ConventionSouth

SEP 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 29 FEATURE: TRADE SHOWS & EXPO HALLS PLAN. THEN PERFECT. The Woodlands is a business marvel. Featuring over 2,200 guest rooms, 160,000 square feet of meeting and event space, over 400 premier shops, and The Woodlands Waterway, this place is "the" place for your next event. Just 30 minutes from Houston and 20 minutes from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, VisitTheWoodlands.com is where business comes alive. choice for trade shows and expo events, Kieffer said. "Downtown is so walkable," she explained. "It's a great little tight package with the conven- tion center and other large meeting space, and three blocks of new and renovated hotel rooms." The waterfront Mardi Gras Park will open up green space and provide another place for host- ing trade shows, Kieffer added, with statues of Mardi Gras kings and queens, and jazz legends dotting the park. "We will add a pavilion and an open market similar to the French Market in New Orleans." As today's current market moves toward instant access and mobility, it's important to have easy access to the venue space. "Greens- boro is the ideal location for hosting any type of show or expo. We are in the center of it all, five hours from D.C. and five hours from Atlanta. Our airport [Piedmont Triad Interna- tional Airport] is located 10 minutess from our downtown and major interstates all meet up in Greensboro," said Pope. n Helping Exhibition Organizers Move Into The Digital Age Digital lounges with recharging stations, interactive touchscreen kiosks, digital signage and more are tech trends that are becoming crucial parts of the savvy event organizer's show. But with all of the latest technological elements available, many event organizers of trade shows and expo events are unsure of how to best incorporate tech savvy fea- tures into their own gatherings. One conference that's addressing how to transform trade shows in the digital age is Transform USA. Held in July at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center in Washing- ton, D.C., the conference was created by global events strategy consultancy AMR In- ternational and U.S.-based event organizer Lippman Connects to assist U.S. exhibition organizers in embracing advanced technology. "This event comes in response to the in- dustry's ongoing reluctance to plan for its long-term digital transformation," says Den- zil Rankine, executive chairman of AMR International. "We know technology is rapidly changing the event experience and the expectations of attendees but exhibition orga- nizers are slow to act. Very few organizers have allocated budgets for the research and development of digitization. Across the board, they are uncertain how to proceed, fear the failure of implementation and continue to wait for others to make the first move." n

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