Jun 06, 2024
Even when he’s not at work creating delicious fare for hotel guests and event groups at the William F. Bolger Center conference hotel in Potomac, MD, Chef Justin Key is still thinking about food. “My oldest friends and my brother are all professional chefs, which makes for some interesting ‘shop talk’ even on days off,” Key said. “We often bounce ideas off each other and get together to play around with food. I enjoy cooking for large family events and find many food inspirations from those gatherings.” A food and beverage (F&B) industry lifer, the Maryland native has been working in… more
Jun 05, 2024
Exclusively sponsored by Honeycomb Strategies  A sustainable event includes an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Planning an event to be inclusive and friendly to people with sensory challenges or neurodiversity (neurodivergent is an umbrella term that refers to a myriad of common neurological differences such as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) will ensure the whole community has the opportunity to connect and engage with industry offerings and environmental initiatives.  Here are seven practical ways to make events more… more
Jun 04, 2024
A record number of business events industry leaders met with policymakers on Capitol Hill on Thurs., May 30 as part of the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) annual Legislative Action Day. More than 130 advocates from 25 states raised awareness about the U.S. business events industry, which employs 2.6 million Americans and drives $399 billion in direct spending annually.  Armed with data on economic impact of business events by state, participants discussed key issues impacting the trade show, meetings and events industry during 112 meetings with senators, House representatives… more
Jun 03, 2024
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino completed a $100 million redesign of its 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center, designed to meet the needs and preferences of modern meetings and events. New and upgraded features include advanced technology infrastructure, additional digital signage, and a fresh, vibrant design that complements the 3,211-room Strip resort’s tropical ambiance. “Meetings and conventions play a pivotal role in the success of Las Vegas, and the revitalization of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center demonstrates our commitment to this critical piece of our city’s… more
May 31, 2024
Ahead of the upcoming Cvent CONNECT, set for June 10-13, Rachel Andrews, the software giant’s head of global events, sat down with us for an exclusive, tell-all interview that makes it clear why she was chosen for our new and ongoing  “Industry Trailblazers” feature.  Andrews began her 13-year tenure at Cvent when “the meetings and events team wasn’t really a team,” she explained, adding that the team of merely six “was kind of a bunch of disparate people working on tactics that weren't cohesive.” “We didn't really have a strategy other than we're just going to host a bunch of lunches and… more
May 30, 2024
The theme for Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress (WEC), held last week in Louisville, Ky., was “Craft Your Experience.” But if MPI were to pick a theme for the association itself, “momentum” might be a good choice. The May 20-22 event drew 1,900 in-person attendees and 100 registered for the digital experience, the highest attendance since WEC 2019 in Toronto, said MPI leaders during an on-site press conference. And, of the more than 700 meeting planners who came to the show, about half were first-timers. MPI's Paul Van Deventer  Paul Van Deventer, MPI president… more
May 29, 2024
 There’s no better case study in fan engagement than live sporting events. Take it from sports merchandise giant Fanatics, which tapped Komo Technologies to measure its level of fan engagement as part of a new partnership that’s set to debut at the first-ever Fanatics Fest in New York City this summer. Komo Tech, which has hubs in New York and Australia, is set to capitalize on the Fanatics Fest’s positioning at the nexus of sports fandom and culture by infusing the event with the immersive gamification, polls, user-generated content (UGC) and badge-earning opportunities—among other features… more
May 28, 2024
Two convention and event venues in the southeast recently announced a new partnership and preparations for the kick off of a long-awaited expansion project. Here’s our latest roundup of venue news to keep you up to date. OVG Makes Moves in Mobile The City of Mobile, Ala. approved plans to upgrade its meeting and event venue offerings with the help of venue development, management and hospitality company Oak View Group (OVG) and live entertainment company Live Nation. Why it matters: In March, Mobile City Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced plans to demolish the aging Mobile Civic Center and… more
May 23, 2024
During a recent trip to Nashville, we visited six Hilton properties across their collection of brands – from luxury brands like the Conrad Nashville to boutique brands in the Curio Collection like Hotel Fraye.  We toured meeting spaces, hotel rooms and suites, lobbies, bars, restaurants and gyms (stay tuned for complete rundown), but here are eight cool trends we noted and experienced during our site visit. Hydration station. At the Tempo by Hilton Nashville Downtown, guests can fill up their water bottles with complimentary sparkling, still or alkaline water. Partnering with Planet Water,… more
May 22, 2024
Event-related organizations, especially industry suppliers, have been welcoming new leadership and growing staff as the number of meetings and business events continue picking up pace nationwide. Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) has selected a new president and CEO: Mike Larragueta, who for nine months has served as the CVB’s interim president and CEO since Charles Harris left the position in 2023. Bringing nearly 30 years of travel and tourism industry experience, including15 years of local executive experience,… more
Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here.   New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, more