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What's New in Meetings and Trade Shows: Marriott's EXCHANGE Event, Miami's Convention Center Updates, the Global Wellness Summit in Israel, and More

BizBash rounds up the latest news related to meetings, trade shows, and CVBs/DMOs.

Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International, and Stephanie Mehta, CEO and chief content officer at Mansueto Ventures, appeared on stage at THE EXCHANGE, Marriott's annual association and corporate customer conference.
Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International, and Stephanie Mehta, CEO and chief content officer at Mansueto Ventures, appeared on stage at THE EXCHANGE, Marriott's annual association and corporate customer conference.
Photo: Courtesy of Marriott International

We're rounding up the biggest meeting, trade show, and CVB/DMO news of the month—in one convenient place. Got a tip? Get in touch!  Want more content like this sent directly to your inbox? Then sign up for our brand-new BizBash Meetings & Trade Shows monthly newsletter to stay in the know on the latest meetings and trade shows news.

In Case You Missed It
On BizBash recently, we highlighted some of the most eye-catching trade show booths at VidCon 2022, which made its triumphant return to the Anaheim Convention Center from June 22-25. The gathering drew about 50,000 attendees—a slightly smaller crowd than 2019's 75,000—but that didn't stop more than 150 brands from participating in the event. From brands such as YouTube, Meta, Prime Video, and Mars, we spotted a slew of clever activations—from a forest of pink Starbursts and a 40-foot-tall gumball machine, to a pool filled with thousands of plushies and an undulating "meadow."

Plus: Are you considering Memphis as the destination for an upcoming meeting or conference? Get a firsthand account of how the city is growing into a meetings mecca, with a handful of new, high-profile hotels plus a $200 million, top-to-bottom renovation of its convention center. This month, we also took a look at how hotels are leaning into unconventional experiences to bring back group business.

Here are five more things you should know about this month...

1. Marriott brings corporate and association customers to NYC for THE EXCHANGE.
Global hotelier giant Marriott International brought together more than 1,000 customers, hoteliers, and industry leaders to New York City earlier this month for THE EXCHANGE, the brand's annual association and corporate customer conference. This year's iteration focused on the optimism surrounding the return of in-person events, and the new ways Marriott is amplifying group business. 

“We consistently hear from our association and corporate clients how important face-to-face connections are to doing business—and how difficult those connections are to replicate virtually," said Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano in a statement. "The collaboration, innovation, and energy our customers and hoteliers experienced at this year’s EXCHANGE, while addressing some of today’s most important issues for meeting planners, was as inspiring as it was productive. Working together, we are continuing to refine and shape what tomorrow’s meetings and events will look like.”

From July 13-16, attendees participated in "hotel immersion experiences" at Marriott properties across the Big Apple, including wellbeing sessions at the Lily Kwong-designed JW Garden at JW Marriott Essex House New York; a cocktail hour on the rooftop overlooking Central Park at Le Meridien New York, Central Park; and afternoon tea at The St. Regis New York.

The 2022 EXCHANGE also introduced EXCHANGE TALKS, which were 18-minute sessions designed to educate, inform, and inspire attendees. Speakers included Capuano and other Marriott executives, including Liam Brown, the group president for U.S. and Canada, and Tammy Routh, the senior vice president of global sales. 

2. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority names former Caesars exec as new chief sales officer.
Some big personnel news from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which was announced this week: Lisa Messina, the former senior vice president of sales at Caesars Entertainment, will join LVCVA in early September in its newly created position of chief sales officer. Messina has also previously served as the executive director of intermediary group sales for Hilton and in a leadership role with ConferenceDirect.

Lisa MessinaLisa MessinaPhoto: Courtesy of LVCVA

“We are very excited to welcome Lisa to the LVCVA team,” said Steve Hill, CEO and president of the LVCVA, in a statement. “She knows Las Vegas, knows our customers, and has earned the respect of the entire industry. Lisa is clearly the right person to be the LVCVA’s first-ever chief sales officer.”

Messina, who is a 12-year resident of Las Vegas, added: “I am thrilled to join the LVCVA and represent Las Vegas, the No. 1 name in tourism. There is tremendous history to celebrate in Las Vegas but there are also opportunities to make history. We are at a pivotal moment where the landscape is evolving in a fun and transformative way. It gives business and leisure travelers even more reasons to return.”

3. Miami Beach Convention Center to unveil new amenities.
2022 has already been a busy year for the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC). This year it hosted major global events like the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show—the largest boat and yacht event in the world—and BitCoin 2022, which was a four-day event that gathered some of the top minds and experts in Bitcoin. This month, it also played host to Supercon, which brought together thousands of fans across anime, comics, and gaming, plus voice actors, celebrities, and creators in the industry.

The MBCC also plans to unveil a new bar and restaurant inside its historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse. Dubbed The Rum Room, it will serve up a "tapas-style menu and local South Florida rums in a 1920s setting," according to a press release. Also new to the MBCC is Venu, a 3,300-square-foot event space ideal for receptions and corporate functions.

Miami Beach Convention CenterMiami Beach Convention CenterPhoto: Courtesy of the Miami Beach Convention Center

In 2022, planners can also expect a complete, campus-wide installation of fiber connectivity at the MBCC, which will allow for a more seamless wireless infrastructure for events that use indoor and outdoor venue space. And in the near future: an 800-room Grand Hyatt—that will connect directly to the convention center—is slated to open in 2025.

4. CVB/DMO professionals head to Toronto for Destinations International's Annual Convention.
Destinations International (DI), the leading organization representing CVB/DMO professionals around the world, held its Annual Convention earlier this month in Toronto. More than 1,300 industry professionals came to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for panels, education sessions, and networking opportunities. 

A notable announcement from the conference included the launch of DI's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Assessment Tool, a resource for DMOs to create "intentional EDI goals and track progress in the workplace and the community through data-driven metrics," according to a press release. DMOs will have the capability to filter their results by comparable budget size, geography, tourism asset, and more.

And DI's new chair, Al Hutchinson, the president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, also introduced the Historical Black Colleges and Universities Scholarship Program. With this scholarship, DI hopes to attract underrepresented students who are seeking a degree in hospitality or tourism management.

"Over the past several months, numerous hospitality leaders have pledged their financial commitment toward this program, and I am pleased to share that we have surpassed our initial goal and raised nearly $180,000," Hutchinson wrote on LinkedIn. "I believe this fund will go a long way in building more representation and diversity in tourism leadership, and I want to personally thank those leaders and organizations who are committed to moving our industry forward."

5. The Global Wellness Summit prepares for its 16th conference in Israel.
The leading conference on the business of wellness heads to Tel Aviv, Israel this fall (Oct. 31-Nov. 3). This year's theme is "Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open for Business." Along with the three-day, invite-only Global Wellness Summit, attendees can also participate in a number of "travel opportunities" taking place before and after the event that are designed to immerse them in Israel's historical sites and indigenous wellness practices. A bonus? Summit attendees will also get the opportunity to meet entrepreneurs shaping the future of health and wellness.

“This is an important moment to embrace an ‘open’ attitude, as the world reels from global challenges that have consumed our lives for years," said the summit's chief creative officer and executive director Nancy Davis in a statement. "At this 16th Global Wellness Summit—in a place that knows something about resilience—we will open people’s minds to cutting-edge technologies, disruptive businesses, and ideas and insights that will shape the future of the wellness industry, and the world."

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