News

Feb 01, 2021
 The coronavirus understandably caught the events industry flat-footed last spring. Who can predict a once-in-a-century disease? But nearly a year into the pandemic, there’s been time to experiment, learn, adapt and develop better strategies going into 2021. Live events are going on, and will only pick up toward the second half of the year. That doesn’t mean COVID-19’s effects will disappear anytime soon. Almost all considerations that event planners, trade show organizers, exhibitors and attendees face are related to health and safety measures or economic challenges related to the pandemic… more
Jan 29, 2021
Louisville Tourism is about to get a new president and CEO. Cleo Battle, the CVB’s current chief operating officer, will assume his new role upon the forthcoming retirement of current president and CEO Karen Williams, who will close out her 30-year tenure at Louisville Tourism June 30.   This is Battle’s second time filling Williams’ shoes. The 34-year hospitality veteran was appointed executive vice president in 2013 before being named COO in 2019.  Prior to coming to Louisville, Battle spent 12 years as vice president of sales and services for the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau… more
Jan 28, 2021
Hilton Hotels are set to introduce a new program made for 2021. Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions features a host of offerings for small meetings of roughly 20 attendees. It integrates feedback received from event planners who’ve adapted to the pandemic with the offerings its properties can provide. “There are so many nuances to consider when planning a hybrid event,” noted Kelly Knowlen, executive director of sales engagement and special events at Hilton. First and foremost, naturally, is technology. Hilton is evaluating each of its properties’ bandwidth and capability to handle further… more
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