Live events start filling up the calendar at TCF Center

May 24, 2021

Live event bookings over the next few months in TCF Center have picked up, with Beyond Van Gogh, 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 Sept. and Forge Fair 2021 in Oct.


Beyond Van Gogh is a walk-through exhibition that uses 360º projection mapping technology to create an immersive experience showcasing the stunning work of the artist Vincent Van Gogh. The show runs through Aug. 15 and may be extended into Sept. if ticket sales remain robust.


“Our sales team is marshaling every available resource to escalate the return of events,” said Karen Totaro, general manager TCF Center/ASM Global. “A continual conversation with our customers allows us to adapt our event offering to meet their needs quickly and creates the confidence needed to book events.”


The team has gone to extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and security of all event attendees. 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.


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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 added, “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.”


Because the limits to outdoor events in Michigan will be lifted June 1, 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 and includes plazas, pavilions and green spaces. The Detroit Riverfront was voted #1 riverfront in the U.S. by USA Today readers in 2021.


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Michigan has lifted the limits for indoor events starting July 1, and environmental hygiene remains a top priority as TCF Center continues to address the needs of each event and develops health and safety plans that include physical distancing, PPE use, contact tracing, health checks and medical treatment protocols.


Indoor air quality improvements that follow LEED advice are now in place including: increased building intake/air exchange rates; high efficiency air filters; and air flow management plans.


“We are constantly assessing staffing needs and hiring to cover all contingencies on the event calendar,” said Totaro. “It will be great to get the whole team back together in full force when we beat this virus.”


The entire metro Detroit community is looking forward to welcoming events and attendees back to the center with a can-do spirit that drives the team to be better every day and reach for new heights. 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, 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.


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