News

Feb 03, 2022
Will the deluge of promotions and new hires ever slow down? Not if the meetings and events industry continues its steady pace toward recovery! Check out all the recent appointments and transitions happening at event-related organizations throughout the U.S. and beyond. New Orleans & Company  Prominent national tourism executive and long-time industry leader J. Stephen Perry, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company, has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, 2022.  Perry took the helm of New Orleans & Company, formerly known as the New Orleans Convention & Visitors… more
Feb 01, 2022
Neurodiverse, autistic and sensory-challenged attendees now have a calming and comforting space to retreat to and regroup when feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated while attending events at the Overland Park Convention Center (OPCC) in Overland Park, Kan.  As the first convention center in the world to offer a dedicated space for attendees with autism, anxiety, dementia, PTSD or other similar conditions, the OPCC created its sensory-inclusive room in partnership with KultureCity, a leading national nonprofit that works to improve the quality of life for individuals with sensory needs,… more
Jan 31, 2022
Digitell, a leading virtual and hybrid event platform and full-service production company, has been purchased by BroadcastMed, a healthcare intelligence company specializing in groundbreaking clinical content for healthcare professionals. Both companies have longstanding reputations in their respective spaces. Digitell has been an innovative trailblazer in digital events for the past 14 years and was named Best Hybrid Event Platform/Production Over 1,000 Attendees at the 2021 Event Tech Live Awards. BroadcastMed was the first company in the world to live-stream surgeries, and its many… more
Jan 28, 2022
Technology continues to evolve at mind-boggling speed, as the world becomes increasingly digital and attendees demand more engaging and creative ways to connect both in person and online. We checked in with four industry leaders to get their take on 2022 event tech trends: Julius Solaris, vice president of marketing strategy, events, Hopin; Cathy Song Novelli, senior vice president, marketing and communications, Hubilo; Josh Hotsenpiller, CEO, JUNO; and Sarah Soliman, president and CEO, Soliman Productions. Read on for their valuable insights! Julius Solaris 1. Data to drive engagement… more
Jan 27, 2022
Following a pause in plans due to the pandemic, the Fort Worth City Council recently approved $52 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support the first phase of a planned expansion of the city-owned Forth Worth Convention Center (FWCC). The downtown facility’s $500 million expansion, which had been in the planning stages for several years to attract and accommodate larger trade shows and meetings, was about to begin with robust funding from hotel occupancy taxes when the COVID-19 shutdown began in 2020, according to city officials. “We had our first meeting with the… more
Jan 26, 2022
In February of last year, 28-year travel and tourism industry veteran Casandra Matej took the helm at Visit Orlando as the first female president and CEO in the destination marketing organization’s 37-year history. While assuming a leadership role during a global pandemic is no walk in the park, Matej accepted the challenge, focusing the organization’s energies on spurring the recovery of the powerful Orlando tourism industry, which, pre-pandemic, drew more than 75 million visitors to the region and supports approximately 41% of the local workforce. For Matej and her teams, failure was not an… more
Jan 24, 2022
Chef Jeff Leidy is one of those lucky people who found his calling at a very young age. The consummate hospitality culinary professional began his four-decade-long career at 16, starting as a busboy in a steak and seafood house, where he quickly moved into the kitchen and fell in love with the culinary arts.  “I have been cooking professionally ever since,” Leidy said. “I like to tell people that you don’t choose to be a chef, it chooses you. I was captivated by every aspect of being a chef—having the chance to be creative and serve guests who give you immediate feedback, and the ability to… more
Jan 21, 2022
While it may have been tempting to sit out an in-person show at the start of this year due to concerns about the Omicron variant, attendees and exhibitors of Convening Leaders 2022 (CL22) stayed the course, just as Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), urged in a statement the week before the event. “Our industry and our businesses can and will move forward,” he said. “How this happens, it is up to us—all of us. Our audiences need us more than ever. This is our time.” With open arms, Karamat welcomed roughly 2,500 eager face-to-face… more
Jan 20, 2022
Forty-two newly certified meeting professionals recently joined the ever-growing roster of event professionals who have earned the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. “The Events Industry Council is proud to celebrate the latest class of Certified Meeting Professionals and welcomes them to our global community,” said EIC CEO Amy Calvert. “Your dedication to excellence and continued learning is a testament to the strength and resilience of the global business events industry.” View the full list of December 2021 graduates here. Recognized… more
Jan 19, 2022
In a bold show of solidarity, more than 600 leaders from the U.S. tourism and events industry united with the U.S. Travel Association to sign a letter to congressional leadership urging swift enactment of federal policies to spur demand for business and international travel and help stabilize the broader travel economy. Supporters included representatives from destinations, venues and industry organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the travel industry, providing additional federal relief and stabilizing… more