The twisting of reality is becoming common practice in the meeting, tradeshow, event and exhibition world. By using an ever-evolving array of technology such as virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, users can enter worlds created from scratch to entertain, provide demonstrations and eventually sell a concept or product. But how “realistic” is the implementation of this technology? What is each good at doing and what drawbacks are endemic to which specific medium? Before you, your exhibitors and attendees pass through the looking glass, arm yourself with a basic knowledge of how this technology performs and whether it will be suited to your meeting, tradeshow or event.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation will join Marriott International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in cutting independent meeting planner commissions from its current 10 percent rate to 7 percent. Jack Horne, global head of sales and revenue for the hotel chain, revealed the news in a letter sent to meeting and event planners who have done business with Hyatt on Thursday, November 15, 2018.
The expert of record for all things meetings tech for more than 20 years, Corbin Ball—owner of Corbin Ball & Co.—has ingrained himself in the meetings industry on a global level. An inveterate traveler—he spends about a third of his time on the road every year, traveling throughout the world to spread the meetings technology gospel as a speaker—Ball recently received the highest honor in the industry after being inducted into the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) Hall of Leaders. The ceremony took place during IMEX America 2018.
The Events Industry Council (EIC) released the final results of the Global Economic Significance of Business Events report, the first worldwide study on the economic importance of face-to-face business meetings and events. The report was conducted by Oxford Economics. The findings show that business events generated $621.4 billion (U.S.) of direct GDP (gross domestic product) and contributed a total global GDP impact of $1.5 trillion.
Unicorns? Check. A wizard? Check. Dance breaks? Check. Bingo pajama party? Check. Game-changing sessions and connections? That’s definitely a check. If you’ve been there, done that, you were likely here at SPINCon 2018 doing it all over again.
In an effort to provide cost-saving choices and advice, SmartAsset, a financial technology company reported the Best U.S. Cities for Conferences in 2018, based on recent data from forecasting company Oxford Economics.
Sustainability and wellness are on-trend and continue to drive the superfood revolution and the whole vegetable movement, according to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ fifth annual Culinary + Cocktail Trend Forecast. However, the emergence of more adventurous preferences, from offal-based dishes to bold African and Israeli influences hasn’t slowed, according to the 2019 forecast from Kimpton. When it comes to the bar scene, Kimpton said to expect to see reimagined mocktails, mushroom-infused spirits and the rise of flavored alcoholic seltzers.
Association services company SmithBucklin acquired 360 Live Media in a move that will significantly augment both companies’ meetings offerings in an environment that increasingly demands a high level of experiential elements, immersive attendee experiences and other format disruptions.
It’s official. After two failed attempts, Miami Beach will finally get the convention headquarter hotel that local tourism officials have been angling for over the past several years. Voters approved the project by a super majority in the 2018 General Election Nov. 6, 2018, paving the way for the critical missing piece in the destination’s meetings and conventions package.
Most people think they know how they would react if they were suddenly faced with an active shooter. You’d leap into action, take charge, bar the door—maybe even tackle the assailant—and save the day. Most people are wrong. I was. While active shooter training may be hard to implement during your actual event for all attendees, I believe it is something that would be valuable for meeting and event planners to take part in.
Wynn Resorts has scuttled its lagoon project but is restoring its 18-hole Tom Fazio designed golf course that has been closed since December 2017, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) purchased the 299-room Marriott St. Louis West, adding to the company’s portfolio of 18 hotels in the St. Louis metropolitan area. LHM Chairman and CEO, Bob O’Loughlin, said the company will invest up to $10 million for upgrades over the next two years.
In an era of mergers and endless merger rumors, with Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts perhaps at its peak, one possibility reported by the New York Post includes the two top names in Las Vegas and Atlantic City—Caesars Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resorts International.
After all New Orleans has been through following Hurricane Katrina, it’s no wonder hospitality community leaders there are so tuned in to giving back. But one would be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated community member than Michael Smith, general manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, who with his team members rose to the occasion during the cataclysmic hurricane and has set a frantic philanthropic pace following the storm.
