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Special Events Blog

Industry News for June 21, 2024

Special Events industry news

Venue News

At the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has completed a $100 million redesign of its 2.1-million-square-foot convention center. The refresh has been unveiled in stages across the last 20 months. The October 2022 edition of IMEX America saw the first results of the event-space renovation. Phase two of the renovation saw additional technology enhancements, such as RFID locks on all meeting-room doors and the installation of more than 200 motion-detection cameras throughout the facility. 

People on the Move

Events venue BMA House (London) has announced two management changes: Hannah Robinson is their new Venue Manager and Sasha Dearden has been promoted to Venue Sales Manager. Hannah Robinson, who has been with BMA House for over five years, has been appointed to lead the venue’s sales and operations teams as Venue Manager.  She has drawn on her participation in the BMA mentorship program and is included in the MIA List 2023, as well as being a frequent speaker at industry events representing BMA House. BMA House has also promoted Sasha Dearden (Lee) to Venue Sales Manager. Sasha has been an integral part of the BMA House team for over six years, progressing through various roles in the team, from Event Planner to Senior and Deputy Sales Manager. Sasha's professional development has been supported by the BMA, including ongoing participation in a wide range of training and personal development opportunities. 

Hokuli’a, a premier 1,260-acre oceanfront residential community located on the Kona Coast of Hawai’i Island, has announced the appointment of two key executives. David Stepetic has been appointed General Manager, and Duane Otte has been appointed Director of Golf. In his new role as General Manager, Stepetic will oversee the daily operations of the Club at Hokuli’a, ensuring the highest level of service and satisfaction for members. With over 25 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Stepetic joins the Club at Hokuli'a from the Mauna Lani Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection, where he served as Resort Manager. The newly appointed Director of Golf, Duane Otte, is a 28-year member of the PGA and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the golf industry to the Club at Hokuli’a. Otte will oversee all golf operations at Hokuli’a and ensure a memorable experience for all members. 

Terramar, a DMC Network Company, has announced the expansion of their Southern California team to include seasoned industry leader, Michelle Stansfield, CPCE, as senior sales manager. The main focus of her Palm Springs based role within the Terramar DMC brand is to oversee client relations and events, while providing additional infrastructure for the continuous growth in the destination. "Michelle has spent years building strong relationships and being a top industry leader,” says Lee Chipman, managing director, Terramar. “She is an integral part of the success of Terramar Palm Springs, and we’re pleased to add her to our Southern California team and support her as the National President-Elect of NACE (the National Association for Catering & Events).” 

Awards & Accolades

EMC Meetings & Events (EMCME) has been awarded the Cvent Excellence in Engagement Award at Cvent CONNECT 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. The Excellence in Engagement Award recognizes a Cvent partner who has consistently demonstrated a high level of engagement, participation, and commitment with Cvent’s Partner Program, resources, events, and initiatives. It celebrates a partner that goes above and beyond in their dedication to the success of the partnership. 

Hot off the Press

As the U.S. Open descends on Pinehurst for the third time since Payne Stewart’s dramatic win in 1999, the North Carolina-based Tour Caddie Collective announces its official launch, honoring its own connections with Stewart on the 25th anniversary of his signature victory. Founded by veteran PGA Tour caddies Grant Berry and Mike Hicks and headquartered in Cary, N.C., Tour Caddie Collective is a unique event production concept offering Tour caddies as special guest speakers for business gatherings, executive meetings and other occasions. Clients have included SAS, First Citizens Bank, and the North Carolina CEO Forum. 

Satisfi Labs, an AI-powered Conversational Experience Platform for destinations and experiences, has acquired Factoreal, an omnichannel marketing automation platform focused on simplifying the martech experience across sports and entertainment. The strategic acquisition accelerates Satisfi Labs' vision of building a comprehensive Conversational Experience Platform, bringing together inbound and outbound messaging capabilities. Combining the power of these two platforms sets the stage for the future of customer engagement, driven by conversational AI technology. Satisfi Labs is advancing AI-powered chat experiences with intuitive interactions for businesses and consumers. Factoreal's API-first integration network with brands like Shopify, SeatGeek, and Ticketmaster enhances Satisfi Labs' partner ecosystem. This amplifies conversational capabilities and supports Satisfi's strategy to build a robust partner network. 

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