News

Jan 05, 2021
It was like the good old days at Elvis Presley’s Graceland and The Guest House at Graceland resort when Miss USA and Miss Teen USA came to town Nov. 6-9, 2020. Banquet and front desk staff resumed their old positions, albeit temporarily for preparation and the event, as more than 550 attendees masked up to ensure the country’s marquee beauty pageants went on—not as scheduled, but better late and a little different than normal. “It was kind of bittersweet,” said Traci Franzone, Graceland’s director of sales and catering, who supervised the three-day extravaganza. “It just shows how much you… more
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
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
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
Dec 23, 2020
Convention centers across the country are making way for hybrid meetings and events. Renowned facilities looking ahead to 2021 and beyond have repurposed spaces to become virtual studios, complete with state-of-the-art AV equipment for digital and in-person presentations. “While hybrid meetings are not new in our industry, the demand for them has increased dramatically due to this pandemic, forcing meeting and event planners to make adjustments to their events to continue to address the needs of their members and attendees who will not be ready to travel anytime soon,” said Tim Muldoon,… more
Dec 22, 2020
Shy Coleman, Sales Executive for W Scottsdale, is accustomed to relatively short turnarounds, from groups booking to use the Arizona property to the actual event. Three months lead-time is typical normally. But the world remains in the “new abnormal” now, particularly in the corporate events industry. Months have turned into weeks, if not days, as corporations wait until as close to a gathering as possible to reserve rooms and event space—to limit the chances of cancelling over a new spike in coronavirus cases. “It's been a whirlwind of a year,” Coleman said. “I guess that’s the… more
Dec 21, 2020
All of us could use some reasons to smile these days. Exhibitpro, a New Albany, Ohio-based creative experience company, has come up with a clever way to turn frowns upside down while supporting small businesses in its local community.  The company recently unveiled its “Keep Your City Smiling” boxes featuring curated products from Columbus-area small businesses that have been hurting from lack of traffic, sales and revenue since the onset of COVID-19 and its economic fallout.  The creative brainchild of Snapbar CEO and Co-founder Sam Eitzen, the “Keep Your City Smiling” initiative was… more
Dec 17, 2020
Swapcard, an AI-powered engagement and matchmaking platform for events, announced the launch of their second in-house 3-day virtual event and show, Evolve 2.0, which will be held from February 23-25, 2021. To attend, please register HERE. Following the success of their first virtual event back in May 2020, Evolve: The Virtual Event for Planners, which built a community of more than 4,000 event professionals, Swapcard made the move towards a 365 platform with the Evolve Community Series. The team has continued to release new content monthly and the community has continued to grow and… more
Dec 16, 2020
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has acquired the assets of the Las Vegas Monorail Company to preserve an important transportation option along the Las Vegas Strip. The transaction was finalized on Dec. 9, following approval of the sale by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Nov. 24. The company was purchased for more than $24 million, according to LVCVA officials. The transaction also allows for other transportation options on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard by eliminating the non-compete area around the monorail system while also paving the way for the Boring Company’s… more
Dec 15, 2020
U.S.-based CLIPr was crowned the overall winner of the 2020 TechWatch Live Award, which was presented during IBTM World Virtual, held online Dec. 8-10. The platform beat out four other leading event tech companies for its achievements in addressing “Zoom fatigue” with its intelligent use of machine-learning and AI technology to provide searchable, personalized recorded video recaps and insights of online meetings, events and classes. By analyzing recorded video content and highlighting key topics, CLIPr enables users to search and share important moments from an online event in a fraction of… more