Twenty-five years ago, Tom Corcoran started what is now one of the largest independent trade show organizations in the U.S., simply called Corcoran Expositions. In the last quarter century the business has blossomed to assist hundreds of trade associations and organizations plan their expositions. But, there are a few things you might not realize about the company and the founder, who we got to know a little better on the eve of the special anniversary.

1. In a typical year, the Corcoran Exposition team works with nearly 20,000 people (this doesn’t even include the attendees!)

2. The National Beer Wholesalers Association trade show was the first client Corcoran Expositions gained and they have stayed with the company ever since that first year.

3. The average length of client tenure is 10 years. (The secret, says Corcoran, is hiring and keeping the best people to work with the customer.)

4. When a Corcoran Expositions employee reaches their 10-year anniversary, they automatically receive three months off to celebrate.

5. The company once moved an entire event to a new location in another city with just three weeks to spare because of flooding—and pulled it off without a hitch.

6. The biggest event Corcoran Expositions has worked with is GREENBUILD, the largest conference and expo dedicated to sustainable building, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council.

7. Tom Corcoran collects baseball cards, but only the catchers (a call back to his own years behind the plate).

8. Corcoran Expositions has organized more than 700 trade shows in 100-plus cities in 25 years.

9. Corcoran Expositions has sold nearly 17 million square feet to 100,000 companies.

10. The old Corcoran Expositions office was in a cow pasture in downtown Chicago (although the cows were all gone before the company moved in).

The time is right; the stage is set. Groups are ready to meet face to face again, and the four-star luxury hotel MGM Grand Detroit is ready to welcome you back.

According to MPI’s report “Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook,” three-quarters of meeting professionals predict a face-to-face event this calendar year. And that definitely rings true for Lisa Williams, executive director of sales for the hotel.

 

After about 15 months of Zoom happy hours and countless virtual meetings, events, and conferences, it’s clear that virtual gatherings don’t hold a candle to the magic that in-person gatherings can spark. People are excited for in-person events again.

 

Just like the rest of the world, the hospitality and travel industries slammed to a halt when the pandemic hit last March. Some sectors within them had built-in solutions to focus on, such as hotels limiting capacities and restaurants focusing on takeout and delivery. But for many businesses within the related meetings and events realm, there were no natural alternatives to turn to.