June 18, 2024 4:36 AM
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Talk on the Tradeshow Floor: Fern, Nth, IAEE, ESCA, WIE,

by Jeanne Brei

Fern Expo desksThe buzz this week—just as the long Fourth of July holiday weekend is beginning— is the breaking news that Fern Expo, a leading provider of trade show, exhibition, and event services, and Nth Degree, also a leading full-service global event marketing and labor management company, have announced the merging of their Nth Degree logocompanies. In January 2018, Nth Degree merged with Atlanta-based Zenith LaborNet and in July 2021, they joined forces with Renaissance Management’s I&D team. Fortunately, Nth announced that there will be no layoff or closing of locations at this time as Nth corporate leadership will be in charge of Fern from its headquarters in Atlanta/Duluth, Georgia, as well as its 25 offices across North America and several major European cities. Nth Degree currently serves its clients at more than 10,000 event and tradeshow projects annually.

Rick Neff 300x250On Facebook, Rick Neff (pictured right) posted, “As a former Fern employee, during my 17 years with Fern, the ownership changed four times, as well as the logo four times. Little will change instantly, but there is room for improvement honestly. My Joey Norman 300x380only hope is that the current employees don’t get shafted. There are some good people there.” Joey Norman (pictured left) added, “I like the acquisition in all honesty. I think it gives us a chance as a company to grow and to continue to service this industry in new ways. I’m excited to see how the new changes work out and I love being a part of the purple team!” And “Ackin’back” Acres posted that he is “Happy for Aaron! Time to enjoy life.”

Larry ArnaudetSpeaking of getting ready to enjoy life, not only is IAEE’s David DuBois preparing to retire at the end of 2023, ESCA’s Larry Arnaudet (pictured right) announced that he is retiring at the end of 2023 at this week’s ESCA Summer Conference at the Hotel Effie Sandestin in Florida. The conference was, as usual, a great success and this Women in Exhibitions at ESCA 6.24.23 Photo by William McGlade better pixyear it featured the first-ever Women in Exhibitions Network Happy Hour meetup (pictured left, photo by William McGlade) prior to the grand opening welcome reception at the ESCA SEC 2023. It continued with sessions, panel discussions and the ultimate in networking.

For summertime it was quite a busy week—on June 29 at 5 p.m. in Las Vegas, the Culinary Union Local 226 hosted a march down the Las Vegas Strip from the Miracle Mile Shops to T-Mobile Arena in support of the Levy Premium Food Service workers employed at the T-Mobile Arena who have been fighting for a union contract since September 2022. Joining in the march were Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for Culinary Union; Diana Valles, president of the Culinary Union; Levy Premium Food Service workers employed at the T-Mobile Arena, Culinary Union members and Bartenders Union Local 165 members. Levy strike pix from Twitter 4The Culinary and Bartenders Unions represent the 200 hospitality workers (cocktail servers, food servers, banquet servers, dishwashers, cooks, and bartenders) who are employed at Levy Premium Food Service at the T-Mobile Arena. The workers are fighting for fair wage increases, health care and pension benefit protections, seniority, opportunity to work in other venues, faster resolution to grievances, and so that one job is enough to provide for their families.

Meanwhile, Southern California’s largest hospitality union, UNITE HERE Local 11, which represents more than 32,000 room attendants, cooks, dishwashers, front desk agents, servers and food service workers, voted to authorize a strike earlier this month. UNITE HERE Local 11 said in a release that it could call for a strike at dozens of hotels with more than 15,000 workers as early as July 4th weekend.  At the top on the list of concerns for hotel workers is the rising cost of housing.  The SoCal union strike votegroups says that the strike authorization vote comes after more than a month of failed negotiations with hotel employers–including Hyatt, Hilton, Highgate, Accor, IHG, and Marriott. The union’s key demands are an immediate $5 an hour wage increase to keep pace with the cost of housing; affordable family healthcare; a pension that will enable workers to retire with security, and a “safe and humane” workload.

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