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.

Sustainable Brands is an industry leader in reducing the environmental impact of its conferences. It was the first event organizer to meet the ISO 20121 Standard requiring such organizers to identify the effects their activities have on the environment.

Cobo Center’s five-year renovation included technology upgrades intended to reduce events’ environmental impact, such as its exterior digital signs and room message boards. Greg Sandy, Cobo’s director of sales and event services, says the center considers its sustainability measures part of its technology offering.

The Sustainable Brands conference is part of Cobo’s overall business growth. The first half of fiscal year 2016 saw a 15 percent growth in revenue over the same period in 2015. 

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.