By Nadia Vanderhoof, MA
Continuing to sustain new business and economic growth for the Central Florida region, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando recently welcomed MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, OFFPRICE Orlando Market, and WWIN Orlando Showcase for three-days of face-to-face fashion buying and selling.
“The health and safety of all those who participate is our utmost priority and the Orange County Convention Center provides the perfect venue to gather the market together, with a campus-like property and space to accommodate proper social distancing. It’s also in close outdoor walking proximity to hotels and restaurants, therefore limiting the need for shuttles – among other additional benefits,” said Clarion Events Executive Vice President, Desiree Hanson.
Attracting more than 20 events from competing destinations, the OCCC’s drive and commitment to Meeting Safely continues to resonate with the convention and trade show industry, offering practical and demonstrable examples on responsibly getting back to business.
MAGIC, OFFPRICE and WWIN planners worked cohesively with the OCCC team to provide a safe and productive trade show environment keeping safety at the forefront. Guided by Informa AllSecure – a detailed set of measures developed collaboratively with industry associations, event organizers and venues – organizers protected sellers, buyers and employees by:
COVID-19 testing: requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test on entry.
Health partnerships: collaborating with certified COVID-19 testing companies to procure and administer tests to all attendees, exhibitors, staff and vendors, and work with Orlando Health for expert medical guidance and support.
Cleaning and hygiene: increasing air circulation throughout the building, enhancing cleaning schedules and providing ample sanitation stations for personal hygiene.
Physical distancing: facilitating a safe distance from other groups by offering a limited to no-contact registration process, wider aisles, credential scanning on entry for crowd management and rearranged furniture to avoid congregations and groupings.
Detect and protect: monitoring temperatures on entry to the exhibit hall, face masks requirement, and providing access to a first aid responder for any immediate medical needs.
Attracting thousands to the Convention Center District, these three relocated events delivered substantial economic impact to the region, supporting local hotels, restaurants, retailers, and entertainment, not to mention sustaining revenue for the OCCC and its hundreds of full-time and contracted employees.
“We were honored to have played a role in successfully hosting the MAGIC Pop-Up Orlando, OFFPRICE Orlando Market, and WWIN Orlando Showcase,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “Our commitment to keeping employees, guests and attendees healthy and safe is evident as we continue to lead our industry to a recovery by hosting modified events.”
Nadia Vanderhoof, MA, is Marketing and Communications Manager | Marketing and Communications Division for the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
By Sherrif Karamat
Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, passed away on Feb. 15. He had reduced his schedule earlier in the month to facilitate more demanding treatment for pancreatic cancer.
We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Arne. This is truly a loss for the hospitality and business events community. We extend our deepest sympathies to Arne’s family and his colleagues at Marriott.
Arne accomplished a great deal during his too-short time at the helm of Marriott. He will be remembered for his thought leadership and dedication to the industry, and to causes he cared about, including DEI, sustainability, and to increasing awareness of human trafficking.
Marriott has been a long-time friend and supporter of PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). Under Arne’s leadership, Marriott has been an Uber partner since 2019, with the primary objective of supporting innovation, education, and research in the meetings and conventions industry. Marriott partnered with the PCMA Foundation on the “The Future of Business Events” study, which was released at 2019 Convening Leaders, and offered insights on key trends for the industry. The following year, Marriott partnered with the PCMA Foundation again on another research series, “Beyond ROI … to ROE (Return On Events): Measuring the Impact of Business Events,” released in December.
Most recently, Marriott International and the Gaylord Rockies Resort hosted 100 attendees for an in-person event as part of PCMA Convening Leaders 2021, to demonstrate how events can take place safely in the current pandemic environment.
In addition, Marriott has been an in-kind sponsor providing meals for volunteers for more than 10 years during Convening Leaders Hospitality Helping Hands program.
We join the rest of the travel, hospitality, and events industry in mourning Arne’s loss.
Sherrif Karamat is President and Chief Executive Officer of Professional Convention Management Association based in Chicago.
By Jordan Van Dootingh
As part of the extensive, ongoing commitment of the Cavs, Monsters and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse organization to maintain and foster an inclusive environment that is welcoming to everyone, two restrooms at the FieldHouse have been permanently converted into all-gender facilities in order to increase safe and appropriate accommodations for all visitors.
The new gender-inclusive restrooms will provide comfortable and convenient restroom access to transgender and gender non-conforming guests, as well as any guest who may require the assistance of a caregiver, parent or child of a different gender.
