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Industry Updates: News & Awards

By Selena Fragassi


353 West NYC Lightens Up with Renovations to Multipurpose Space
Floor-to-ceiling windows offering a room full of natural light and lightweight modular furniture are just two of the ways the private venue in Times Square is lightening up with its latest renovations. In particular, panel discussions, film screenings, art exhibitions, photo and video shoots and cocktail parties will enjoy the convertible space that helps promote creativity, team spirit and proficiency. Other features include a self-service kitchen as well as an outdoor terrace with illuminated features and attached bar.

Colorado State Becomes First University To Get Platinum STARS
The campus in Fort Collins has long been known as one of the most sustainable universities in the nation thanks to 17 LEED certified buildings, programs offering alternative transportation and an Energy Reserve Fund that pays for energy-efficient upgrades to campus buildings. Those efforts have paid off with a new platinum rating from STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). Though STARS regularly evaluates 700 campuses across the globe, CSU is the first to receive the platinum distinction, the highest level possible.

Conference Chicago At University Center Gets A Name Change
The venue formerly known as University Center Conference Chicago is getting a makeover. The new name (and accompanying logo and website) are all part of a rebranding strategy to better market the full-service center to the hospitality industry at large. Conference Chicago is connected to the multi-school residence hall University Center, and has opened itself up to conference guests the past 10 years with 15,000 square feet of space and overnight accommodations that together serve as a hotel alternative in downtown Chicago.

Waterview Is The Newest Vancouver Event Space Making Waves
This new waterfront property has quite the view with its location on the north shore of Vancouver’s False Creek that offers panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows with an unobstructed look at the water, Granville Island and surrounding cityscapes. Inside is just as beautiful with 3,250 square feet of flexible meeting space for up to 255 guests. Amenities include on-site catering, complimentary Wi-Fi, a distributed audio system with iPod connectivity and wireless microphone as well as power for specialty lighting.

Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar Welcomes Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul
The Republican senator from Kentucky paid a visit to 250 guests assembled at Bobby McKey’s in National Harbor, Maryland in late February. The visit was a part of the Conservatives for Political Action Conference and leads up to Paul’s campaign in his 2016 bid for the White House. The day included a speech, meet-and-greet and a live interview with newsman Sean Hannity for his Fox News show “Hannity Live,” a chat set up perfectly at the venue’s famed piano benches.

University of British Columbia Vancouver Welcomes New Alumni Centre
On May 1, UBC Vancouver opened the doors to its latest building, the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre. Located in the heart of campus, the modern spaces allow for up to 300 guests in theatre-style seating or in rounds of eight. Included is an executive boardroom, traditional classrooms, multi-purpose meeting rooms for workshops and breakout sessions. As part of a leading research university there’s also an abundance of state-of-the-art technology at the centre including specialty audio, video projection, telecommunication services, digital signage and video/web conferencing. It’s now booking for 2015 and beyond.

Sherbrooke Exhibition Centre Debuts New App For Exhibitors and Visitors
The recently launched mobile app, powered by BsideU, allows visitors to the Quebec-based Centre to locate specific exhibitors in the venue more easily. The app also provides exhibitors and promoters a tool for delivering geo-locational pop-up advertising as well as a view of the "heat map" for each event, which allows them to estimate potential foot traffic. It’s just one more way Sherbrooke Exhibition Centre has become an ideal location to host or organize events in the Eastern Townships since opening in 2011.