News

Feb 11, 2021
When General Motors rolled out its new electric battery capabilities at CES last month, the car advancement was only part of the story. The presentation, viewed by thousands at the entirely virtual trade show, was a case study for how the world will consume information in the future. INVNT, an innovative branding and events company, partnered with GM to create virtual environments to simulate the car company’s research and development laboratory. The keynote team used 3-D imagery to take a deep d(r)ive into the inner workings of the technology. Making this all possible was a mixed-reality… more
Feb 10, 2021
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then the love companies feel for their employees working remotely must be at all-time high as we approach the first Valentine’s Day of the pandemic era. Given that the recovery isn’t going quite as fast as we would like, a little prick from Cupid’s arrow can go a long way right now. It doesn’t take much to show appreciation to staff adapting to a new reality that very likely includes kids homeschooling and Zoom burnout. While there is certainly more than one way to show the love this year, here are a few choice ideas for V-day gifts to help sweeten… 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
Feb 08, 2021
How do you guarantee a new experience for your next meeting? Book at a hotel that is not even open yet. That’s what Sandra Geiger, a global account executive with ConferenceDirect, opted for when planning an Alabama association’s annual membership meeting. The June 2021 event will be held at Hotel Effie in Destin, Florida. The boutique property opened its doors the first week of February. From all accounts, the hotel appears to be the latest gem along the Emerald Coast. Geiger is certainly counting on it—as she signed the contract without setting foot on the property. “We have never… more
Feb 04, 2021
The late President George H.W. Bush famously detested broccoli. But you know what he liked? “Oak grilled duck breast with lychee sauce,” said Bill Hansen, caterer to the stars in South Beach, Florida. “It was on a buffet and he asked if could have some more. Of course, we brought more over. He loved it.” That’s just a taste of the stories Hansen can cook up when detailing his experiences managing his catering company for 40 years. He’s managed the kitchen for golfing greats at the Masters (16 ordered milkshakes, part of Tiger Woods’ requested menu), hosted four U.S. presidents (Reagan, both… more
Feb 03, 2021
Need proof events are learning to adapt to the new world? Black Hat Asia 2020 scored remarkable feedback from attendees at last fall’s tech/cybersecurity summit. Held virtually for the first time in its existence, the conference scored well above the norm for 2020 virtual events. The takeaway: Virtual events can be extremely effective—if executed correctly. Citing engaging speakers, high-end production, exclusive and relevant content, survey results found: 95% of respondents were satisfied with Black Hat Asia 2020; Close to 90% would attend another event organized by Informa Tech The… more
Feb 02, 2021
When discussing the future of events, Convention Data Services President and CEO John Kimball draws an analogy to Walt Disney World. With one click of a button, a guest has for years been able to gauge the length of ride lines and determine his or her group’s next stop. “Nobody wants to wait in line,” Kimball said. This is especially true when registering for a conference. Before, long lines were a mere (or more) nuisance upon arrival. But in the coronavirus era, annoyance turns to unsafe as congestion in exhibition halls risks the spread of a once-in-a-century disease. What if those lines… more
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