Oct 20, 2020
It’s become increasingly apparent that we, as a society, should level-set our expectations for a post-COVID world. While a vaccine may be available as early as this winter (or even sooner), it is unrealistic to believe a vaccine will be the elixir that immediately returns life to normal. Realistically, we’re going to have to manage the lasting results of this pandemic over at least the next two to three years. This means, we can expect years of smaller, more localized flare-ups, which will be preventable or can be contained with high levels of adherence to basic social distancing precautions… more
Oct 13, 2020
If we’re keeping score from home, it sure seems like 2020 is winning. On the heels of record-breaking travel and tourism numbers in calendar year 2019 — when, per VISA Analytics & Consulting, our industry was on pace to generate $1 trillion annually by 2025 — travel as we know it has come to a screeching halt for the bulk of this year, as indicated by some of tourism’s foremost data authorities: Tourism and hospitality represents a little more than 10 percent of the total work force, but it also represents 40 percent of ALL non-essential jobs lost since the pandemic began (Source:… more
Oct 08, 2020
The hospitality and events industry is always changing, forcing properties to consistently adapt in order to stay current. In March, when most of the world was placed on pause, adapting took on a whole new definition, especially when it comes to the food and beverage industry. So what will food and beverage look like at meeting and convention venues once we’re back to hosting live events again? Here are a few changes that food and beverage is likely to experience in our new normal: Added Safety Many venues have adopted a contact-free set up that minimizes the risk of COVID-19 by reducing… more
Oct 01, 2020
The 2020 global pandemic has caused brands to rethink their approach to event marketing. Due to health guidelines, most in-person events have been canceled for the foreseeable future; yet, the event channel is still required to fill the sales funnel. As such, we have seen the “Big Pivot” to virtual to help reach the marketplace. As brands and organizations wade into this new virtual event environment, it is important to examine how established learning theories and an emerging framework for addressing virtual audiences can inform the creative design and experiences delivered through virtual… more
Sep 23, 2020
Brands sponsor face-to-face events because they want to connect with key audiences. They want to increase brand awareness and improve brand perception. They want to generate leads and drive sales. And every single one of these goals remains relevant and achievable, even now that coronavirus has driven face-to-face events into the virtual sphere.  Consider these best practices to seamlessly integrate sponsors into your virtual experience and maximize the value you deliver. Put attendees’ priorities first. Concentrating on the wants, needs and emotions of your audience is always a wise thing… more
Sep 16, 2020
Event marketers have long specialized in creating unique one-to-one engagement between brands and attendees. Enabling that same engagement digitally, however, requires a clear understanding of attendees’ digital behaviors. We have to account not only for the nature and volume of the content they will want to consume in an online environment, but also their preferences and expectations for the environment itself. The five best practices below will help you design a digital event platform that delivers on just that. 1. Start with Sitemaps and Wireframes  In an online world, we’re bombarded… more
Sep 10, 2020
COVID-19 came up quickly and took our industry by storm. We had to shut down immediately with no clear return to the “business as usual” that other industries are now getting to experience. There are some businesses that have been able to return to a semblance of normal with new adjustments to their procedures. The event industry, however, is being forced to do what we challenge our clients to do on a regular basis: Be inventive and creative. With no set date, or even a solid prediction, for when we’d be able to return to in-person live events, we now must focus on what we can control — and… more
Sep 03, 2020
With everyone adapting to working from home, there has never been a better time to host a virtual (and regularly scheduled!) employee engagement event, and it’s not as difficult as it may seem.  Here’s how you do it: Schedule it. Using Zoom or a similar platform, have a company leader schedule the call as an “all hands on deck” so employees know their attendance is expected. Be sure to keep the subject line and messaging upbeat. With layoffs happening daily, the last thing you want is to scare your employees. Set a clear agenda. There is nothing more awkward than going into a meeting and… more
Aug 27, 2020
Everyone is anxious to start replacing Zoom calls with face-to-face interactions and making personal connections once again. When that time comes, will you be ready to hit the ground running and plan and execute event experiences that will not only engage but leave attendees motivated and inspired? Now more than ever, ITA Group’s legal team is working to ensure our clients are protected by mitigating risk with well-executed hotel contracts. We’ve put together the following four focus areas critical to creating a strong contract that protects client interests to every extent possible. 1.… more
Aug 20, 2020
COVID-19 has made a devastating impact on all the aspects of our lives, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in the events industry. The way we communicate and interact with colleagues, professionals and members of the public in trade shows is, in fact, playing a more and more relevant role. It’s key to streamline the way we present ourselves to others, making sure that without even interacting with them, they are already aware of where we are standing. This is why the launch of the new social bands in the industry has been received with success. Social brands was created… more