News

Sep 29, 2020
Opening a new convention hotel in the middle of a pandemic may sound preposterous to some. Yet things went on as planned in Rockford, Illinois, which opened the brand-new Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront in early July. The new hotel is the first full-service property in the Rockford area and located in the center of downtown, which has seen a lot of activity over recent years—think new breweries, restaurants, UW Health Sports Factory and the 2013 renovation of BMO Harris Bank Center. “Talk about a gamechanger in terms of making our downtown a destination,” says Nick Povalitis,… more
Sep 28, 2020
As part of Phase 4 of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, meeting venues in New York City are now able to host in-person gatherings of up to 50 people at under 33 percent of the venue’s capacity. Planners can add to these numbers by bringing additional attendees in virtually; that’s why a number of New York venues are embracing the hybrid meetings concept. “Our world-class venues have adapted to meet the current moment with innovative new hybrid models that will help us to safely welcome meeting delegates and event attendees back to the five boroughs,” said Fred Dixon, president… more
Sep 25, 2020
Meetings in Seattle are about to be back in business. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has modified the state’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 restrictions around business meetings, professional development training and testing, and similar activities, effective Sept. 21. According to the new guidance, the Governor’s Safe Start reopening plan will permit meetings and business events to be held at an indoor capacity of 30 percent or 200 guests, whichever is less (excluding venue staff). Adherence to strict COVID-19 protocols must be followed, including implementation of social distancing… more
Sep 24, 2020
For more than 20 years, the Black Hat USA conference has brought together attendees from the world of cybersecurity research, development and trends. As with many other live events, this year’s conference — originally scheduled for Aug. 1-6 in Las Vegas — was held virtually for the first time in response to the pandemic. Transferring the content was one thing; translating the usual end-of-conference party was a challenge in itself.  Conference organizers and cybersecurity company Rapid 7, which sponsored the party, wanted to create a similarly immersive experience in a virtual setting. To do… more
Sep 22, 2020
Last week PCMA announced the next steps in its global business events industry recovery plan, Recovery Discovery, at a series of digital broadcasts in Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas late last week. The announcements provide PCMA members, partners and business event stakeholders all over the world with new opportunities to gain actionable insights and community connections that will help them be successful through the pandemic and beyond. "PCMA is making bold moves to help our audiences — from business event strategists to destination marketing organizations to premier venues around the… more
Sep 21, 2020
IBTM World 2020, part of Reed Travel Exhibitions, will transition to a virtual event this year. Originally scheduled for Dec. 1-3 in Barcelona, the in-person component of the event will not take place as planned. This decision was made by show officials in close consultation with partners as a result of the unpredictable travel restrictions that continue to be in place across the globe because of COVID-19. “Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world… more
Sep 18, 2020
Event Leadership Institute (ELI) and McVeigh Global Meetings and Events have partnered to launch the Business Owner Mentorship Program, providing coaching and consulting to event professionals who’ve been negatively impacted by the pandemic. “Event business owners, agencies and third-party suppliers went from a banner year in 2019 to a full ground stop of work in March,” said Howard Givner, founder of ELI and a former event agency owner. “Now they’re scrambling for survival and resources to help them chart a path to come out of this crisis.” The new program came out of an ELI-led initiative… more
Sep 17, 2020
MGM Resorts International will complete the reopening of all its properties around the world following pandemic closures when Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas open their doors on Sept. 30. Of note, the dual-branded property will become The Strip’s first fully smoke-free casino resort. “Opening Park MGM and NoMad represent significant milestones, as they are the last of our properties to welcome back employees and guests alike,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts. “The last six months have presented extraordinary challenges, and I could not be prouder of the MGM Resorts team… more
Sep 15, 2020
The annual TechWatch Awards at this year’s IBTM World, set for Dec.1-3 at Fira Barcelona in Spain, will have a new concept for 2020. Aptly named TechWatch Live, the new format will feature live pitching on-site as well as a new judging panel chair. Designed to showcase the best event technology, TechWatch Live will provide five technology business owners with the opportunity to pitch their product or service to a live audience and judging panel for the chance to become the 2020 TechWatch Live Award Winner. Held on Day 2 of IBTM World, the TechWatch Live Awards enable event tech start-ups to… more
Sep 14, 2020
Valerie Bihet’s more than 20 years of experience in the management, design and production of special events began with stints at Disneyland Paris in her native France and for Club Med, a job that brought her to the United States. Bihet founded her own event agency, Vibe, in Miami in 2004. Since then Vibe has produced more than 1,100 events throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, East Asia and South America.  Usually producing 80-90 live events a year, Bihet and her team at Vibe have spent much of this year helping clients transition to virtual experiences. Here, Bihet discusses that… more