Not so long ago, corporate meeting planners were dreaming up impressive off-site events for their groups to attend. Cirque Du Soleil, anyone? One of the key measures for engagement were Instagram photos and shares.
Banquet and front desk staff resumed their old positions, albeit temporarily for preparation and the event, as more than 550 attendees masked up to ensure the country’s marquee beauty pageants went on—not as scheduled, but better late and a little different than normal.
Event technologies everywhere are stepping up to the plate in 2020, attempting to ease meeting planners’ woes that virtual experiences can never quite measure up to face-to-face events. Yet one element that hasn’t been addressed is the virtual awards show — until now.
MeetingPlay, a Maryland-based technology company for events and conferences founded in 2011, has launched a new feature designed to nearly replicate the experience of an in-person awards night, both for recipients and attendees.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel such as Acqualina Resort in Miami, Waldorf Astoria in Chicago or Conrad New York Downtown, you may have noticed a fresh collection of books on the nightstand. You have a company called Bedside Reading to thank for that. Started by Jane Ubell-Meyer, this program places new books from every major publisher, as well as independent publishers and self-published authors, for guests to read (or take) for free in hotel rooms.
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.
As the event industry slowly begins to creep back, smaller venues are particularly well-suited to host gatherings, as groups often have the entire space to themselves and can limit the number of people that attendees come into contact with. This was a fact that the U.S. Census Bureau event team took into consideration when rebooking several job training sessions that had previously been canceled because of COVID-19.
As he watched the pandemic wreak havoc on the corporate events industry, Chris Greenslade, principal for the Charleston, S.C.-based CSG Meetings Management and Consulting, noticed that many of the suppliers involved in a planner’s traditional network either temporarily downsized or went out of business altogether. This left corporate planners without their usual support system as they navigated the challenges of either renegotiating their events or reworking them into a virtual or hybrid version.
Held twice a year, Verizon Media’s flagship Build It event introduces the company’s employees from around the world to its new products and services through a mix of interactive brand experiences and inspiring keynote speakers. The event traditionally takes place at five Verizon Media campuses (four in the United States and one in London) and is also live streamed to their global offices.
So your meeting or trade show has been postponed or cancelled. You turned your misfortune into good fortune for others by donating your unused food and event supplies to local food banks and charities. You even got your team involved in the feel-good effort, which you made sure to share with your event audience via your marketing and social media channels.