You’ve got enough on your plate already; you don’t have time to hunt for the latest news in event management. That’s why we did it for you.
Questex adventures into more spaces, Hyatt hotels Czech out, and more event management news
Questex expands its operations with new conquestexes. Last year, B2B media and events titan Questex was bought by MidOcean Partners. The company has continued building out its matryoshka doll by acquiring multiple trade shows and B2B brands from Informa Plc. Considering Questex’s new CEO is a former Informa exec., this is a logical progression. They’ve acquired Live Design and Informa’s LDI trade show for lighting and sound professionals, Club Industry and its health and fitness facility managers trade show, and finally World Tea Expo. There’s no discernible pattern, but if those are events that you might frequent, get ready for new management. And that’s the (world) tea.
Wedding planning platforms move to stop romanticizing plantations. Pinterest and The Knot, two of the largest platforms for wedding planning, both announced that they will be moving away from romanticizing plantation weddings and venues. The Knot is creating editorial guidelines for advertisers and vendors that move away from waxing poetic about the slavery-steeped history of plantations, while Pinterest will restrict all plantation wedding content and work to de-index Google searches for plantation weddings. When wedding giants like Pinterest and The Knot start making moves to acknowledge the troubling history of certain locations, if you’re in the wedding planning business, you might want to make sure you start doing the same.
Hyatt asks for the Czech. Hyatt has announced plans for its first Hyatt property in the Czech Republic, bringing the number of countries it and its affiliates operate in to 61. The hotel will be the new Andaz Prague, located close to Old Town, and should open in 2022. This could be indicative of a few things: 1) an increased interest in tourism and eventually event tourism in Prague and the region as a whole and 2) an increased appetite for international exposure for Hyatt and its affiliates.
Week of Nov. 26, 2019
Airbnb teams up with the Olympics, Eventbrite works against churn, and other event management news
Airbnb goes for gold with Olympic sponsorship. For the low, low cost of $500 million, you can get a nine-year Olympic sponsorship deal, too! The International Olympic Committee has partnered with Airbnb to provide environmentally-conscious housing to athletes and coaches (something Airbnb has already done with World Surf League events). The Olympics are all about global community, and Airbnb’s all about travel, so this is a winning combination. If you’re looking for sponsors for an event, make sure they have a history of doing similar events, and if you’re planning on sponsoring an event, it should be something you can tie into your own business.
Plane-based events could be coming to an airspace near you. Major events, such as tech conferences or South by Southwest, call for major travel. Airlines have started turning these flights into events in and of themselves, with free food and swag. There are a lot of different options for where this could lead, but my guess is that event organizers will partner with airlines to host parts of the event, and attendees can more productively travel at a potentially reduced price. It’s an idea that could really take off.
Eventbrite sees profits from innovation, but is it enough? Eventbrite has been a public company for a year, but it’s been a struggle. Its slow-moving Ticketfly integration has lost the company customers. While it has started offering new features, such as the ability for events to sell merchandise rather than just tickets, and it has expanded its international and small-business oriented operations, it still might not be enough to cover the clients it has lost or the cost of innovation. If you’re thinking of partnering with Eventbrite, maybe proceed with caution.
Week of Nov. 12, 2019
LAX expands its remote rideshare park, Glastonbury wades into better resource management, and other event management news
LAXit to expand, showing Brexit that change is possible. LAX’s new rideshare and taxi pick-up area, LAXit, experienced a rocky start as travelers dealt with long waits, crowded shuttles, and then, shockingly, even longer waits. LAXit came out of LAX’s ban on curbside pick-ups. LAX announced that it will expand the pick-up area and it will hopefully improve from here. Nothing like stress-testing a new transit system heading into the holidays at the world’s third busiest airport.
Pro-Hong Kong protestors at BlizzCon. The online community began voicing its distate for video game company Blizzard Entertainment when it banned and withheld winnings from one of its top Hearthstone players after the player referenced the Hong Kong protests. It’s no surprise, then, that at BlizzCon, an annual Blizzard Entertainment festival, demonstrators gave away shirts saying “Mei with Hong Kong” (co-opting a character from a the game Overwatch, which was hugely popular in China) and dressing as now-banned-in-China Winnie the Pooh to mock the Chinese president, Xi Jingping.
Glastonbury Music Festival faces reservoir-tions over last year’s water shortage. Michael Eavis, the co-founder of the Glastonbury Music Festival (one of the largest of its kind in the U.K.), plans to build a water reservoir in case the region experiences another heat wave during the festival. Last year, the 850 taps on site proved nowhere near enough to combat dehydration and heat exhaustion, leaving concertgoers at risk of needing medical attention. While you should never not have enough water for guests, especially if your event is outside, at least this is a good lesson in learning a lesson.
Week of Oct. 29, 2019
McDonald’s dishes out good vibes, LAVA flows into the Staples Center, and more event management news
McDonald’s is shamrock shaking up their events. McDonald’s has begun its Beat of My City Tour, a free concert series featuring local artists from each city (Teyana Taylor headlined their New York event, while Juice Wrld headlined Chicago). Artists then promote local nonprofits which they themselves donate to and encourage attendees to do the same. There’s a lot of layers to the event and a lot of stakeholders involved, but McDonald’s has enough experience and clout that they can pull this off. You might want to start a bit smaller if you’re just breaking into the world of feel-good events that’ll have attendees ba-da-ba-ba-ba-lovin’ it.
Catalonian protests attempt to balance impact, ideals, and civility. Protests and demonstrations erupted in Barcelona following the formal charging of seven Catalonian politicians and two civic leaders who had organized many events and demonstrations in favor of Catalonian independence. These protests have two faces—the passionate and civil marchers who appear during the day, and violent rioting at night. The latter hurts public perception and Catalonian residents and businesses. The takeaway: Make sure your protests don’t hurt the very people you’re trying to help.
LAVA brings new heat to LA event venue. Thanks to STAPLES Center’s new partnership with LAVA, the marketing platform will track event attendees’ data and information to create a customizable and personalized experience for attendees during live performances. This comes days before the STAPLES Center’s 20th anniversary. Other partners include Microsoft Theater and L.A. Live.
Giant iTab finds new touch points for its touchscreen leads. Giant iTab has opened up London and Belgium centers for any leads who might be interested in its large touchscreens. This is a great way for potential buyers to get some hands-on experience with products. The company also offers video conferencing options so you can watch others have all the fun, which is perfect for non-local buyers, those avoiding travel for environmental reasons, or germaphobes who have run out of hand sanitizer.
Week of Oct. 14, 2019
Zola lands on the honeymoon, TripAdvisor schools fish-farming, and other event management news
Zola vows to get into the honeymoon space. Zola, a wedding planning portal, is worth 650 million dollars (roughly the cost of one midsize wedding), so it’s expected to make quite a splash in the honeymoon planning world. In the end, the business is strengthening its relationships, which is what weddings are all about. Well, that and crystal stemware.
Interfusion puts consent first. Interfusion joins other D.C. event and dance party organizations dedicated to including a consent code, on-site team for harassment, reporting system, and intervention protocol at its events. Though there’s been some resistance, overall it’s had a net positive impact by providing an avenue for incident reports, both minor and more serious, making the dance floor a safer space for all of us.
Someone at TripAdvisor finally watched Blackfish. TripAdvisor has vowed to stop selling tickets to attractions and parks that breed or purchase dolphins and whales. This includes SeaWorld, Loro Parque, and the Georgia Aquarium. It’s an extension of their 2016 policy to stop selling tickets to elephant riding and tiger petting experiences and other forms of animal tourism. Hopefully, other travel booking companies will join the pod.
Eater heart out with food-based events. Food site Eater has been trying out a wide variety of food-based events and pay structures as they slowly expand into the events world with the help of the Vox Media Experiential team. From Eater Talks to The Eater Young Guns Summit, and in partnership with Ace Hotel and Grey Goose Vodka, the events are looking for engagement first, revenue second, (and food third). It’s a bold strategy that can definitely work if events aren’t your sole form of revenue, or you’re looking to address a variety of different groups with different events.
Week of Sept. 30, 2019
Area 51 raid crashes despite brand buy-in, Lizzo shares her juice in Absolut rager, and other event management news.
Few arrests, fewer aliens, but lots of merchandise in Area 51. Born out of a meme proposing a raid on Area 51, this Rachel, NV-based event wound up attracting only 3,000 festival-goers and E.T. aficionados. That being said, sponsors like Budweiser saw a massive surge in sales of alien-themed merchandise, proving that even if you don’t understand the meme-ing, it might be best (and lucrative) to lean in. After all, it’s how you Naruto-run.
Brand USA—Hoping you wish you were here. The heads of major U.S. travel corporations are appealing to Congress to reauthorize Brand USA to combat declining rates of international visitors. While a decent name for a small town somewhere along Route 66, Brand USA is actually an organization tasked with promoting the U.S. as a travel destination. That hardly seems necessary, though, since the U.S. has 18 of the remaining 23 Rainforest Cafes of the world.
No crying—only dancing—over spilled Juice. Absolut and Lizzo announced a partnership way back in July. Since then, the performer has appeared in commercials advertising Absolut Juice while singing her absolute banger, Juice. This partnership culminated in a massive after-party (the first of many, purportedly) mid-tour stop in Miami Beach, which reimagined the aesthetic of her commercials while minimizing its carbon footprint with vegan hors d’oeuvres.
Week of Sept. 16, 2019
Pepsi renews its Super Bowl halftime sponsorship, meeting venues in the Bahamas stay open, and other event management news.
Pepsi re-ups as the Super Bowl halftime sponsor. Pepsi’s eye exam gave them 2022 vision. They’ve re-upped their status as the sole sponsor for the SuperBowl halftime show. And though there’s controversy around his partnership, Jay-Z’s involvement hopefully means a more exciting partnership and event compared to previous performances-that-shall-go-unnamed.
Is the Trump National Doral even a good venue for the G7 Summit?Event managers and professionals remain divided as they weigh in on the viability of hosting the G7 summit at The Trump National Doral Hotel, a resort near Miami that has seen a 70% decrease in revenue since 2016. Whether the summit can legally be held there is something we’ll leave to the many, many, many involved lawyers.
The main events venues in the Bahamas avoid Dorian. Grand Bahama Island and Abacos have both suffered extreme damage to their population, infrastructure, and economy. A mere 150 miles away on Nassau Paradise Island (the venue hub of the Bahamas), the promotion board is doing its best to remind everyone they remain predominantly unaffected, all venues are open, and continued patronage will help bolster the tourism and event revenue needed to support the islands. (Interested in donating to help those impacted by the hurricane? You can find a list here.)
The Sicilian Convention Bureau to close its doors after 10 years. Since its founding in 2009, the Sicilian Convention Bureau has connected venues, vendors, and customers while conducting surveys to demonstrate the viability of Sicily as an events location. They’ve generated 180 million euros for the island to date, but are ceasing operations after failing to turn enough of a profit for themselves.