New Business Contracts: Centerplate, IAEE, David L. Lawrence Convention Center and More Forge New Deals, Renew Agreements

June 1, 2021

As the industry continues its gradual progress toward a full recovery, event organizations, destinations and venues are inking new deals and extending existing relationships as they gear up for an acceleration in business. Take a look:


Nashville’s Convention Center Authority has agreed to extend its eight-year agreement with Centerplate, the exclusive food and beverage partner for the Music City Center. The new, multi-year agreement will still encompass hospitality, catering and culinary services in at the convention center highlighting local Nashville purveyors and diverse business enterprises.

“We are thrilled to be chosen to continue serving the Music City Center, as this has been and will continue to be an important, long-term relationship for us,” said Steve Pangburn, CEO of  Centerplate /Sodexo Sports & Leisure. “Through high-quality service, partnerships with premium local partners and innovative new design, we were thrilled to earn high scores amid this competitive bidding process, and appreciate the forward-facing, high-level vision of our venue partners.”


IAEE has tapped virtual and hybrid events platform Swapcard to power the association’s new MarketHub, a year-round online marketplace that enables IAEE supplier members to engage with buyers worldwide, access content and increase their visibility in the global events community. 

“In such a difficult period for our industry, we believe that it’s important to unlock business opportunities for suppliers and help organizers source new providers,” said Baptiste Boulard, CEO of Swapcard. “Together with IAEE, Swapcard aims to help accelerate the industry’s digital transformation and be hybrid-ready when we open up again.”

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center has partnered with custom video solutions provider CNTV to help assist the venue’s event clients with the design, strategy and production of hybrid events.

The collaboration follows the launch of the DLCC’s state-of-the-art mobile studio, The Confluence, an Event Studio, which enables organizations to live stream pre-record presentations including webinars, panel discussions, training, summits and keynotes and host hybrid events. 


UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibitions Industry, has extended its four-year partnership with global research partner Explori for another three years. The renewed agreement focuses on providing strategic post-event survey feedback for UFI’s events and Global Insights reports that provide event organizers with insights into global visitor and exhibitor trade show trends. 

“We’re very happy to continue this partnership with UFI, [which] has been a fantastic opportunity to produce research for the trade show industry that is unique in both its scale and scope,” said Sophie Holt, Explori’s managing director. 


Leading engagement platform Grip has partnered with German trade fair producer Messe München to support virtual and hybrid event technology for a series of world-leading events throughout 2021. Grip’s Market Engagement Platform will be supporting several events at the exhibition center including transport logistic, IAA Mobility and EXPO REAL, taking place May through September.

“Ultimately, we decided to work with Grip because it was the best platform to meet our current requirements across hybrid and virtual events, with the best levels of service and support,” explained Klaus Dittrich, chairman and CEO of Messe München. “[They also] share Messe München’s vision on where the industry is heading.”


Event registration, data analytics and lead management services and solutions provider CompuSystems has signed new deals with the National Association of Music Merchants, the Professional Beauty Association and the National Information Solutions Cooperative.

As part of a multi-year contract for NAMM, CompuSystems will provide registration, data analytics and lead retrieval for The NAMM Show and Summer NAMM. For PBA’s multi-year deal, the company will provide registration, data analytics and lead retrieval services for PBA’s annual shows including the International Salon and Spa Expo & North American Hairstyling Awards and Cosmoprof North America. For NISC, CompuSystems will provide registration, data analytics and lead management services for the Member Information Conference.

Visit Salt Lake

In an effort to grow its tourism and convention business, Visit Salt Lake has teamed up with Utah-based Zartico, creators of the proprietary Destination Operating System, to enhance its data-driven efforts. Since signing the VSL as one of its first clients, Zartico has created a digital operating system that ingests more than 30 of the area’s data sources and converts that information into a single platform, allowing the CVB to customize its tourism offerings to specific audiences. 

