News

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
Mar 24, 2021
Gilberto Salcedo, vice president of tourism at ProColombia, loves to study numbers. “That’s one of my obsessions,” he admitted. The pandemic has, naturally, curtailed the momentum Colombia had generated hosting meetings and events. But Salcedo is convinced the slowdown is temporary and has the statistics to back his case. With travelers across the world relegated to their homes, the tourism branch of the burgeoning South American destination launched a digital campaign in 12 key markets that netted 250 million impressions. “That allows us to tell you we are top-of-mind,” Salcedo said.… more
Mar 23, 2021
As the event and tourism industry begins its slow journey toward post-pandemic normalcy, it has become clear that hybrid events – those with both socially distanced in-person and virtual components – will be a vital part of the return of live meetings and conventions. Thus, many hospitality communities across the nation are doing their part to adapt to this new reality, including CVBs. Case in point: Fort Worth, Texas and its tourism bureau, Visit Fort Worth, which successfully hosted its 8th Annual Meeting & Breakfast in hybrid format on February 5. Held at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel,… more
Mar 22, 2021
Do you have Zoom fatigue? Haute Dokimazo CEO Liz Lathan and President Nicole Osibodu are willing to bet you’ll never get tired of a virtual shark dive. In the first of four virtual events known collectively as Convo 2021, the two event virtuosos sent nearly 80 sales and marketing executives jaws to jaws with, well, Jaws, from the comforts of their own home. While it seems like a deep-sea adventure that only the wildly creative Haute Dokimazo team could imagine, Lathan and Osibodu note that event planners have the capability to create memorable experiences — whether attendees are together in-… more
Mar 19, 2021
Add Oahu to the destinations ready to welcome groups back. Days after the island’s gathering restrictions were eased on March 11, Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu launched a campaign alerting events professionals that it is open for business. As is the case with meeting facilities on the mainland, the center has implemented health and safety protocols for meetings and events, led by ASM’s Global’s Venue Shield program. These include: Enhanced cleaning and sanitation and the use of electrostatic sprayers; The installation of thermal cameras and touchless temperature checks; The use of… more
Mar 18, 2021
As the events industry readies to turn the page on the COVID-19 dark times with a seemingly speedy recovery, a final chapter recording the final ugly numbers from 2020 is coming together. The U.S. Travel Association released a report on Wednesday indicating the U.S. economy lost out on $1.1 trillion dollars from travel. Along those same lines, the data shows travel-supported jobs fell by 5.6 million in 2020 (16.7 million to 11.1 million) while the industry’s footprint shrunk by 42%. As proof that the pandemic disproportionately hurt the travel and hospitality world, 65% of all lost American… more
Mar 17, 2021
Awaiting a renaissance of the events industry, Explore St. Louis turned to Michelangelo to drive customers to the America’s Center. The international touring exhibit, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition, adorned the ceilings of a 27,625-square-foot. ballroom inside the convention center. Open Thursday-Sunday between Nov. 6, 2020-Jan. 17, 2021, the attraction sold 15,457 tickets and generated $210,000 in revenue at a time when meetings and conventions were not operating inside the facility. “We made productive use of American’s Center,” said Brian Hall, chief marketing officer at… more
Mar 16, 2021
Toby Lewis, CEO of the UK-based Live Group, used to be fearful for the future of the MICE industry. That was well before March 2020 sent us all into a panic. Lewis’ concerns grew over the course of the last decade while reading yearly analysis reports in which little changed besides dates and venues. The stagnation was equally perplexing and infuriating for someone who always looks ahead. “Live group was unashamedly geeky before [COVID-19] in terms of the way we adopted technologies across the board,” he said. “We were finding our clients were kind of resisting and we didn't really know why… more