About two-years ago I was introduced to AllSeated. I fell in love with it in 20 minutes after playing with its intuitive operating system. AllSeated is one of the fastest growing networks for the event industry. With designed and scaled floor plans in the system—tens of thousands are currently available—and a reach of over 500,000 users, AllSeated provides easy-to-use, cloud-based tools to run an event efficiently.
UNITE HERE and Marriott International reached an agreement to end hotel strikes in Detroit and Oakland, California.
Island-wide is the key word spreading across Marco Island's three main resorts—Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort and Marco Beach Ocean Resort.
It’s been a little more than one year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Today, this Caribbean island is as beautiful and booming as ever, according to Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, who said the first and foremost challenge is to correct misperceptions.
Meetings Today reached out to Bryan Pettigrew, senior vice president of marketing and sponsorship for the Breeders’ Cup, to get his opinion on why events such as his are an ideal option for an incentive trip.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is on the search for a new president and chief executive officer. The company announced that Mark P. Frissora will step down from Caesars after three years in the role. Frissora will remain on board until February 8, 2019.
George Wong, head of George Wong Design, has led inspired projects at top hotels across the globe. Resume pieces include directing the design of Moscow’s Grand Hyatt Hotel as the New York lead for the celebrated design firm Yabu Pushelberg; The St. Regis Hotel at Bal Harbour; New York’s Dos Caminos Restaurant; and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts’ Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei.
In one corner of 10K Alley, the World’s Biggest Pac-Man arcade game tempts with its bleeping and flashing lights, while another section lures me in with its glow-in-the-dark mini-golf.
Big Sky, Montana, is on track to get its first ultra-luxury resort in 2021. In September 2018, Montage International and CrossHarbor Capital Partners began construction on Montage Big Sky, a $400 million upscale resort set in the destination’s 3,500-acre Spanish Peaks enclave.
Just in time for Halloween, our list of haunted hotels extends from coast to coast, each one teeming with stories of spirits to keep guests company while meeting there with a group. Whether guests are fans of fright or modern-day ghost hunters, we advise entering at their own risk when it comes to making a reservation with any of our picks below.
Greenbuild, the world’s largest green building conference and expo, asks attendees to take a sustainability pledge as part of registering for the event. Suggesting concrete action items encourages attendees to make a personal investment in the show’s sustainability goals.
Meetings Today LIVE! South attendees spent three days at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa from October 28-31, 2018. The event's planner and supplier guests made up the first meetings group to visit the Southwest Florida resort as it completes a $60 million transformation.
The Communication Network’s annual conference, ComNet18, was scheduled for October 10-12, 2018, at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis and then UNITE HERE’s Marriott strike abruptly entered into the equation. Gibbons had to react fast, and in the end decided to risk the attrition hit by allowing attendees to cancel out their rooms while booking in other venues for meeting space and guest rooms.
Meetings Today LIVE! South on Marco Island, Fla., kicked off Sunday night with an outdoor party on the Great Lawn at Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, commemorating both the start of the three-day event and the grand reopening of the resort following extensive renovations.
Orlando's Orange County Convention Center is moving forward with a $605 million campus improvement plan. The project will bring expansions and new meeting and exhibit space in the North and South concourses, further increasing the center’s seven million square feet of total function space.
The public profile of LGBT+ people in the meetings industry has grown by leaps and bounds in just the past decade and a half, advancing from what some early adopters describe as the “secret handshake” days to a consolidation into the LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA). Now a two-year-old organization, the LGBT MPA is comprised of nearly 1,000 planners and suppliers who first exhibited at IMEX America in 2017 and made a repeat appearance at the 2018 show. The road to the exhibit floor and showing such a public face had humble beginnings.
Humans weren’t made to live without natural light. Studies continue to show that exposure to natural light has increased benefits. It’s no wonder that companies around the world are choosing to host meetings and events in sunlit spaces.
Indianapolis’ Capital Improvement Board of Managers (CIB) unanimously approved moving forward with negotiations in developing a 300,000-square-foot expansion to the Indiana Convention Center and two Hilton-branded convention hotels—600 rooms and 800 rooms—on the site of Pan Am Plaza.