“Our first partners, Visit Salt Lake and the Utah Office of Tourism, have served as thought leaders in helping us define and develop our product,” said Zartico CEO Sarah Lehman. “We are excited to be planting and growing our roots here in Salt Lake City and look forward to working collaboratively to steward and elevate the visitor economy within the state.”


Arc, a global events industry consortium of experienced event industry professionals, led by 20-year exhibition and media industry veteran Simon Foster, has formed an exclusive partnership with New York-based private equity firm EagleTree Capital. With the goal of building the next generation of events business, the platform will focus on acquiring single or groups of market-leading events, as well as forming joint venture partnerships with organizers, associations and venues.

A long-time supporter of the media and events sector, EagleTree’s current and past investments in the space include Northstar Travel Group, ALM and Penton. The firm also has several investments in businesses that serve the live events industry, including Moss and Sparks.

Orange County Convention Center

The Orange County Convention Center has partnered with hospitality and events digital signage solutions provider Xpodigital to provide customized digital advertising and signage services to OCCC events through September 2022. The agreement also includes two additional one-year renewal periods. 

The agreement makes Xpodigital the exclusive provider of advertising, digital content and branding displayed on OCCC’s permanent digital signage. The company will also provide events with customized temporary digital signage solutions to help events maximize the impact of their specific messaging to their audiences throughout the venue.  

Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions 

Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions, the joint venture between Reed Exhibitions and the Sinopharm Group, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in the China Hospital Construction Conference, Asia’s leading event in comprehensive and innovative solutions for hospital design, build and management.

“I firmly believe that in adding the CHCC brand to Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions’ health sector portfolio, we will bring our expertise in face-to-face and virtual experiences, global reach and resources to bear on CHCC’s members, stakeholders, academics and industry leaders, ensuring growth, development and value for all our partners,” said Reed Exhibitions CEO Hugh Jones.

ASM Global 

Leading venue management and services company, ASM Global, has been selected by the Montgomery County Convention Facilities Authority to provide management services for the Dayton Convention Center. In addition to running the facility’s day-to-day operations and management, ASM Global will be collaborating with the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau and area hospitality stakeholders to market and promote the venue, and providing first-class culinary services, among other duties.  

The addition of the DCC expands ASM Global’s convention center footprint in Ohio to four facilities, including convention centers in Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus. Over the coming months, the ASM Global team will implement industry-leading approaches to operations, marketing, sales, customer service and resource allocation, as well as provide support and counsel to the MCCFA for its planned renovations to the DCC, which reopened May 1.


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HERE, hosting responsible meetings and caring for our communities are top priorities. Through its 'Focused on What Matters: Embracing Humanity and Protecting the Planet' philosophy, MGM Resorts commits to creating a more sustainable future, while striving to make an impact in the lives of employees, guests, and the communities in which it operates. Water Stewardship Efforts MGM Resorts understands the importance of using water efficiently, especially in the desert destination of Las Vegas. Conserving water has always been part of the mission, but MGM Resorts has expanded its ambition into water stewardship. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative mobilizing business leaders to advance water stewardship. MGM Resorts International was the first gaming company to take this important step. MGM Resorts replaced 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts pledges to reduce water withdrawal intensity by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. From 2007-2021, use of more than 5.6 billion gallons of water was avoided because of conservation efforts. Caring for One Another MGM Resorts’ Food Donations Program collects and preserves unserved food from conventions held at MGM Resorts properties, then safely donates to food insecure people in the community. Since the program’s launch in 2016, more than 3.7 million meals toward a 2025 goal of 5 million meals have been donated into the community. Donations include: Unserved perishable prepared foods from events Perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens Nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses The collaboration with Southern Nevada’s primary food bank, Three Square, has developed the infrastructure needed to safely collect, transport, and store food from MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, reducing food waste while serving the community. Fostering Diversity and Inclusion To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all. MGM Resorts understands its responsibility to contribute to the social and economic progress of the communities in which it operates. HERE, we embrace humanity.