Every year, BizBash presents BizBash Live: The Expo in four cities around the country. It is certainly one of the pre-eminent industry events here in NYC. This year’s event on October 27th at the Jacob Javits Center was no exception. From its educational forums to the wide selection of vendors featured in the tradeshow, there is always something exciting happening there.
From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in for a total, immersive experience. Approaching the North Hall from the center’s main lobby, I was drawn in by the pulse of an upright bass and a gently crooning, velvety female voice. Tenderly arranged jazz standards (by the duo, Acute Inflections) beckoned me to enter past a sea of signs, all tagged #PLANNERPROBLEMS, with phrases like, “So sick of trends,” “Kale… that’s so three years ago,” and “We love big ballrooms.” I was entertained before I even picked up my badge.
I spent my time wandering around the tradeshow floor, sampling everything from crab ceviche, courtesy of Sweet Hospitality Group (yummy!) to Tipsy Scoop’s dark chocolate whiskey salted caramel ice cream (and yes it has real whiskey in it). But when I wasn’t eating, I was taking note of some fantastic new things that have come to our industry. Here are my top three faves:
Winner of this year’s BizBash Event Style Award for Best New Event Product, Catchbox is a throwable microphone, housed in a lightweight foam box. Capable of connecting to your wireless transmitter or available with its own complete system, the Catchbox offers users a fun way to engage with one another by giving them something they can easily toss around during an audience Q & A session. The foam covers are easy to remove and can be custom branded. The product of two years of research and development by a group of students from Finland, Catchbox is an ingenious solution to a long standing problem. It was easily my favorite discovery of the day.
A new offering from the BizBash team that is set to roll out in 2016, Live Gathering tools will be an online, virtual tradeshow showcasing the best in event technology and innovation. It will also feature live, talk-show type events to demo new products hosted by none other than BizBash founder David Adler, along with a variety of guest hosts. For vendors, this will be an amazing opportunity to present on a global scale at a yearly rate comparable to the cost of many actual trade shows. Given the deep traction of the BizBash brand, this one could easily be an industry game changer.
In NYC’s lower east side, master pizza maker Mark Bello has established a store-front pizza making school that offers individual and group pizza-making classes. Given top marks for taste by everyone from Food & Wine Magazine to the Village Voice, Pizza a Casa Pizza School makes me wonder why anyone would want to do anything else for their small parties, meetings, team-building events and departmental holiday parties. I mean, people, it’s pizza. What else is there to say?
Cort Furniture Rental
Although it doesn't necessarily qualify as a discovery, I absolutely loved the lounge furniture wired with charging stations. Nothing like a couch that comes complete with its own selection of cables to fit any device. Honestly, when it comes to big events, it's the little things that often make the most difference.