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  • July 07, 2020 4:22 PM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    DragonCon organizers have decided to cancel the in-person Labor Day weekend extravaganza in downtown Atlanta due to the pandemic, opting for a virtual event instead. 

    After many months of hand-wringing, sleepless nights, and more Zoom meetings than we can count, we have decided that Dragon Con 2020 event will not be held in person,” the organizers announced on the event’s website today. “Trust us, we are just as bummed as you are, but know we did not make this decision lightly.”

    On the site, they said that given the current situation, they could not guarantee a safe convention and had to make this difficult decision. 

    “We truly did everything possible to remain positive and exhaust all options,” they noted. “We are looking forward to 2021 when we can all meet again in person.”

    The convention is one of many major annual Atlanta events that has had to be postponed or cancelled. And almost every major comparable convention nationwide has done the same thing. 

    The convention is one of many major annual Atlanta events that has had to be postponed or cancelled. And almost every major comparable convention nationwide has done the same thing. 

    Full article : https://www.ajc.com/blog/radiotvtalk/dragoncon-cancels-person-convention-this-labor-day-replaced-virtual-version/SjN0MaR3vuCPmkyVpQiJzL/

  • July 01, 2020 8:16 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    As face-to-face meetings and events begin to resume, it goes without saying that event organizers are going to be paying extra-special attention to health and safety practices. With social distancing among the top safety practices for the foreseeable future, event registration and lead management solutions provider Convention Data Services is offering a new Touchless Toolkit.

    Launched in early June, the Toolkit includes DigiBadge, which allows event registrants to check in safely and securely using their own mobile devices. Event participants download the DigiBadge link provided by the organizer, add it to their device’s Apple Wallet or Google Pay, and can then use it for convention hall and session access instead of a physical badge. 

    “Ultimately, we want to make the on-site planning process painless for show management while giving confidence to state agencies to reopen convention centers,” said John Kimball, president and CEO of Bourne, Mass-based CDS, a Freeman Company. 

    For Full Article - http://www.corporateeventnews.com/news/convention-data-services-launches-contactless-event-tech-toolkit

  • June 30, 2020 3:24 PM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    On a recent international panel I participated in — Morale and Motivation in the Tourism Industry, organized by TravelShop Turkey — Sven Bossu, CEO of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), said that during the COVID-19 crisis, the events industry must help policy makers understand the distinction between mass gatherings and organized exhibitions. Many governments have placed restrictions on mass gatherings, which he said should not be considered the same as exhibitions. Conventions take place in venues that have put hygiene and safety protocols in place, compared to a live concert, for example, where there is less control.

    And in fact, fellow panelist Karen Gonzales, director of partnership relations for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) had earlier in the session underscored the industry’s proactive approach to safely planning and producing an exhibition during the pandemic by sharing IAEE’s recently released resource, “Essential Considerations for Safely Reopening Exhibitions and Events.”

    Still, another panelist, Nick Dugdale Moore, regional manager for Europe for UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, bemoaned the fact that there is no global standardization for groups or venues.

    From where I sit — as the recipient of hundreds of industry emails daily — that seems accurate.........

    For full article - https://www.pcma.org/covid-19-safety-protocols-standardization-event-venues/?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=thisweek_convene&utm_term=organic

  • June 26, 2020 11:18 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    The European Union is discussing how to reopen its external borders as the region looks to slowly revive its economy, with visitors from countries like the United States potentially still being barred from entering the bloc.

    Thirty European countries decided to close their external borders in March to contain the spread of Covid-19. The travel restriction has been extended three times but it’s now due to end on Tuesday.

    The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, suggested earlier this month that European nations should open their internal borders by June 15 and slowly lift the travel ban on foreign visitors from July 1. The Commission also said that reopening external borders should be a coordinated exercise among European governments and reviewed on a regular basis.

    For the full article on CNBC - https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/24/eu-to-open-external-borders-but-us-visitors-could-be-banned.html

  • June 25, 2020 9:08 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    For hospitality properties that have survived the pandemic thus far, it’s going to take an awful lot of bookings and overpriced Toblerones to make up those shortfalls. Luckily, the first part of that equation has been improving for the last three months.

