U.S. Convention Centers Transform Into Mega Vaccination Sites

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.

Once Again Open to Visitors, Hawaii Prepares for the Return of Meetings and Events

With the launch of its pre-travel testing program on Oct. 15, the State of Hawaii officially began welcoming visitors back to the islands. According to John Reyes, senior vice president and chief meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) sales officer for Meet Hawaii, the reopening is positive news for groups looking to book meetings and events — even if, at the moment, allowable gatherings are still small.

Visit Spokane Replaces Membership Dues-Based Model with Community-Benefit Partnership

In a rather bold move amidst a tumultuous year for the tourism industry, Visit Spokane has unveiled a restructuring of its business model that will lead to a short-term reduction in revenue but ultimately open up other avenues of funding and allow the organization to live more fully into its mission of marketing the whole region. 

New Exposition Center to Open in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in January 2021

The home of the Packers will also be home to an expansive new event venue by January 2021. Resch Expo, a 125,000-square-foot, column-free exposition center, is located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, adjacent Lambeau Field in the city’s entertainment district. Together with the existing Resch Center — which opened in 2002 and hosts events from concerts to trade shows — it will make up the new Resch Complex.

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: