March/April 2021

Cover illustration by Joohee Yoon

digital edition print edition

Digital Event Experiences That Go Places

After months of limited in-person social engagement, many in the business events industry are ready to experience real things, places, and spaces. Some organizations are doing just that, even through digital events.

BY Michelle Russell March 31, 2021

‘Never Accept a Ceiling That Someone Else Might Create for You’

After 30 years in the travel and meetings industry, Elliott Ferguson, president and CEO of Destination DC and a PCMA Groundbreaker, is carving a path for a new generation of leaders to follow.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 30, 2021

Petal Power Brings Participants Together

Zoom & Bloom takes virtual attendees through a shared sensory experience that may connect them to places and times in their lives — and leaves them with a skill for the future.

BY Barbara Palmer March 30, 2021

3D Technology Helps Transport Event Attendees Elsewhere

A real-life location in Chicago anchored the Uber Freight Deliver Conference in fall 2020. Here’s how event designers took online participants there.

BY Barbara Palmer March 30, 2021

Virtual ‘Field Trips’ to Bring City to Meetings’ Participants

Two online events are making Richmond, Virginia, central to their education — and diversity and inclusion — programs.

BY Michelle Russell March 30, 2021

Global Virtual Event Customizes Content for Regional Attendees

Ingram Micro’s first-ever digital conference for participants from around the world created a shared experience that felt local at the same time.

BY Michelle Russell March 30, 2021

Helping Attendees Experience a Destination Digitally

Austin had been a big draw for 2020 American College of Toxicology’s annual meeting registrants. Organizers needed to figure out a way to bring as much of the destination as possible to an entirely online audience.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 29, 2021

Focusing on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Travel and Events

Mike Gamble, founder of Tourism Diversity Matters, discusses the impetus in starting the initiative, and its goals for the future.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 29, 2021

Walk/Bike/Places Brings Online Attendees ‘Outdoors’

Here’s how an annual conference for placemaking professionals tweaked its mobile workshops to give virtual tours of its host city. 

BY Casey Gale March 29, 2021

A Master Class in Art and Public Safety

Traveling exhibition turns ballroom at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis into a Michelangelo gallery with nearly life-sized recreations of his Sistine Chapel paintings.

BY Barbara Palmer March 29, 2021

Taking Stock, a Year After the Pandemic Was Declared

What have we learned over the past 12-plus months — about ourselves, our roles, and the role business events play in the world’s recovery?

BY Sherrif Karamat March 29, 2021

Under One Sky Conference Finds Bright Spot in Move to Digital

International Dark-Sky Association’s first digital event takes global, inclusive approach with diverse speakers presenting from 12 different countries.

BY Casey Gale March 29, 2021

Virtual Art Tour Engages Participants With Scents From the Past

A “see-and-smell” art tour by the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis takes far-flung digital participants on a fragrant trip to the gallery — and back to the 17th century.

BY Barbara Palmer March 29, 2021

Risk and Recovery Concerns of Event Organizers and Suppliers

As organizers work through pre-pandemic contractual commitments, they are finding their supply-chain relationships tested like never before.

BY Dave Lutz, CMP March 26, 2021

Enforcing Mask Mandates at Events

The heated debate over wearing face masks in public is carrying over to in-person business events, raising the question: Who is in charge of enforcing COVID-safe attendee behavior? Organizers or venues?

BY David McMillin Michelle Russell March 26, 2021

Business Events Recovery: ‘We Have a Human Need to Meet’

Digital events can never fully replace face-to-face events, says Juliano Lissoni, MCI Group Canada’s managing director, who shares the biological, emotional, and economic reasons why we need to gather in person.

BY Michelle Russell March 19, 2021

Airbn-Be There Through Virtual Travel

With travel still largely on hold, the company’s Online Experiences are giving guests a chance to see, touch, and taste new destinations from home.

BY David McMillin March 15, 2021

Putting Social Activism on the Program

Organizations and companies are making social justice part of their event platform — and their identity.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 15, 2021

From a College Stint as Bellman to CEO: Cleo Battle’s Career Path

This July, Cleo Battle will take over as president and CEO of Louisville Tourism after eight years as the bureau’s executive vice president and COO. Battle shared highlights of his 34-plus-year career working at DMOs and hotels around the country — and how he’s trying to do his part to make the industry better and more diverse.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 4, 2021

Why the Digital Hosted Buyer Program Is Your Best Bet

A DHB program can get your revenue goals back on track, says Don Neal, CEO of 360 Live Media. Here’s how he believes you can get it right.

BY Don Neal February 24, 2021

Creating an Antiracist Meetings Industry

A candid and soul-searching conversation on racism and white supremacy at Convening Leaders points out the role business events can play in creating positive change on a global scale.

BY Barbara Palmer February 18, 2021

How 300 In-Person Participants Gathered Safely at Convening Leaders in Singapore

The in-person component of PCMA Convening Leaders 2021 held in Singapore demonstrated what it takes — including a rapid testing program — to safely gather a group of 300 during the pandemic.

BY Casey Gale February 15, 2021

How to Read From a Script During Digital Presentations — Without Making It Obvious

In a LinkedIn post, Timo Elliott of SAP shared his tips on how to write and master a script for a screen-to-screen event.

BY Casey Gale February 8, 2021

How to Be an Antiracist Meeting Planner

Change won’t happen overnight, but there are concrete actions that event planners can take to educate themselves about racial equality and equity. Convening Leaders speaker Torin Perez shares his three-step action plan to help individuals achieve a more grounded perspective on race and society.

BY Kate Mulcrone January 14, 2021

Taking Meetings and Exhibitions on the Road

With travel curbed by the pandemic, two very different events — one in the U.S. and one in Italy — were reinvented as outdoor road shows.

BY Kate Mulcrone January 6, 2021