    According to hotel industry data firm STR, only 22.1 percent of available hotel rooms in the U.S. were occupied in March, the low point of the crisis. Approximately 37 percent were occupied during the week ending May 30. That’s still a far cry from where occupancy rates were in May 2019, but it’s almost a 50 percent increase from March’s nadir.

    According to recent research by Deloitte, Americans are slowly growing more open to staying in hotels and travelling by plane. 

    For full article - https://www.mpamag.com/commercial/u-s--hospitality-sector-signs-of-life-reasons-for-hope-225547.aspx

  • June 24, 2020 10:54 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    UK prime minister Boris Johnson officially announced yesterday that parts of the nation’s hospitality industry, including accommodation, restaurants and pubs, will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, but exhibition centres and conference venues must remain closed. The news has prompted the meetings and events industry to call for clarity on when business meetings might be allowed to go ahead.

    While the hospitality industry has welcomed a reduction in social distancing guidelines from 2m to “1m-plus”, Lex Butler, chair of the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA), said: “Covid-19 and lockdown have been a hammer blow to business events, meetings and accommodation agencies, venues and suppliers – for the whole sector. By reducing social distancing to 1m-plus and providing guidelines, the government has wrapped the hammer in plastic.

    Link to full article - 


  • June 23, 2020 1:18 PM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    Along with new sanitization standards, several hotel companies are implementing new procedures and protocols around their meetings and events—for whenever they return—related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In addition to the company's All Stay Well initiative, Accor has launched All Meet Well for North and Central America. Elements include promoted social distancing in arrival and gathering areas; attendee screenings that may include temperature checks; food-and-beverage set-ups that allow for six feet between chairs; gloves and masks for all staff; sanitization of all furniture and equipment in meeting rooms before and after every event; increased availability of outdoor and private spaces; adding more disposable F&B accompaniments; elimination of all pre-set items on tables except for single-serve bottled water; elimination of all buffets and self-serve options; and larger, one-way aisles with directional signage.

    As an enhancement to its Commitment to Clean initiative, Choice Hotels is redesigning furniture arrangements in its meeting and event spaces for social distancing in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines

    Full article - https://www.businesstravelnews.com/Meetings/Hotels-Add-New-Meetings-Sanitization-Protocols

  • June 22, 2020 2:38 PM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    The biggest challenge being faced by hotels now is finding ways to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus on their premises. But hotels also need to balance those efforts with the ethos of hospitality: making sure guests feel safe, comfortable and relaxed. 

    Achieving these goals in the near-term is complicated by the uncertain trajectory of the pandemic: There are still huge gaps in knowledge about the virus and its spread, and few proven options for prevention and treatment.

    Travelers will have to weigh the risks versus rewards of any stay, one trip at a time. Some considerations will relate to a particular property and its location; others to an individual’s personal health, safety and sense of well-being. Here are some questions to help you make these decisions.....

    Link to the article -


  • June 19, 2020 10:12 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    ....and How to Fix It - Trade Show News Network 

    The unjust killing of Black American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 by a police officer has sparked nationwide protests over civil injustice. Amid a time when the events industry was already struggling with great change, due to forced event cancellations and reorganization of many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations are now also questioning their own approach to diversity. Few are more qualified to speak to this important topic than Jason Dunn, chairman of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals and an industry diversity leader as group vice president of diversity sales and inclusion for the Cincinnati USA CVB. Here’s his take on what needs to change in the meetings industry when it comes to diversity — and suggestions on how to take action......

    Link Thru to the Full Article & Interview - https://www.tsnn.com/news/what-meetings-industry-gets-wrong-about-diversity%E2%80%94and-how-fix-it

  • June 18, 2020 10:36 AM | Morgan Christopher (Administrator)

    After two months of declines, more convention and meeting planners now say they’re starting to source and book future events, according to a survey by Northstar Meeting Group. As of mid-May, just one-third of respondents were signing contracts for new events. That’s now risen to 40 percent, returning to April levels.

    “Meeting planners have gotten a little more hopeful about meetings coming back,” said Loren Edelstein, Vice President of Northstar Meetings Group, a meetings and conventions marketing and information firm based in Secaucus, New Jersey.

    For the full story with video - https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/america-s-100-billion-convention-industry-back-changed-forever-n1231228

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