Blogs

Sep 28, 2020
Sunny days are upon us, followed by star-studded nights. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could bring your typical indoor event outside? The answer is you can…but you need a plan! Focus on how to make the most of the great outdoors, so every one of your attendees can feel safe and engaged. COVID-19 Planning Guidelines: Sweat the Small Stuff. If you are planning an outdoor event, you still need to consider: Lighting: Do you need it? What kind of light is best – LED, pinpoint, or overhead? Work with your venue’s A/V specialist to discuss options. Sound: Do you need microphones and a sound… more
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Sep 25, 2020
For the past few months, people have become more cautious about where they go and who they see. While some parts of daily life seem to be taking steps towards normalcy, many people are still hesitant to take the leap when it comes to gathering for events. The hospitality and events industry is always changing, forcing properties to consistently adapt in order to stay current. In March 2020, when most of the world was placed on pause, adapting took on a whole new definition, especially when it comes to the food and beverage industry. So what will food and beverage look like at meeting and… more
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Sep 21, 2020
If you’re in the marketing, sales and events industries, take a deep breath. We’ve all been having a rollercoaster of a year and now as we face 2021 planning, everyone’s heads are spinning with hybrid, live, virtual, taped, webinars, etc. It’s become more confusing than ever, but my hope is after reading this you’ll be able to make sense of all the virtual event shifts and create a solid blueprint moving forward. So how did we get here and what’s to come? First, let’s consider the four phases: In-person – pre-COVID-19 Virtual – Feb.–Aug. 2020 Virtual 2.0 – the present and near future The… more
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Sep 16, 2020
Business as usual and 2020 are two terms that go together about as well as oil and water in today’s climate. To that end, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced associations to reassess the status quo of standard annual events. The Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors, a.k.a. “The Southern,” was no exception. Here’s how the 97-year old organization maintained the goal of its annual meeting and created virtual connections this past August. A trade association representing convenience wholesale distributors in the southeast United States, The Southern’s membership spans from Texas to… more
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Sep 11, 2020
For most shows, 2020 is done. You either were lucky enough to hold a show pre-COVID or your show probably has been canceled. At this point, few shows still are on the 2020 calendar through year end. Now - everyone is facing 2021. Those shows that were held in the first quarter of 2020 are grappling with what the impact will be in the first half of 2021 on live events. Not to mention all the shows that didn't run at all this year and holding their breaths on how 2021 will unfold. The bottom line with any show that hopes to run live in 2021 is organizers need to stop attempting to plan the… more
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Sep 11, 2020
Everyone is anxious to start replacing Zoom calls with face-to-face interactions and making personal connections once again. When that time comes, will you be ready to hit the ground running and plan and execute event experiences that will not only engage but leave attendees motivated and inspired? Now more than ever, ITA Group’s legal team is working to ensure our clients are protected by mitigating risk with well-executed hotel contracts. We’ve put together the following four focus areas critical to creating a strong contract that protects client interests to every extent possible. 1.… more
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Sep 08, 2020
Last month, a New York Times column by famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld went viral, in which he replies to James Altucher—a well-known businessman and writer—for stating that “New York is dead forever.” A few days earlier, Altucher had posted on his LinkedIn that, due to the pandemic and thanks to new technologies, the city that never sleeps is doomed to become a shadow of its former self: nowadays, many people prefer working remotely from less hectic places. For those of us who were Seinfeld fans in our youth—and even today laugh aloud with the American sitcom in which “nothing happens” other… more
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Sep 04, 2020
With the COVID-19 situation thankfully now appearing to improve in a number of locations and a return to trade shows on the horizon, it’s a critical time for event profs everywhere as we try to support the global recovery as much as possible over the coming months. This, however, leads us to another problem which is becoming increasingly common around the world, and is being reported frequently across industry media outlets: exhibitor confidence. While numerous governments are giving the green light for business events to resume, it is painful to still see many events cancelling their… more
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Sep 02, 2020
COVID-19 has made a devastating impact on all the aspects of our lives, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in the events industry. The way we communicate and interact with colleagues, professionals and members of the public in trade shows is, in fact, playing a more and more relevant role. It’s key to streamline the way we present ourselves to others, making sure that without even interacting with them, they are already aware of where we are standing. This is why the launch of the new social bands in the industry has been received with success. Social brands was created as… more
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Aug 26, 2020
A tremendously intense spring changed everything we thought we knew about planning powerful event experiences. As event organizers, we have scrambled to reimagine our in-person events to make them work on virtual platforms this upcoming summer and fall season. My team has helped many clients make this transition and here’s what we’ve learned in the process: Virtual takes time and flexibility to do well. There are no shortcuts when it comes to virtual. Since it’s so new to many people, it is best to prepare for more “hand-holding.” It’s also a long process to bring key stakeholders up to… more
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Partner Voices

With more than 2,000 rooms being added to Dallas’ hotel inventory in the coming years, the city is experiencing the second-largest hotel boom in the nation. From top brands like Virgin Hotels to independent and interesting properties, like HALL Arts Hotel, Dallas boasts a hotel type and price point for every preference and budget.