Salt Lake Scores 30 Events Through Incentives Program
Mar 09, 2021
A financial incentive program created by the Utah Office of Tourism paid off with the booking of 30 events to be held in Salt Lake City in 2021. Visit Salt Lake projects that the events will fill 28,000 room nights, a remarkable feat as the country battles through the pandemic. The bookings include myriad meetings and events among all sectors of the industry. While quite a few are sports competitions, including returning clients like USA Fencing and USA Weightlifting, there are also large expos, association meetings and medical/pharmaceutical gatherings on the books. “I was surprised we had… more
Mar 03, 2021
Since the pandemic brought the live events industry to a screeching halt one year ago, convention center staff across the country have been working overtime to find creative ways to keep their spaces occupied and employees working. Some have repurposed their expo halls into overflow COVID hospitals or mega vaccination sites, while others have been able to host smaller, socially distanced events, depending on the health and safety criteria in their state. Then there are those venues that have been in the fortunate position of being able to attract alternative kinds of business to keep their… more
How South Padre Island Convention Center Helped Save Thousands of Sea Turtles
Mar 01, 2021
As the heart of South Padre Island’s meeting and event business, the South Padre Island Convention Center is accustomed to hosting an array of year-round corporate and consumer events. These range from fishing tournaments to quilt shows to college basketball tournaments.  Tourists and event groups alike are drawn to the island for obvious reasons. Situated on the coastal tip of Texas, along the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, the barrier island destination boasts 34 miles of white sand beaches, clear emerald waters and 300 days of sunshine per year. But during the recent polar vortex… more
Feb 17, 2021
Last year wasn’t exactly a great one for Nashville. The popular music and events destination not only suffered fallout from the pandemic, but also a Christmas morning suicide bombing that injured eight people, severely damaged more than 40 buildings in a historic downtown district and crippled telecommunication systems throughout the Southeast for days. While some cities might still be reeling from the one-two punch of such overlapping misfortune, the Music City is doing anything but ruminating. In the almost two months since the bombing, Nashville has been picking up the pieces, focusing on… more
Feb 09, 2021
The city of Chicago is getting ready to lure back meetings and convention business in 2021 with a little help from digital technology. Launched Jan. 21 by Choose Chicago in collaboration with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Healthy Meetings Chicago is an interactive digital platform designed to showcase the health and safety advantages of hosting events at the McCormick Place Campus. Currently available in Phase 1 for desktop or laptop viewing, the new platform illustrates the extensive new protocols and processes put in place by the city’s convention center and hospitality… 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 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
Corporate Groups Are Ready to Lead Puerto Rico's Comeback
Jan 12, 2021
If any destination knows about comebacks, it’s Puerto Rico. “We have a Pd.D. in recovery,” joked Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. “We’ve seen this movie before.” First, it was Zika—that mosquito-bred virus that targets pregnant women and their unborn children. Hurricane Irma then brought its category 5 winds to the island. For good measure, Hurricane Maria brought Puerto Rico to the brink, putting water and electricity in short supply for months. And to think all of that was a warm-up act to what 2020 brought upon the entire world. Through prior adversities, the island that could… more
Jan 06, 2021
Since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. last Spring, more and more convention centers have been demonstrating their commitment to protecting health and safety in the “new abnormal” by achieving GBAC STAR, a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention accreditation program designed for facilities of all types and sizes. Launched on May 7 by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of cleaning industry trade association ISSA, the GBAC program establishes requirements addressing work practices, protocols, procedures and systems to control risks associated with infectious… more
Philadelphia CVB Gets Animated About Missing Meetings 
Dec 28, 2020
Let’s face it: Not everything about meetings is great. But after the way 2020 played out, event professionals are yearning for even the awkward stuff. Rather than mope about all the good, bad and ugly of face-to-face gatherings we’ve missed, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is having some fun with it. The CVB in December launched a series of short animated episodes, “What We Never Thought We’d Miss About Meetings.” The first three episodes—about 30 seconds each—focus on too much swag, close talkers and (too) late-night networking.  Think of it as “Seinfeld” meets “South… more