News

Jan 27, 2021
Trying to serve as a guiding light in a challenging period, PCMA brought together more than 3,000 attendees in an unusual experience befitting the COVID era. Primarily a virtual event, PCMA’s Convening Leaders, held Jan. 11-15, also featured several hub cities where event professionals could enjoy an in-person experience while taking in the education. In a remarkable moment, a short musical performance was livestreamed from Singapore—where 300 persons were in attendance—before a general session. Halfway across the world in Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment attempted a different, but perhaps… more
Jan 26, 2021
Hewlett Packard planned to send 2,000 attendees to Nashville for an event in May. There were 270 presentations ready to go, featuring a combined 700 speakers. Rather than let a little thing like a pandemic let all that work go to waste, HP’s planners reached out eventPower, the company behind its event platform, about transforming all those sessions into a digital event. Laurie Powell, vice president of business development of eventPower, had a simple response: “Why not?” In the technology-dependent world of today’s trade shows, conferences and other events, vendors like eventPower must… more
Jan 25, 2021
As the pandemic continues to keep many event facilities closed or under-utilized, convention centers across the U.S. are finding new life and purpose by transforming their empty exhibit halls into mass state-run COVID-19 vaccinations sites. Here are several major facilities that are providing this valuable community service, helping to save lives and return the country — including the meetings and convention industry — to pre-pandemic times as quickly as possible. Last spring, the Jacob K. Javits Center was converted into a temporary field hospital as coronavirus cases overwhelmed New York… more
Jan 21, 2021
Tracy Judge, founder and chief connector of Soundings Connect, is as poised a person as you’ll ever meet. A former corporate meeting planner at Maritz Global Events, Judge runs her own company, a network for freelance event professionals, while contributing to many industry organizations and causes. She has an uncanny ability to build relationships and rise to any challenge, and is a popular speaker for events. So, when Judge admits that the process of putting together a presentation in a virtual studio spooked her, it is noteworthy. “I had terrible anxiety,” she said of prepping for the… more
Jan 20, 2021
Joe Biden becomes the country’s 46th president at a time when the United States is mired in a pandemic and its related economic challenges. His proposed solutions, and their effectiveness, is surely how the first part of his presidency will be measured. The events, travel and hospitality industries are perhaps the most desperate for the dual recoveries to take place. The faster COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, the sooner airlines can fill middle seats, hotels can welcome more guests and convention centers can host large groups. The bigger business opens up for employment opportunities,… more
Jan 19, 2021
In an effort to speed the process of distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the hotel industry is offering its services to the incoming Biden-Harris administration. Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, sent a letter to the transition team detailing why hotels are well-positioned to assist the effort. Among the compelling arguments: With 50,000 properties across the country, the hotel industry has the geographic reach to touch all Americans. Hotels have available private rooms, meeting spaces, ballrooms, outdoor venues and more to administer shots without… more
Jan 18, 2021
Carrie Abernathy never imagined a year ago that she’d be where she is now. The corporate event planner and founder of the Association for Women in Events is back in Virginia, but 3.5 hours away from her former stopping grounds in Northern Virginia. Figuratively, she is adapting like the rest of us to a new world. Abernathy started a website, A Women with Drive, and is looking to impart the wisdom she’s gained while serving on dozens of event industry boards and advisory committees through speaking engagements and with a regular content series on our website. We talked to Abernathy about what… more
Jan 14, 2021
Swapcard, the Paris-based leading AI-powered engagement and matchmaking platform for premium virtual and hybrid events, has acquired Avolio, Inc., a registration platform headquartered in Atlanta and its event management software, IPReg. This move is the first step in Swapcard’s answer to the biggest challenge organizers are currently facing: finding one technology partner that can run all their virtual, hybrid and face-to-face events throughout the year. Swapcard, which ran more than 1,570 successful virtual events in 2020, experienced unprecedented growth in 2020, with a 400% growth in… more
Jan 14, 2021
In cities across the United States, as well as south of the border, hotels and resorts are under construction, coming online or completing remodel projects. The work comes just in time to start luring group business as the hospitality industry begins its recovery. Take a look: In December, Indianapolis welcomed the Bottleworks Hotel, a new 139-key boutique property occupying the top two floors of the historic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. administration building in the city’s downtown. Featuring a glamorous art-deco aesthetic that weaves historic architectural features with modern hotel amenities… more
Jan 13, 2021
Not so long ago, corporate meeting planners were dreaming up impressive off-site events for their groups to attend. Cirque Du Soleil, anyone? One of the key measures for engagement were Instagram photos and shares. When live events return in full force (hopefully this year), it may be time to re-think whether it’s best for attendees to immediately pull out their phones when the grand moment strikes. Consider a new book e-book, “Wired for Wonder: The Transformative Power of Awe,” written by NeuroCognitive Fitness founder Dee O’Neill, M.S., LPC, BCN and available on the Expo Group website. “… more