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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
8 Important Questions With Freeman CEO Bob Priest-Heck
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
Live Group CEO Toby Lewis on the "Uber" Moment for Events
Mar 26, 2021
Toby Lewis, CEO of the UK-based Live Group, used to be fearful for the future of the MICE industry. That was well before March 2020 sent us all into a panic. Lewis’ concerns grew over the course of the last decade while reading yearly analysis reports in which little changed besides dates and venues. The stagnation was equally perplexing and infuriating for someone who always looks ahead. “Live group was unashamedly geeky before [COVID-19] in terms of the way we adopted technologies across the board,” he said. “We were finding our clients were kind of resisting and we didn't really know why… more
Mar 24, 2021
Right out of college, Paul Treanor landed a temporary gig fulfilling exhibitor promotional material requests at the World Floor Covering Association, the previous owner of Surfaces (now The International Surface Event – TISE). That temp job soon morphed into a permanent position as the only staff member completely dedicated to the trade show. When the association sold Surfaces to Hanley Wood Exhibitions, Treanor followed.  More than two decades later, this dedicated exhibitions professional has worked with some of the largest and fastest-growing trade and consumer shows in the nation, with a… more
Tech Giants: 6 Big Predictions From Splash CEO Ben Hindman
Mar 17, 2021
 You have about six minutes to read this article before your attention may wane, according Ben Hindman, CEO and founder of the event marking platform Splash. It’s not personal, but the reality is that digital content needs to be cut into shorter time periods to remain effective. “I think many formats are still stuck in the past,” said Hindman, who was an event planner at Thrillist before creating Splash, which counts several Fortune 500 companies as clients. “The shorter and more concise you get, the better.” There’s wiggle room to about 10 minutes for a solid chunk of content, he explained… more
Mar 11, 2021
U.K-based Tarsus Group has made two key appointments in its senior ranks with the current CFO, Dan O’Brien, being named as COO. In this newly created role, O’Brien will oversee the company’s business operations and core group functions. Mark Pennington, who currently is the Group’s director of finance, has been appointed to the role of CFO as part of the senior management restructure. O’Brien and Pennington will both take up their new roles on March 31. Having joined Tarsus Group in 2011 as CFO, O’Brien has been an integral part of the senior management team working closely with group… more
Mar 10, 2021
As we move toward the second quarter of 2021, event organizations and suppliers are announcing new hires and promotions far and wide. Check out who’s been moving forward in the trade show industry lately: Dana Freker Doody has joined the leadership team of live and on-demand digital platform provider JUNO as vice president of marketing and communications. In her new role, Freker Doody will work to develop strategies to serve clients and secure business, while developing a brand-defining communications platform. She most recently served as vice president of communications and public… more
5 Questions With Bizzabo Co-Founder Alon Alroy
Mar 10, 2021
Good luck trying to have a conversation about events in 2021 without using the word “hybrid.” The consensus is that a vast majority of conferences, conventions and trade shows will incorporate a virtual element when returning face-to-face, most convening in-person for the first time since 2019. Dig beyond that general thought process, though, and the specifics are a bit hazy. “There’s a reason you’re hearing about those generalities,” said Alon Alroy, co-founder, CMO and CCO of Bizzabo. “No one has cracked it yet.” Truth be told, that code for hybrid success might be different for each event… more
Jon Taffer on How to “Rescue” Trade Shows
Feb 24, 2021
When Jon Taffer ran the Nightclub & Bar Show, his biggest fear was that an exhibiting company would skip a year. That exhibitor would then have the opportunity to see if it could succeed without that event. If so, they might never return. In 2020, “Everyone skipped the year,” said Taffer, who served as the event’s chairman in 2019. In the downtime since the pandemic changed work patterns and put many trade shows and conferences on hold, the world learned to work differently. There might not be any coming back, either, if event organizers are not careful. “The technology industry is… more
Feb 18, 2021
Like many trade show industry professionals, Marie Browne didn’t plan to pursue a career in events, she “fell into” it. After earning a masters degree in business administration and taking a job as director of membership and events at a business development organization, she quickly realized that the events component was the most significant part of her role — and that she had a knack for it. As if by fate, Browne’s subsequent career choices continued to land her more firmly in the events world, with a focus on connecting businesses and people.  Now, as group vice president for Reed… 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: