News

Feb 08, 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 05, 2021
A bipartisan proposal geared toward assisting the travel and tourism industries passed a crucial first step with the U.S. Senate’s approval late this week. The measure, put forward by  U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), prioritizes the devastated hospitality sector, as Congress works through President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The amendment was passed as part of the Senate’s budget resolution, which marks an important step towards passing COVID-19 stimulus legislation, Cortez Masto’s office said. It is an assurance that the country’… more
Feb 05, 2021
If there’s one thing that the live events industry has continued to demonstrate over the course of its history, it’s an open-hearted willingness to help its own, particularly in times of crisis. COVID-19 has presented yet another opportunity to do just that.  Since the Las Vegas trade show industry came to a halt last March, many trade show and event workers have remained out of work and in urgent need of help, including with basics such as food. A concerned group of trade show industry companies, including the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) Las Vegas Chapter; Metro… more
Feb 04, 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
Feb 03, 2021
“Recovery from the pandemic is a journey and after this week in Atlanta, I can confirm that we have taken a giant step forward,” proclaimed Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers, following the close of the Winter 2021 Atlanta Market, held Jan. 12-19 at AmericasMart. He continued, “We provided the platform — with safety measures and the return of favorite market experiences — and our buyers and sellers brought the passion, inspiration and dedication that will bring the home and gift industry back. It is onward and upward from here.”  He added that the nation’s largest gift, home… more
Feb 03, 2021
When discussing the future of trade shows, 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… more
Feb 02, 2021
A new report from UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, predicts that a comeback is in the offing for trade shows. Having polled 457 companies in 64 countries and 29 different regions, UFI lays claim to its research being the industry’s gold standard. Exhibitors as well as planners and organizers can only hope the association’s report is right on target. According to the bi-annual UFI Global Barometer: Industry revenues will double in 2021, compared to 2020 64% of respondents say last year’s loss of events due to COVID-19 has only reinforced the importance of face-to-… 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
While many trade shows in early 2021 have either been cancelled, gone virtual or been postponed until later in the year, two recent B2B events in Orlando and Denver managed to go live successfully. A common theme: regional attendance and extensive health and safety measures that kept participants feeling more confident and comfortable. Denver January Market Held Jan. 19-22, the Denver January Market lured buyers from surrounding states, as well as 66 exhibitors spanning 13,800 square feet of showroom space.  Temporary and permanent showrooms showcased outdoor, apparel, western lifestyle,… 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
Partner Voices
Just when it seems like Las Vegas can’t get any bigger, brighter or more exciting for groups, MGM Resorts raises the bar again. The company continues to invest and innovate across its portfolio of Las Vegas resorts, with new attractions and upgraded experiences for attendees of all interests.  Remodeled Guest Rooms MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the world with over 5,000 guest rooms and an 850,000-square-foot conference center. It is home to the newly remodeled MGM Grand Studio Tower—700 reimagined guest rooms with a fun mid-century vibe. Nearby, the iconic New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently completed a $63M redesign and remodel of its 1,830 guest rooms and 155 suites. Down the street, Bellagio Las Vegas is sporting renovated rooms in the Spa Tower with sunrise-inspired decor and luxurious soaking tubs in Premier King rooms after a $110-million transformation. Reinvented Luxury Experiences The Luxury Meetings District, made up of Bellagio Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas, is now more connected than ever before. A new interior walkway opened this October for a seamless attendee experience – connecting Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, guests can now walk from Park MGM to Bellagio in around 15 minutes. New on the scene in the Luxury Meetings District is Cathedrale at ARIA, TAO Group’s upscale establishment specializing in exquisite French-Mediterranean cuisine offering elevated private dining experiences that opened in May. Heralded by World’s Best 50 Restaurants, GQ and VOGUE, LPM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is opening this fall and will deliver its signature spontaneity and imaginative celebration of France’s Mediterranean cuisine, art, and culture to the unique luxury resort in impeccable fashion.  A “New Wave  for Mandalay Bay A new wave of enhancements and experiences has arrived at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar, an 8,445-square-foot restaurant that opened this June, perfect for pre- and post-game eats and drinks. Event planner’s favorite, Chef Michael Mina’s StripSteak, received a full renovation and now includes one of the largest private dining rooms on The Strip. Retro by Voltaggio debuts a one-year residency with a fun take on pop culture of the 80s and 90s with classic American dishes. An exciting addition planned for 2024 is Swingers, a 40,000-square-foot oasis of street food, miniature golf and art at Mandalay Bay. Most exciting for meeting planners, the 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center  is undergoing a complete refresh, with lightened space, added eye-catching art, and improved technology infrastructure for even more flexible space. Energy-efficient digital signage now leads the way with faster internet speeds and new AV options. From renovated guest rooms and meeting spaces to celebrated dining options and dedicated teams, MGM Resorts is dedicated to delivering exceptional and innovative meeting experiences.