seedlingsSome cities have gotten creative with promoting themselves as tourism destinations in recent years from creating smart cities to food trails leaving travelers’ stomachs stuffed. But after a while these strategies begin feeling tired, especially if everyone rushes down the same aisle and goes for similar themes.

This week’s five startups look at meetings and events and how they can add a fresh dimension to destinations trying to change their conversations or pop culture portrayals, including finding boutique venues for small and medium-sized events and bringing the events industry online at a time when it’s unacceptable any other way.

>>Bizly is a mobile app for instantly booking meetings at hotels. Professionals can compare prices/options, pick meeting rooms, choose food, beverage and other amenities and invite their guests.

SkiftTake: Sometimes business travelers’ preferred hotels don’t have ideal meeting spaces available or on property, and a tool that gives them the flexibility to reserve space at reputable hotels could be valued.

>>10times helps travelers discover more than 226,000 trade shows and conferences in 100 countries.

SkiftTake: Keeping track of every conference within a certain industry can be daunting and more tools that can help travelers plan their conference calendars are helpful, especially as many CVBs increase spending on their meetings and conventions budgets.

>>Limefy turns meetings and convention goers’ wearables into networking tools.

SkiftTake: Everyone struggles with some aspect of networking and here’s a smart example where a wearable device can come in handy. The key, of course, is to balance the attention you give to your device to decide who to approach at an event and the time you spend networking with someone.

>>Stepsi is an online event management software which helps event organizers manage their events online.

SkiftTake: Event organizers who aren’t organizing their events online in 2016 set themselves up for not maximizing the true potentials of events and missing out on important insights that could be gathered.

>>Eventup is an event venue marketplace in the U.S., featuring more than 10,000 venues and service providers nationwide.

SkiftTake: We like that Eventup lets organizers search for venues based on attendance and budget, as anyone who plans medium-sized conventions, for example, knows the struggle to find appropriate venues in certain cities.

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