10 Predictions for Meetings and Events in 2021
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
Cleo Battle To Succeed Louisville Tourism President and CEO Karen Williams
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
Hilton Rolls Out Hybrid Program for Corporate Meetings
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
PCMA Brings Corporate Events Community Together Through Convening Leaders
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
What Will Be Biden’s Effect on Meetings and Events?
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
Hotels Seek to Boost COVID Vaccine Rollout
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
What Has the Corporate Events Industry Learned During the Pandemic?
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
XTI-360 Aims to Shield Events from Germs and Viruses
Jan 11, 2021
 Imagine an event in which attendees are not skittish to touch a surface. While many never gave such a simple movement a second thought before, it will be a point of interest in a post-COVID world. But a new technology, XTI-360, could put the fear factor back in Pandora’s box. Through nano-coating, seeping into the pores of surfaces, the product kills germs essentially on contact. The company pledges that any product sprayed is safe for up to one year. “The general idea of this is to substitute technology with human behavior,” explained Joel Hartstone, CEO and chairman of XTI-360. “This… more
Casandra Matej Named President and CEO of Visit Orlando
Jan 05, 2021
Casandra Matej has been tapped as the next president and chief executive officer of Visit Orlando, effective Feb. 1. She assumes the same position she most recently held with Visit San Antonio. Matej is credited for rethinking the structure of the San Antonio CVB that she served nearly a decade, first as executive director and then as president and CEO. During her tenure, Alamo City achieved record highs in convention sales and marketing programs. She also developed one of the largest tourism ambassador programs in the country—with over 2,000 CTAs brought aboard to ensure memorable visitor… more
Meeting Mean Business Launches Meet Safe Platform
Dec 29, 2020
One of the biggest challenges facing event planners as the world reopens are the inconsistencies between states regarding health and safety guidelines. The difference between say Florida and California are worlds apart. Trying to keep it all straight adds to the already stressful job of putting on meetings, conferences and trade shows. Meetings Mean Business, the industry-wide coalition focused on advocacy, is trying to simplify the learning curve. Its new Meet Safe platform is a portal for event organizers to share recent experiences. A re-opening tracker is another valuable information… more