News

Jun 30, 2020
Event managers handling events for academia, science, medicine and other professional fields now have a new online platform option for planning virtual conferences and events. Underline, a live-streaming conference platform and digital repository, has been custom-built to handle scientific, technical and academic events, helping planners and organizers to execute virtual events as well as aggregate content from those events in a digital library. Alex Lazinica, founder and CEO of Underline and a former robotics and artificial intelligence scientist, was inspired to start the company after… more
Jun 29, 2020
With many people working from home and attending more videoconferences and virtual events than ever before, boosting attendee morale and engagement while combating digital fatigue has become a big area of focus for event organizers. That’s where teambuilding activities such as virtual escape rooms come in. These digitized versions of the popular in-person puzzle-solving games make for fun and engaging additions to any virtual event. Along with spurring collaboration and creative thinking, the interactive mind-benders also promote learning, networking and a spirit of play. “It’s more… more
Jun 26, 2020
The global event tech exhibition and conference Event Tech Live is taking a new approach for its 2020 event — and perhaps no one is better equipped to go (partially) digital, due to their depth of knowledge with event technology. This Nov. 2-6, Event Tech Live will take a hybrid approach, expanding its typical two-day trade show (which will still take place in person, Nov. 4-5, at The Old Truman Brewery in London, incorporating procedures overseen by health consultants to ensure safety for all attendees) to include five virtual days of content, as well. “ETL introduced a virtual element… more
Jun 26, 2020
The first facilities to earn the new GBAC STAR accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA—The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, are scheduled to be announced by the end of June. To achieve accreditation, applicants must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements covering cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention.  In less than two months after the launch of the GBAC STAR program on May 7, thousands of facilities committed to the program — from large hotel chains, convention centers and arenas to small restaurants, bowling… more
Jun 25, 2020
While this summer’s hiring news isn’t as busy as in other years, companies in the events industry are expanding where they can to help gain a cutting edge for events as they begin to return. Here’s the latest news. - - - - - On June 22, Meet AC, Atlantic City’s group sales and marketing organization, named industry veteran Larry Sieg as its new president and CEO. He replaces Jim Wood, who departed the agency at the end of 2019. Bringing nearly three decades of tourism, sales and hospitality experience to his new role, Sieg will officially take the reins on July 13. "Being someone who lives… more
Jun 24, 2020
Bogus attendee list vendors may think twice before soliciting PACK EXPO exhibitors again. In early June, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, belatedly announced its Feb. 23 lawsuit victory against Data Marketers Inc. for trademark infringement, false association advertising and unfair competition. Operating under the name LogiChannel, the data and marketing services company illegally used PACK EXPO’s logo in email solicitations a month prior to the September 2019 Las Vegas trade show in attempts to sell fake attendee lists to the show’s exhibitors. PMMI decided… more
Jun 23, 2020
As a meeting planner for more than 15 years and co-founder of the Association for Women in Events (AWE), Carrie Abernathy understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in the events industry. She is currently the lead meeting planner for Altria Group Distribution Company and has served in a variety of leadership roles in the industry.  Abernathy recently started a weekly half-hour “talkcast” with fellow planner and PCMA board member Derrick Johnson called “Events: From Black to White” — and launched a new website called A Woman With Drive. Here, she shares more about these projects… more
Jun 22, 2020
While some major convention centers transformed into temporary medical relief centers as the pandemic took hold in early spring, one large venue has made the most of its empty exhibit halls and kitchens by caring for the community’s homeless individuals. For the last 10 weeks, the San Diego Convention Center has served as a temporary regional homeless shelter for approximately 1,200 people as part of the City of San Diego-funded Operation Shelter to Home initiative, designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the city’s homelessness population. The SDCC is sheltering and feeding… more
Jun 19, 2020
Destinations International recently announced its new “We’re Here to Help” recovery campaign, which aims to unify the meetings, events and travel industry by demonstrating that CVBs play a critical role in recovery when the unexpected happens.  “There is no substitute for people working together to overcome dramatic and difficult challenges,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of DI. “This campaign shows the resilience of our industry and how when we come together, great things are possible.” He continued, “CVBs are the community connectors and will continue to be an essential extension of… more
Jun 18, 2020
Lippman Connects recently sold out the first of its new Digital Summits, which were created to facilitate the peer-to-peer exchange of information among event professionals in a virtual setting. Sam Lippman, president of Lippman Connects, organized and facilitated the event, which was capped at 15 exhibition and convention professionals. At the first Digital Summit on May 29, participants looked at the topic of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected meetings and events, and highlighted what some of the next steps might be for the industry. According to Lippman, the event professionals taking… more
Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact