News

Jun 30, 2021
Maybe it’s because Soundings Founder Tracy Judge makes it her mission to match companies with relevant freelance event professionals that she could see the early signs of a talent crisis. Now that the pandemic is receding, Judge is no longer ahead of her time in raising the alarms about how short-staffed teams are going to operate events.  Across all aspects of the industry, labor shortages will cause anything from headaches to cancellations for the foreseeable future. American Airlines has warned that it will be forced to cancel more than 100 flights weekly into July because it can’t… more
Jun 29, 2021
Organizations far and wide are celebrating Pride Month by showing their support for the LGBT+ community through awareness-raising efforts, fostering more diverse and inclusive cultures and supporting progressive change. But for the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association, Pride is a year-round effort to change minds, hearts and attitudes. As the only organization solely committed to connecting, advancing and empowering the LGBT+ meeting professional community, the LGBT MPA works to represent and uplift LGBT voices, educate the industry on a broad range of topics pertaining to inclusion and… more
Jun 28, 2021
In case you thought 2020 was a dream, consider the case of davies + dixon, one of the event industry’s premier digital marketing firms. Since the pandemic took hold in this country, the Seattle-based company has spent more than 400 hours supporting virtual event programming, reaching more than 30,000 attendees. Co-Founder Kelsey Dixon, an avid traveler, knows the in-person gatherings are coming back strong. She is also sure her organization, along with many others, is hardly through with digital programming. To wit, davies + dixon recently completed a white paper looking ahead to the future… more
Jun 25, 2021
Just because in-person events are returning doesn’t mean technology is going to take a back seat. The past few weeks have been filled with news of mergers, partnerships, innovation and the funding to make it all possible. See how the event tech world is positioning itself for the future of gatherings. MeetingPlay Hybrid technology company MeetingPlay has secured $75 million in funding from Sunstone Partners, a growth-oriented private equity firm focused on software and tech-enabled services companies. The move allows for vast expansion of MeetingPlay’s already impressive capabilities.… more
Jun 24, 2021
As it begins the journey toward recovery, the hospitality industry has been busy making investments in new hotels as well as top-to-bottom upgrades. Here are a few to consider when planning your next event: New Properties JW Marriott Tampa Water Street Earlier this year, JW Marriott debuted its 100th property and first in Tampa, the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street. Located in the heart of the city’s Water Street neighborhood, the luxurious, 519-room, wellness-themed property features a modern design, calming aesthetic and amenities inspired by mindfulness principles. Along with spacious… more
Jun 23, 2021
If you are looking for a pioneer in event technology, it’s hard to beat Anil Punyapu. The senior vice president of sales at Cvent has been with the event registration and software giant since 2003 – or more than three-quarters of its impressive lifespan. Virtual events are nothing new to Punyapu and Cvent, though no one could quite predict what 2020 would bring to the world and events industry. With more than a year under our belts, and the worst of the pandemic seemingly over in this country, Punyapu is looking ahead to a future in which technology and meetings are more integrated. “We… more
Jun 21, 2021
More than 1,200 event professionals gathered at MPI’s World Education Congress at CAESARS FORUM last week, the largest in-person industry event so far this year. While attendance was about half of pre-pandemic levels, the large showing is another shot in the arm for an industry recovering from essentially a lost year of business. A hybrid event, WEC placed an emphasis on safety in bringing together 1,229 people in Las Vegas and attracted another 568 remote attendees. Content reflected the state of the industry, pointing toward ways to hold events responsibly while confronting social issues… more
Jun 17, 2021
Business travel appears to be still stuck in quarantine as Americans begin returning to pre-pandemic levels for vacations and road trips. If this trend continues, meetings and events may not see a full recovery from COVID-19 until 2023 or 2024. Trying to jumpstart a sluggish re-awakening, the U.S. Travel Association issued bleak warnings about the impact that weakened business travel could have on the whole country. As part of the “Let’s Meet There” campaign, USTA has partnered with Ohio State University to develop what they hope to be universal standards for meeting safely.  The lack of… more
Jun 16, 2021
Harrah’s Las Vegas has officially unveiled the fruits of its $200 million investment in a massive renovation project that includes 2,542 redesigned guest rooms, a complete casino floor remodel and exterior enhancements in the form of two new LED marquees at the property’s north and south entrances.  “As a flagship location of the iconic gaming and hospitality brand, revamping Harrah’s Las Vegas not only enhances the guest experience but also further reflects the fun and energy that makes Las Vegas such a unique travel destination,” said Harrah’s Las Vegas Senior Vice President and General… more
Jun 15, 2021
Jeff Bzdawka, new CEO of Knowland, talks of three Ps that led him to the industry’s oldest and one of the most respected data-gathering firms. The people and the product are top-notch at Knowland, he feels, but it’s the third, positioning, that uniquely qualifies the former vice president of technology of Hyatt for this role. Between his leadership roles at Hyatt and tech-travel companies TravelClick and Pegasus, Bzdawka understands how to turn data-driven research into actionable insights. That skillset may be the most valuable commodity in meetings and events as the county emerges from the… more