The all-gender restrooms are located near Portals 29-30 on the lower Street Level concourse, adjacent to the Power Portal, and near Portals 58-59 on the FirstEnergy Loudville upper level concourse next to the Overlook Bar.
In addition to the two new all-gender restrooms, men, women and family restrooms can also be found on each level of the venue. All 62 private suites at the FieldHouse also have a private restroom available inside each suite.
Jordan Van Dootingh is Coordinator Corporate Communications for Cavaliers Operating Company, LLC. in Cleveland, Ohio.
By Ryan Miller
Optus Stadium in Burswood, Western Australia, announced that its brewing partnership with Gage Roads Brew Co.has been extended for a further five years.
The Stadium’s brewing experience, showcasing up to six Gage Roads products at General Public bars, has been integral to the development of the customer experience at the Stadium and the new announcement ensures that this world leading experience is maintained until 2027.
“Western Australia’s Stadium has proudly served Western Australian beer since 2017 and we are delighted to confirm that will continue,” said Mike McKenna, Chief Executive of the Stadium.
“Customer feedback since 2017 indicates that the broad range and quality of product on offer is an important part of the Stadium experience and we’re proud to confirm that this will continue to be the case, in partnership with Gage Roads.”
Fans have supported the full range of core beers, including Single Fin Summer Ale and Side Track XPA, enjoyed being amongst the first to taste Gage Roads’ new releases with Pipe Dreams Coastal Lager being launched at the Stadium last year, and experienced special brews such as the Best Red Ale, brewed exclusively for consumption in the Stadium during the 2019 Manchester United tour.
Gage Roads product will also be available at many of the experiences around Stadium Park including the City View Café, Stadium Park Karts bar and at Christmas Markets.
“We’re proud to be involved in a partnership that’s delivering a variety of fresh craft beers to local fans,” said Gage Roads Managing Director, John Hoedemaker.
“We brew our beer just 14 kilometres down the road from Optus Stadium, so fans will continue to enjoy the freshest beer possible.
“Since 2018, Gage Roads has served more than five million beers to fans at Optus Stadium, across a variety of great sport and entertainment events. We look forward to continuing that in the coming years.”
Since the first beer was poured at Optus Stadium at the first event three years ago, Gage Roads has expanded significantly. The Palmyra based brewery has increased their sales 162 per cent, adding 58 jobs and now employing 132 people.
While fans at Optus Stadium have benefited from the growth of Gage Roads, the success of the independent brewer has flowed on to regional Western Australia with Gage Roads now the biggest buyer of WA grown barely, the majority of which comes from the Wheatbelt.
Photo: John Hoedemaker, Gage Roads Managing Director
Please find attached images of Gage Roads Managing Director, John Hoedemaker for publication purposes.
Ryan Miller is with Optus Stadium in Burswood, Western Australia.
By Dennis Dennehy
First Avenue, one of the country’s leading independent concert promoters and venue owners, and AXS, a leader in mobile ticketing, marketing and data solutions, have entered an exclusive ticketing partnership that includes the six venues owned or operated by the Minneapolis-based company: First Avenue, 7th St Entry, Turf Club, Fine Line, The Fitzgerald Theater, and the Palace Theatre, which First Avenue co-operates with Jam Productions. First Avenue will utilize the full suite of AXS products and services to enhance every level of the event lifecycle, from where fans discover and purchase tickets to how they enter the venues.
“As independent venues and concert promoters, the First Avenue team is constantly looking for innovative ways to offer the best experience from start to finish for the fans. We are thrilled to welcome AXS as our official ticketing partner, elevating our fan experience with new features like 3D seat maps at our theaters, seamless mobile tickets and transfer and a broad array of marketing and distribution capabilities, helping fans discover and purchase tickets wherever they are on the internet. They make the buying processes incredibly easy and secure, which is exactly what we want to offer,” says Nate Kranz, First Avenue’s General Manager.
AXS’ patented ID-based mobile ticketing solution, AXS Mobile ID, powers seamless and secure ticket delivery, transfer, resale and contactless entry into the venues. Additionally, the AXS Anywhere technology allows for promotion and purchasing on major social media, streaming, and discovery sites such as YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Songkick, and Bandsintown.
“Independent venues are the lifeblood of our industry and AXS is committed to bringing the best technology to help them generate new revenues and deliver a world-class consumer experience. As a pillar of their community for over 50 years, we could be not be more excited about our partnership with First Avenue,” said Stephanie Streeter, Senior Director for AXS Music.
Dennis Dennehy is Chief Communications Officer for AEG Presents.