News

May 04, 2021
The first time Jordan Clark approached Rhanee Palma about working for him, Palma lost a friendship with a fellow applicant over a job opportunity at Caesars Entertainment that she ended up bypassing. Palma didn’t hold a grudge and Clark was undeterred. Years later, the 30-year industry veteran and founder/CEO of FACE2FACE Meetings & Incentives finally got his woman. Palma, arguably the face of Visit Oakland for nearly five years, most recently as chief sales officer, is now running the sales department for the Las Vegas-based meetings and events company. A veteran of Marriott… more
May 03, 2021
As much of the country moves on to their second round of vaccinations, travelers are taking steps to returning to the open road. What used to be old hat — getting on an airplane, stepping into a lobby, etc. — will feel new again. It will be a little scary while at the same time exhilarating, hotel chains like Hilton are expecting. The trick will be balancing all the new with the old, so traveling seems as easy as getting back on a bicycle — even if the path has been altered. Any sense of normalcy will be welcomed. “After a year without travel, people are excited to get moving, but they are… more
Apr 30, 2021
One of the driving factors that led Jim Sharpe to become CEO of leading events platform Aventri was that he saw a chance to work within an industry about to undergo a technological revolution. That was in January 2020. “I didn’t appreciate what that meant,” said Sharpe, who had a grand total of six weeks to become acclimated with events before COVID-19 turned the world on its head. A newbie to the MICE industry, Sharpe was previously responsible for tech-enabled services at companies like Gerson Lehrman Group and Standard Purification. “More than anything, I leveraged my experience as a CEO… more
Apr 28, 2021
Caesars Entertainment is going all-in on Atlantic City. The hospitality giant recently unveiled a $400 million master plan investment in its Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City casino-resort properties. Already underway, the plans include: Remodeled guest room towers;  Fresh interior design elements;  Casino gaming floor enhancements;  New dining concepts and amenities and more additions over the next three years.  According to Caesars officials, revitalizing the company’s flagship casino-hotel on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, Caesars Atlantic City, will be a… more
Apr 27, 2021
With destinations opening up for business and vaccination rates ramping up, flexible and functional outdoor spaces for meetings and events are an appealing choice for event groups who may not feel comfortable gathering indoors just yet. In this reopening, a plethora of resort and hotel properties are rising to the occasion by leveraging their existing open-air spaces in new and inventive ways to service events. And after a year of being cooped up, some extra fresh air sounds good, COVID or no COVID. “Our member hotels have designed some really innovative uses of outdoor space to put… more
Apr 26, 2021
Want to see the progression of corporate events in the past six months? Just track what LeAnn Koenig, vice operations of operations at Vertical Xchange, has experienced. Primarily an organizer of boutique events across myriad industries, Koenig was hosting groups during the pandemic as early as last September. As you might expect, the audience was split about 50-50 between in-person and virtual. The ratio has gradually tilted more toward face-to-face, reaching 90% for Vertical Xchange’s Row Corp Exchange at The Westin Cape Coral Resort in Cape Coral, Florida, in January. In March, the… more
Apr 22, 2021
If remote workers are tired of Zoom calls, imagine how sick they are of virtual backgrounds. Discover Puerto Rico has launched a promotion to turn the beach backdrop into a reality. (Sorry, Zoom still comes with the territory). Deskover Puerto Rico, as the program is known, will award six two-week “workations” to the Caribbean island. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. property, it doesn’t require work visas, passports or insurance requirements for U.S. citizens. The DMO is touting several other amenities not normally associated with beach trips, including 31 internet providers and three 5G… more
Apr 21, 2021
Even though big gatherings still aren’t allowed in most U.S. cities, that hasn’t stopped sustainably minded event organizations, hospitality companies and venues from finding ways to celebrate the 51st edition of Earth Day. Held on April 22, the event’s theme this year is “Restore Our Earth.”  The global event will be primarily digital for the second year in a row but will offer a plethora of Earth Day activities available to those wishing to participate. Take a look at how our industry is celebrating and who knows, maybe you’ll feel inspired to create your own eco-friendly event or join one… more
Apr 20, 2021
Ryan Costello, founder of Event Farm, has made a career off of bringing people together since graduating from Georgetown University. In more than 18 years as an event producer and experiential marketer, Costello has assisted the likes of Nike, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Adobe and JP Morgan Chase execute thousands of event experiences around the world. Needless to say, he is eager to get back to business as usual. But Costello is concerned about how the industry revives itself. “There is this kind of pressure to hurry up and get back,” said Costello, whose company, Event Farm, was acquired by… more
Apr 19, 2021
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is aiming for the state’s many hospitality and events venues to allow 100% capacity by June 1. The welcome news is well-timed, as Las Vegas has an increasingly full slate of events scheduled starting this summer, many of which were predicated on allowing large crowds indoors.  “Our state health officials are comfortable setting a goal for a full reopening to 100% capacity on June 1,” said Sisolak during an April 13 press conference. “A safe and responsible reopening is a path forward to bringing back conventions and getting Nevadans back to work.” The governor… more