the association faced losing more than 70% of its revenue from its canceled trade shows. Instead of going into survival mode, the organization implemented a long-term strategic plan that included doubling down on delivering value to its members while also looking at how it could work and ready itself for recovery. “It is already paying off and reflected in our membership growth, our research relevance, our advocacy… more
Tech Giant: Cvent Stalwart Anil Punyapu Seeks to Bridge the Engagement Gap
Jun 18, 2021
If you are looking for a pioneer in event technology, it’s hard to beat Anil Punyapu. The senior vice president of sales at Cvent has been with the event registration and software giant since 2003 – or more than three-quarters of its impressive lifespan. Virtual events are nothing new to Punyapu and Cvent, though no one could quite predict what 2020 would bring to the world and events industry. With more than a year under our belts, and the worst of the pandemic seemingly over in this country, Punyapu is looking ahead to a future in which technology and meetings are more integrated. “We… more
Michael Duck Named Incoming 2022-23 UFI President
Jun 14, 2021
Michael Duck, executive vice president for commercial development at Informa Markets and Informa Group, is the president-elect for UFI, the global association for the exhibitions industry. The role, spanning 2022-2023, will become official at the conclusion of the 88th UFI Global Congress, set for Nov. 3-6, 2021 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. As incoming president, Michael Duck will work closely with the president and outgoing president as part of the trio managing UFI at the highest level. The group’s primary mission is to help UFI to continue to connect, support and promote the exhibition… more
Informa Partners With Vegas Events Veterans to Launch Concierge Service
Jun 09, 2021
After 30 years in the Las Vegas events business, Melanie Bash isn’t exactly a deer in the headlights maneuvering down the Strip. But she knows that for event organizers and corporate meeting planners, the city’s vast options can be daunting. Trying to find the right venue is hard enough in regular circumstances, but even worse when factoring all of the health and wellness research that goes into bringing events back to life.  Recognizing a need to personalize experiences as Las Vegas reopens, Bash has teamed with DMC veteran Molly Hoisington to found a concierge service in partnership with… more
Michelle Mason Named New ASAE President and CEO
Jun 02, 2021
Michelle Mason, a champion of associations for more than 20 years, has been named new president and CEO of ASAE, the organization’s board of directors announced on Tuesday. Mason, who assumes her position on September 1, succeeds Susan Robertson. This will mark Mason’s second tenure at ASAE, where she was vice president of strategic and future-focused research from 1998-2006. “Throughout her career, Michelle has demonstrated a commitment to the association community and ASAE, and a proven ability to drive alignment and results in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment,” said Stephen J.… more
Reinventing Live Events Begins With Embracing a New Culture, Authors Say in Webinar
Jun 01, 2021
Like much of the events industry, Denzil Rankine, executive chairman of AMR International, will have his eyes on World of Concrete, which will be the largest trade show to operate in-person since the pandemic. But he has a bit of a narrow focus — a minor point that he admits is his new pet peeve.  “I truly hope Freeman and GES have not been paid to print signs, ‘See you next year,’” he said during a webinar TSNN hosted covering the topics in “Reinventing Live,” a book Rankine co-authored with Marco Giberti, founder and CEO of Vesuvio Ventures. Click here to watch a replay of the webinar.… 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: