Jul 06, 2021
One of my few joys of lockdown began when my state allowed limited re-opening of our local health club, and with it, the pool where I can swim laps in the morning. I had not been a regular visitor to the lap pool back in the “before times,” but I knew that the virus couldn’t thrive in chlorinated water, so it seemed safe to return. There were a number of changes to my routine visit. I now scheduled my swim times in advance, and upon arrival, I had to hold my forehead in front of a digital thermometer, and then scan my membership key tag to record my visit. I have gone through this process… more
Jul 01, 2021
COVID-19 changed how people interact with one another, but it could not squash the need for in-person connections that engage audiences. In-person events are coming back because people crave face-to-face interactions and experiences. For example, Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference was virtual in 2020 but the company plans on welcoming more than 170,000 attendees to its 2021 event in San Francisco. And Salesforce is not alone, with a PULSE Survey from leading events media company Northstar Meetings Group noting that 81% of surveyed meeting planners plan on holding in-person events in 2021.… more
Jun 22, 2021
As meetings and events continue to evolve in 2021, planners and venues are finding unique and inventive ways to connect during this time. One trend I anticipate is here to stay is that of hybrid meetings and events. Although nothing can replace in-person connection, the emergence of hybrid events has given planners the opportunity to expand their audience on a global level. Not only do hybrid events provide limitless opportunities to connect with people around the world, they also offer cost-effective meeting options. I’ve included suggested tips below on how to plan a seamless and… more
Jun 18, 2021
While creating true digital engagement has become critical to our success, we find ourselves in 2021 facing real digital fatigue. We see it reflected in our audiences’ faces and in our attendance stats: registrations and dwell times are down and no-shows are up.  I recently hosted a CEMA webinar with Jay Acunzo and Shane Snow, two of my favorite speakers who shared insights and practical, innovative approaches to making virtual presentations, roundtables and webinars more meaningful, engaging and valuable.   The idea of High Fidelity seems an appropriate way to capture the essence of Jay… more
Jun 08, 2021
Water station, pads, pens, candies.... hand sanitizer? Meeting planner “specs” are looking a whole lot different these days. I’m honored to have reentered the workforce after being furloughed and laid off for over a year. I am now spearheading the event management department at the DoubleTree by SeaWorld Orlando convention resort. The enthusiasm that our operations team has to push forward with rebuilding and preparing the property to welcome meeting planners and convention attendees back is incredibly contagious. It’s exciting to be a part of the momentum.  However, I have officially found… more
Jun 01, 2021
As of late May, the U.S. adult population was inching toward herd immunity, with an abundance of vaccines available in all 50 states. However, it’s estimated that roughly 45% of the population is still not vaccinated, and there were 22,500 new COVID-19 cases just before Memorial Day. The CDC guidelines state that fully vaccinated people (1-2 doses, depending on the shot, plus an additional 14 days) can return to pre-pandemic activities, including hugging. Now comes the potentially hard part for meeting planners. How do you know who has received their shots, and without knowing this… more
May 28, 2021
With the advent of COVID-19, 2020 was definitely “the year of virtual events.” Not only did it evolve the event industry as a whole, but also opened up options of carrying out events in different ways. Now that people have gotten used to virtual events, 2021 should be spent on making them better. For event production companies, the transition from in-person to online requires them to understand how they can measure their success or ROI. It won’t be the exact same way that success was measured in 2020. Therefore, virtual event companies must ensure how they make virtual events a success.… more
May 19, 2021
Last year brought us the COVID Pandemic, but it was also the year that America confronted racism head-on. After the murder of George Floyd, I reached out to my colleague Derrick Johnson, director of diversity programs with Talley Management Group. We decided that event planners should be empowered to affect real change in the business of events, so we founded “Events: From Black to White,” a free weekly (now monthly) open online discussion on all things equity in the meetings industry. We felt that by giving the events community a safe space to come together to talk, listen, learn, educate… more
May 14, 2021
In my last blog post, I discussed how several virtual platforms and standalone matchmaking services tout the promise of highly effective matching between attendees to attendees as well as attendees to exhibitors. In reference to the data that is available to any matchmaking system and the subsequent value that’s likely to be output, I dug up that age-old saying “garbage in, garbage out.”   There are also more than a few vendors out there that love to put the ”AI” label on their process as if to assure event organizers that just because artificial intelligence is being used that highly… more
May 07, 2021
Throughout the last year, the events industry has completely changed from how we knew it. In-person events are happening on a much smaller scale, travel has been restricted and venues closed down, limiting the number of corporate events. Over a year into the pandemic, we are finally starting to see some positive changes happening. Every day, more and more people are being vaccinated against COVID-19 and states are beginning to re-open, showing a promising future for in-person events once again. While the world tries its best to get back to normal, corporate events are navigating right… more