May/June 2021

Cover illustration by Marly Gallardo

digital edition print edition

2 Associations Tweak Plans for Second Year of Digital Events

Convene checked in with two associations that produced digital events in 2020 to learn what they are doing differently this year. One leaned into interactive online opportunities for participants while the other went from complimentary registration to an “attainable” pricing model.

BY Casey Gale June 9, 2021

This Big Cheese Conference Promises Participants Online Interaction

When the American Cheese Society Annual Conference meets digitally in July, the organization plans to reimagine its popular in-person sessions, such as ‘Meet the Cheesemaker,’ in a virtual format.

BY Casey Gale June 7, 2021

DMOs as ‘Stewards and Brand Managers of the Destination’

William “Bill” Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, discusses how DMOs and events have changed during his 30 years in Miami.

BY Casey Gale June 3, 2021

CVB Leader: ‘Hang On, It Is Going to Be a Wild Ride’

Karen Williams, CTA, plans to retire at the end of June after seven years as president and CEO of Louisville Tourism. It will be her second time retiring from the CVB. In August 2012, after 23 years as the organization’s executive vice president, she stepped down to pursue her own business. It wasn’t long before

BY Curt Wagner June 3, 2021

DMO Leader on Serving ‘Our Citizens’ Needs’

Steve Moore, retired president and CEO of Visit Phoenix, reflects on his 46-year career and the changes he has seen in the DMO and events industries.

BY Casey Gale June 2, 2021

We Shouldn’t Take the Air We Breathe for Granted

We have been single-minded in our approach to keeping venues clean and safe for attendees. But we’ve been missing one very important —maybe the most important — thing.

BY Michelle Russell June 1, 2021

Leaning Into In-Person Events

Digital events have their place and will remain an important part of our industry going forward. But it’s our face-to-face events that change the world.

BY Sherrif Karamat June 1, 2021

What the Absence of Events Means to Local Charities

Charitable institutions have long benefited from the community-service efforts of organizations convening in their cities. What happens to those charities when face-to-face events don’t take place for more than a year?

BY Michelle Russell June 1, 2021

How Events Helped a ‘Fringe’ Diet Lifestyle Go Mainstream

Once considered a counter-culture movement, veganism is now embraced by a worldwide community and has become a multi-billion dollar industry — partly thanks to strategic business event planning.

BY David McMillin May 31, 2021

How Bitcoin Took Off Only After its Champions Met IRL

Recognizing that in-person conversations would be important to the development of the digital financial system, Keynote CEO Moe Levin launched a 2013 event for 300 attendees, some who now are considered pioneers in cryptocurrency. In 2018, 6,000 attended The North American Bitcoin Conference.

BY David McMillin May 31, 2021

Pumping New Life Into Associations’ Online Revenue Streams

The pivot to digital events has constricted many associations’ revenue streams. But the American Society of Hematology bucked that trend by developing a successful new model for sponsors for its virtual 2020 event and a pricing structure for all participants based on a metric that makes sense in an online environment: time.

BY Michelle Russell May 29, 2021

Work From Anywhere but Meet in One Place

The digital nomad movement has gained ground during the pandemic, for sure. But it has pre-COVID roots and its pioneers are planning an in-person gathering to help it flourish — and to get destinations’ support.

BY David McMillin May 28, 2021

Behind the Conference That Opened Doors for Airbnb

How the Airbnb Open event, conceived as a ‘World’s Fair for Airbnb hosts,’ demonstrably accelerated the company’s growth.

BY David McMillin May 27, 2021

Helping the Earth and Creating Community One Tree at a Time

Treedom, an online company, has created a platform that makes it easy for organizations to engage in the serious work of battling climate change while creating economic opportunity

BY Barbara Palmer May 26, 2021

5 Ways Bystanders Can Respond to Harassment

With anti-Asian American racism on the rise, Hollaback!, a nonprofit organization fighting harassment of all kinds, has seen a big uptick in requests for corporate training, and offers these tips on how to safely intervene when you witness such confrontations.

BY Barbara Palmer May 26, 2021

Can Events Serve a Balanced Diet of Safe F&B and Sustainability?

When Sodexo and Centerplate conducted an online survey in November 2020, they asked 202 event and meeting planners what they value when it comes to food and beverage in the COVID-19 environment. Eighty-three percent responded that F&B is very or extremely important to the success of their event. A 2018 survey conducted by the same

BY Jennifer N. Dienst May 25, 2021

The Upsides and the Downsides of Connecting Digitally

Marissa King, an expert on social networks and connections, talks to Convene about what the pandemic has done to our professional networks and how the move to digital might impact our connection in the future.

BY Barbara Palmer May 24, 2021

PCMA EduCon Preview: Better Together and Looking Forward

The Main Stage program for the in-person and virtual PCMA EduCon features three speakers — Seth Mattison, Janet Stovall, and Kristin Graham — who will help attendees chart their post-pandemic paths.

BY Michelle Russell May 19, 2021

EduCon Speaker Kristin Graham on Staying Relevant

The business consultant will focus on using data-driven strategies that cater to consumers in her PCMA EduCon Main Stage presentation for in-person and digital audiences.

BY Michelle Russell May 19, 2021

Janet Stovall on Getting Serious About Diversity and Inclusion

The PCMA EduCon Main Stage speaker says challenging companies to commit to diversity, inclusion, and equity should come with specific goals — and consequences.

BY Michelle Russell May 19, 2021

Why Air Quality Must Be Part of Venues’ Hygiene Protocol

The emphasis on cleaning and disinfecting venues in the age of COVID-19 is missing a larger point: Reliably healthy and safe environments depend on clean air and a more holistic approach.

BY Barbara Palmer Jennifer N. Dienst May 19, 2021

Lessons From Lifelong Learner Wanda Johnson

The path to the top doesn’t always follow a straight line. For ASPEN CEO and PCMA Groundbreaker Wanda Johnson, it’s what she did with what she learned along the way that’s made all the difference.

BY Barbara Palmer May 17, 2021

Combatting Racism Against Asian Americans in the Events Industry

Since the start of the pandemic, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has been the target of hate crimes and discrimination. How can destinations and organizers help attendees from this community feel welcome and safe at in-person events?

BY Casey Gale May 13, 2021

5 Program Design Changes to Add Value to Your Conference

We’re seeing a trend that association leadership is more open to making changes to the annual conference than ever before. It’s about time. 

BY Dave Lutz, CMP May 10, 2021

5 Lessons Learned Returning to In-Person Events

One member of the PCMA Catalyst community shared his experience from the first in-person event he has attended since the pandemic began, saying it was not ‘like riding a bike.’

BY Convene Editors May 4, 2021

What Event Planner Morgan Prewitt Has Learned Through Events

Her fast-paced career brought Morgan Prewitt many lessons along the way, from when to say ‘no’ to recognizing that no matter how much you feel the imposter syndrome, ‘you belong here.’

BY Curt Wagner April 30, 2021

The Top 5 Job Skills Every CEO Will Expect

If you’re the person responsible for your organization’s meetings and trade shows in 2022, here are the capabilities your leadership is looking for you to master.

BY Don Neal April 20, 2021

Meeting in a Pandemic, Part Two: Back to Face-to-Face

The Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin’s business conference returns to an in-person format — and keeps the benefits of digital.

BY Barbara Palmer April 12, 2021

6 Questions to Consider While Planning Your Hybrid Future

While event organizers are preparing for a return to in-person events, they still must decide if they will or won’t provide audiences digital options. These important considerations can help guide them.

BY Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes David Saef April 5, 2021