Call it a tale of two countries. In Canada, U.S.-based meeting planners and organizations can tap a variety of Canadian government programs and select companies to help them expedite the cross-border customs process for shipping materials to their north of the border events. In Mexico, though, the process is more convoluted, so tapping into the experience of planners who have been there and done that is advice well taken.
Three major meetings industry associations—MPI, IAEE and SITE—have banded together as the Global MICE Collaborative to provide resources for emerging destinations that want to tap into the MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) market.
Shrinking budgets and long hours lead the list of event planning challenges/worries, according to a new survey conducted by Event Manager Blog Editor Julius Solaris and released during his "Event Trends for 2019” educational session at IMEX America in Las Vegas. During the presentation Solaris also highlighted a number of event planning trends to watch for in the year ahead and some practical advice for meeting planners.
Disney Meetings & Events used the occasion of IMEX America 2018, the largest gathering of meeting professionals in the Western Hemisphere, to unveil a new branding image for the division.
The 7,700 UNITE HERE Marriott workers that have been striking in eight destinations across the country are planning their largest turnout actions with a day of mass demonstrations on Saturday, October 20.
IMEX America 2018 is nearing the finish line, and in addition to the earlier announcement that it had broken previous records for exhibitors, at 3,500, the industry-leading event and exhibit shattered the buyer attendance record as well.
IMEX America attendees had the chance to participate in a CSR event at what some dubbed the best-smelling booth at IMEX. Hilton Worldwide and the company Repeat Roses teamed up to offer a flower arranging opportunity as part of Hilton’s initiative “Meet with Purpose.”
The global meetings and conventions industry is a $1.03 trillion business annually, according to the preliminary results of a survey conducted by Oxford Economics for the Events Industry Council (EIC).
United Airlines announced that it will begin service to and from the Hilton Head Island Airport in South Carolina, starting spring 2019. American Airlines began service in and out of the airport in July 2018.
IACC, the association that represents the global conference center segment, is set to more than double its number of European facilities within the next four months if a deal to add the supplier members of two conference center groups comes to fruition, according to IACC CEO Mark Cooper.
Marriott International Chief Marketing Officer, Americas Steve Heitzner fills Meetings Today in on the hotel giant's recent moves.
In a Smart Monday session at IMEX 2018 named “Redesigning Inclusive and Welcoming Events by Overcoming Unconscious Bias,” presenters Mariela Mcilwraith, director, industry advancement, EIC and Tahira Endean, event producer, TahiraCreates. focused on ways planners can consider the perspectives and needs of potential participants to design events that are inclusive and accessible to all.
Cvent announced its acquisition of Social Tables—an event diagramming, seating and collaboration platform—on Tuesday, October 16. Cvent said the acquisition will help improve collaboration, create a more interactive sourcing experience and increase group sales at venues.
The flu and cold season wreaks havoc on the workforce each year. Beyond the office environment, the flu and cold season also greatly affects those who travel for business or the meeting and event planners and attendees who travel to and network at meetings and events. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to protect meeting and event planners and attendees from catching and spreading germs and illnesses. According to the CDC, the simple act of handwashing can prevent 20 percent of respiratory infections such as the common cold and the flu.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s GO Cedar Rapids CVB ceased operations after incurring $2.3 million in debts from producing the “newbo evolve” festival, according to a report in The Gazette, a local area newspaper.
IMEX America 2018 opens in Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 16, highlighting destinations, venues, hotels, technology specialists and service suppliers from 150 countries. The more than 3,500 exhibitors will set a new milestone for IMEX America, making it the largest ever in the history of the event.
The mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival on October 1, 2017, tragically underscored the challenges of securing one of the world’s most active leisure and business destinations. In Las Vegas, built on tourism and meetings, security monitoring is a formidable task, with metrics to match.
MPI announced Kevin Kirby as the new executive director of the MPI Foundation. He replaced Christine Roberts who resigned from the executive director position on October 4, 2018, in the wake of gross misconduct allegations of steering over a quarter million dollars in contracts to her boyfriend’s event company.