News

Apr 12, 2021
Stacey Purcell’s career in hospitality started brewing in Maui, home of the beloved Kona coffee. When not cheerleading, she would accompany her father on his trips to Las Vegas. He’d love to gamble at The Riviera, where he’d go four or five times per year. “Las Vegas was kind of like Maui — there was a little valley and some mountain around it,” Purcell recalled. “The only difference was it was steaming hot.” Flash forward 30 years and Las Vegas is home to Purcell, who now visits Hawaii. Her dad passed prior to the move, but she has found several father figures in what has amounted to a… more
Apr 09, 2021
Soon after founding Meetaway three years ago, Scott Barnett conducted research for how his platform could work best for conferences. All it took was one question, asked pre-COVID: What is your favorite part of an event? About 90% of respondents cited one-on-one hallway meetings — impromptu or pre-planned. “There’s something magical about that one-on-one conversation,” said Barnett, who has built his product to “take that magic moment and run an entire networking session around that.” Flash forward to the past 12 months, when many attendees and exhibitors have cursed their virtual… more
Apr 07, 2021
Always a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of face-to-face gatherings big and small, Global Meetings Industry Day takes on added significance this year. Just as last year’s all-virtual celebration was a reflection of the pandemic’s beginnings, planned meetings this Thursday, April 8, offer a preview of the future. Created by the Meetings Mean Business Coalition in 2016, GMID 2021 “represents a milestone in the safe return of major in-person events and for the people, communities and cities who rely on them,” according to Coalition representatives. Events will occur on three… more
Apr 06, 2021
As manager of engineering services at Detroit’s TCF Center, Al Vasquez is typically responsible for directing and managing the maintenance of the venue’s buildings, grounds, equipment and utilities. He works to keep the facility compliant with local building codes and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations while assisting customers with their facilities requirements. But in the spring of last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was first hitting cities throughout the U.S., his role at the downtown venue took on a whole new level of importance and urgency. On March 30, 2020,… more
Apr 05, 2021
Historic, iconic, timeless. Those are words that come to mind when beholding The Broadmoor resort, a historic luxury hotel, golf, spa and convention property in Colorado Springs, one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. Nestled at the base of the stunning Rocky Mountains and situated on 5,000 acres of luscious mountain terrain, the five-star, 784-room resort’s beauty and natural amenities have long-seduced leisure guests and event groups year after year. “We really are the only true venue in the state that can offer a true Colorado experience,” said Curtis Robison, The Broadmoor’s… more
Apr 02, 2021
Caesars Entertainment is converting Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino into a vaccination site for thousands of its employees in April. The hotel and gaming giant announced a partnership with Albertsons to administer between 1,000 and 2,000 Pfizer shots during large-scale vaccine events. Free vaccinations will be scheduled online by appointment only and are open to all Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas team members. In total, 10,000 vaccinations will be distributed exclusively to Caesars employees through the initiative. The move is the latest in a long line on initiatives undertaken throughout… more
Apr 01, 2021
There is more than one way to run a virtual event. Likewise, there are significant different objectives. Finding the right technological partner is crucial to securing the desired outcome. Here, we look at how two vastly different organizations — Connect and The Mars Society —have much to be proud of despite their paths.  Connect Cyber Connect is a business-to-business operation geared to develop business relationships between meeting planners and hosts ranging from CVBs to hotels, convention centers and other venues. Unlike many companies, Connect kept its flagship conference in-person in… more
Mar 31, 2021
Hareesh Achi, president of advertising at NexTech AR, most recently was president and global operational lead for advertising for a decade at Microsoft. But it’s another well-known company — Netflix — that he points to when discussing the future of virtual events. “Why does Netflix have that stickiness?” he asked. The answer, Achi explained, is its ability to translate data of past usage to predict what the customer might want next. “They curate a list for us.” As advertisers and event organizers look toward campaigns that place a greater emphasis on virtual events, Achi is convinced the… more
Mar 29, 2021
On March 24, New York’s Javits Center hit an important milestone for the health of its community. Since opening its doors on Jan. 13 as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, the Manhattan convention center has distributed more than 250,000 vaccines at the record rate of more than 14,000 per day.  Considered the largest vaccination center in the U.S., according to Javits officials, the site is a massive effort carried out in conjunction with the New York State Department of Health and the New York National Guard. Hundreds of medical, military and civilian teams have worked in tandem to establish… more
Mar 26, 2021
Marriott International turned event planners into willing lab rats this January at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center outside of Denver. More than 100 of the attendees were on-site at the massive property while another 800 were digital. Knowing that more than 50% of those attendees were meeting and event professionals planning to host a hybrid event within the next six to 12 months, Marriott hoped to show a way forward while gaining insight into how it could serve the new era of events. The results, which surely will be modified as the industry learns more, are the centerpiece… more