Karen Totaro, general manager, TCF Center, is pleased to announce the return of live events, including Beyond Van Gogh Detroit, opening in TCF Center June 25.
Beyond Van Gogh is a walk-through exhibition that uses 360-degree projection-mapping technology to create an immersive experience showcasing the stunning work of the artist Vincent Van Gogh. The show will allow for 6-foot distance between all attendees and separate ingress and egress pathways through the show.
Other major event bookings through 2021 in TCF Center in the next few months have picked up, with CannaCon Detroit 2021 and the USA Weightlifting National Championships Week in June, Campus Party TechFest, Automation Alley Integr8, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NICA) Conference in September and Forge Fair 2021 in October.
“Our sales team is marshaling every available resource to escalate the return of events,” says Totaro (pictured left). “A continual conversation with our customers allows us to adapt our event offerings to meet their needs quickly and creates the confidence needed to book events.”
Knowing the continued industry trend will lean to hybrid meetings, further pandemic adaptations for events include enhanced TCF Center technology. Hybrid event packages let shows present to a live audience with produced staging elements (video, audio, LED, lighting) and remote viewers and other presenters from any location to attendees around the globe.
Recent 2021 research conducted exclusively for Exhibition News by Explori revealed the main priorities for businesses over the next year are delivering postponed events (54 percent), developing new sources of revenue (54 percent) and understanding changing customer needs (53 percent).
According to Totaro, “This venue has one of the most robust tech services offerings in the business. But that won’t stop us from developing new products and opportunities for clients.” She adds, “For instance, we know our customers are looking for new sponsorship revenue streams, so we now offer sponsorships in the venue that include digital signage, hybrid event platforms and WiFi networks.”
The TCF Center team has also been busy developing expanded outdoor event space opportunities, including the 45,000 square-foot TCF Square, an adjacent space that wraps around the venue with spectacular views of the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario. Auto-related events use Atwater Street off the riverfront for ride-and-drives, and events are considering the facility’s rooftop for larger exhibits. The Detroit River runs adjacent to the center, and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy provides attendees five and a half miles of public riverfront property from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge and includes plazas, pavilions and green spaces. The Detroit Riverfront was voted #1 riverfront in the U.S. by USA Today readers in 2021.
Indoors, environmental hygiene is a top priority as TCF Center continues to follow the advice of public health agencies and government officials and develops health and safety plans for each event that includes physical distancing, PPE use, contact tracing, health checks and medical treatment protocols.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, TCF Center began to reinvent the live events it hosted by implementing ASM Global’s proprietary environmental hygiene protocols called VenueShield (TM), that are now in place to ensure a clean, safe setting. The venue also achieved the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR certification, and its procedures provide independent, third-party verification that the venue is utilizing pandemic best practices in all of its cleaning and sanitizing.
“We are constantly assessing staffing needs and hiring to cover all contingencies on the event calendar,” says Totaro. “It will be great to get the whole team back together in full force when we beat this virus.”
As local health departments gradually lift COVID restrictions on gatherings, Detroit is coming alive and ready for tourism. Iconic attractions like the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Motown Museum and Belle Isle are already back and welcoming visitors. The Shinola Hotel, one of Detroit’s high-end boutique properties, has been fully booked on the weekends since March 1.
The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) launched new Detroit Experience Day Packages that include unique tours of Detroit for shoppers, foodies or history buffs; private group bicycle tours and glass blowing experiences, all perfect introductions for attendees to Detroit’s distinctive vibe.
“When visitors from out of town are ready to travel again, we have these amazing experiences in a safe, clean environment to offer them in metro Detroit,” said Claude Molinari (pictured right), president and CEO of the DMCVB.
In the past month, the DMCVB convention sales team has booked several pieces of business totaling 40,000 attendees that will contribute an estimated $41 million of direct spending into the local economy.
With 723,000 square feet of exhibit space, TCF Center, formerly Cobo Center, boasts one of the largest contiguous exhibit floor spaces in North America and has the largest ballroom in Michigan with 40,000 square feet. It has received numerous industry awards for excellence including the 2020 USGBC Leadership Award for Building Performance, making it the only convention center in the history of the award to receive it. For more info, visit www.tcfcenterdetroit.com.
On Sept. 15, 2009, operational control of TCF Center transferred to the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, under a collaborative agreement by the Michigan State Legislature, the City of Detroit, and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Each of these entities has an appointed member on the DRCFA Board. Larry Alexander is the appointee of the Governor of the State of Michigan and serves as chairman of the board. For more info, visit: www.drcfa.org.