Meeting Community

  • ILEA Expands Categories for Annual Esprit Awards

    Submissions are now open for the 2021 ILEA Esprit Awards. Held annually by the International Live Events Association (ILEA), the awards program recognizes exceptional individual and organizational achievements from many facets of the events industry. This year, the awards are open to the entire events community and include five new categories that celebrate unique accomplishments in 2020: best corporate social responsibility; best diversity, equity and inclusion initiative; best hybrid event; best industry adaptation; and best virtual event. In total, there…

  • New GBTA Executive Director Aims to Lead Business Travel out of Pandemic

    The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has named Suzanne Neufang as the new executive director after a months-long search. “Suzanne is unquestionably the visionary to lead business travel to a complete recovery in the years ahead,” says GBTA president, Bhart Sarin. “It will be a distinct privilege to support her as we complete our integration of GBTA and ACTE and build on the momentum of the Ready. Safe. Travel. campaign toward our annual convention in July.” Neufang was chosen by…

  • WestJet Cancels More Domestic Flights as Seat Sales Slump

    WestJet is cutting service to another four Canadian cities due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Flights between St. John’s and Halifax, and London, Ont., and Toronto will be temporarily suspended as of March 21 and 22, respectively. WestJet Link service from Calgary to Lloydminster and Medicine Hat, Alta., will end around the same time. “We have continued to operate in the face of uncertainty as domestic and international travel restrictions and quarantines have caused demand to plummet,” said WestJet president and CEO, Ed Sims,…

  • Marriot CEO Dies after Battle with Cancer

    Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson has died at 62, after a 22-month battle with pancreatic cancer. His death at his Washington home on Feb. 15 was unexpected. The high-profile hotel industry executive had just reduced his work schedule to focus on more intensive treatment for his health. “Arne was an exceptional executive but more than that he was an exceptional human being,” said J.W. Marriott Jr., executive chair and chair of the board, in a statement. “Arne loved…

  • Vok Dams Collaborates with IBM to Elevate Digital Marketing and Events

    Vok Dams has joined forces with IBM to facilitate virtual events and digital customer and brand experiences. The Germany-based event and live marketing agency announced the collaboration Feb. 17. By creating the platform, Marketing Experience Hub, which runs on IBM Cloud, Vok Dams will enable companies to host events and fairs virtually during the pandemic and beyond, and ensure seamless customer engagement. “The creation of our digital event platform is an example of how digitalization can be advanced in the…

  • Iconic Hotel’s First Foray into Canada includes Factory Revitalization

    A former cereal factory is getting a sweet-looking makeover. Hard Rock has announced plans to transform the historic Kellogg’s Canada site in London, Ont., into a 353-room hotel and entertainment venue. “This property will provide a multitude of local attractions and unique on-property activities sure to create lasting memories for all who visit,” says Todd Hricko, senior vice-president of hotel development at Hard Rock International. The hotel will be completed in two phases, with an initial 163-room opening planned for…

  • 2021 Should See Significant Bounce Back in Exhibition Industry: Survey Says

    The impact of COVID-19 on the exhibition industry has been severe but signs point to a quick recovery in 2021. This is according to UFI’s latest global barometer survey results. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry reports that industry revenues will likely double in 2021, compared to 2020, when revenues represented just 28 per cent of those in 2019. Globally, between April and August 2020, more than half of all companies reported no activity. This situation changed from September,…

  • Feds Launch Program that Provides Financial Aid to Hard-Hit Businesses

    Eligible businesses can now start applying to the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP). Announced Jan. 26, the program provides financial support to businesses across the country, in all sectors, that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This includes restaurants, businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors, and those that rely on in-person service. Through HASCAP, the Business Development Bank of Canada will work with participating Canadian financial institutions to offer government guaranteed, low interest loans of up…

  • Work Program Offers Temporary Employment to Events Industry Personnel

    GES has launched a program that provides temporary work for experienced exhibition professionals in anticipation of in-person events returning in 2021. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and events abruptly cancelling, thousands of experienced and talented trade show personnel lost employment,” says Jeff Quade, executive vice-president of exhibitions at GES. “As shows and events begin to come back safely, we want to prioritize work opportunities for those talented and skilled exhibition employees that have been so pivotal to the success of…

  • New Guide Aims to Help Event Organizers Emerge from Pandemic Better Positioned

    The Events Industry Council (EIC) has released a new guidebook to assist events professionals amidst major disruptions like the current global pandemic. “It is critical we continue to raise the notion of resilience and adaptions to drive innovative practices,” says EIC CEO, Amy Calvert. “A resource that aggregates and curates principles of business continuity will support industry professionals and organizations as they work to strengthen their business models and prepare for recovery and their future relevance.” The Business Continuity Accepted…

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