Booking individual hotel rooms can be easily made with a few clicks online, but booking rooms for a group can require more time and coordination. Jetaport is a free service that takes the hassle out of booking room blocks. Planners simply submit their trip details and preferred hotels on Jetaport’s website, and a Travel Advisor is assigned to each request to work with hotels to find the best available rates. “We help make it easier for planners," says CEO Jason Shames. Travel Advisors will give planners up to four possible trip proposals. Once an offer is accepted, Travel Advisors will request an electronic signature for the hotel's booking agreement and will personally connect the planner with the appropriate contact at the hotel, making booking a block of rooms stress free.

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.

 

Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.

 

Great lighting is key. Smart décor is a must. But the mood of any gala, auction or awards ceremony lies largely on the shoulders of its master of ceremonies. Who you choose to represent your cause or organization on stage can be the difference between an event that is “ho-hum” or “electrifying.”

Texas Meetings + Events reached out to three of Texas’s favorite emcees. They shared with us how they got where they are—and what they’re doing now—along with some sage advice.