Trendsetter on Display
Lofty Goals in Sustainability
Certified planners share insights on how the accredited pros avoid those quality issues the nontrained coordinators often face.
Our editorial advisory board members talk about the shortage of hotels, technology must-haves and the next ‘big thing.’
Depending on the day, Claude Molinari is a salesman, lawyer, financier or janitor.
“Some days I’m every one of those different things,” says the Cobo Center general man ager. Molinari’s daily tasks might involve selling groups on the Comeback City, negotiating with unions, crunching budget numbers and making sure all the snow is cleared. He also manages the city’s granddaddy of events, the North American International Auto Show.
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher, halal, pescetarian, fruitarian, lacto vegetarian, ovo-lacto-vegetarian: Planning food and beverage is more complex than ever, given the growing number of dietary restrictions. And for guests with food allergies, a meal even may have life or death consequences.
“Anaphylaxis is an ugly thing,” says Lori Shepard, executive chef and owner of Simply Scrumptious Catering in Dexter. “You never want to have to call an ambulance in the middle of your event.”
Cowboys aren't known for sitting around, and the American Cancer Society’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball aims to keep its attendees on its feet.
The ball, held Sept. 24 at Cobo Center, drew 700 attendees and raised $1 million to support the society’s mission. It featured a strolling supper with local celebrity chefs making their signature item; a live auction; and entertainment. The event, though open to the public, is primarily a corporate fundraiser that draws its support from sponsorships.
Each year, prior to our Best of Michigan Awards party, the MIM+E Editorial Advisory Board meets to discuss the state of the meetings and events industry, including the challenges it faces and the trends taking hold or on their way out. Here’s what our members had to say this year.
MIM+E: Let’s start by talking about the issues facing our industry. What are the top challenges?
Cobo Center’s green efforts are landing it new business. The Sustainable Brands conference will relocate to Detroit in 2017, after five years in San Diego.
Cobo achieved the Green Meetings Industry Council’s APEX/ ASTM rigorous standard certification in 2015. (It was just the ninth convention center to do so.) Its green initiatives have been numerous, and the center has earned several awards for its efforts, including the 2015 Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leader Award. It recently added food composting to its sustainability program.
The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is Michigan’s biggest and arguably most important annual event. And while it’ll be hard to beat last year’s show—which saw the unveiling of both the new Cobo Center and the new Ford F-150 truck, and brought in 800,000 members of the public— this year has some exciting things in store, too.