Skift Take

Companies from Airbnb to Marriott are implementing innovative operational strategies based on the need to be fluid and adaptable as the travel marketplace continually evolves.

The Skift MeetingsIQ newsletter defines the future of meetings and events with an emphasis on disruptive strategies that improve knowledge sharing.

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The Future of Meetings + Events

iq180x150The MIT Design Driven Innovation 2016 conference wrapped up yesterday at the MIT Media Lab in Boston. John Sculley, ex-CEO of Apple and Pepsi; Charles Johnson, director of innovation at Puma; and Matthew Von Ertfelda, head of innovation at Marriott, were just a few of the speakers who discussed their respective brand philosophies on disruption. Sculley said that when he was working with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in the 1980s, they never talked about money and other realistic concerns. They talked about changing the world.

Nicholas Negroponte, cofounder of MIT Media Lab, and founder of One Laptop per Child, described in his keynote why he’s always amazed when students say, “That’s not realistic.” They don’t belong at MIT, Negroponte suggested, because innovation demands exploring everything that seems unrealistic.

There’s a lot of talk these days in the meetings and events industry about better content, more ambitious programming, and the big buzzword, “engagement.” Maybe that discussion needs to begin with what doesn’t seem immediately realistic.

Social Quote of the Day

“Until recently, my perception was that hotel brands were fortresses designed to withstand change, relying on uniformity in design and product experience as a competitive advantage.” — Matthew Von Ertfelda, VP, insight, strategy & innovation at Marriott on LinkedIn


Events + Event Tech

The Event Tech Industry is Maturing But There’s a Lack of Business Research: Event Manager Blog is among the most respected knowledge hubs for event tech thought leadership. Founder Julius Solaris discusses how event tech startups are gaining traction, and why there needs to be more research on the business value of event tech. Read more at Skift

Marriott Executives Explain the Brand’s Internal Strategy Shift at MIT Innovation Conference: At the MIT Design Driven Innovation conference this week in Boston, Marriott executives said that millennials, online booking platforms, and Airbnb are the three biggest industry factors driving internal strategy at Marriott. Read more at Skift

Airbnb CTO and 3 Tech CEOs Discuss the Digital Platform Economy at Davos: The idea of cross pollinating disparate industries is fundamental to the digital platform economy. But it’s rare to find top leaders in the travel industry having a dialogue about that with companies like Cisco in an open forum available to the public. Read more at Skift

No UI is the New UI: Apps like Magic and Operator are the next big thing. They don’t use a traditional UI (user interface) as a means of interaction. Instead, the entire app revolves around a single messaging screen. They’re called ‘Invisible’ and ‘Conversational’ apps, and there’s a bunch more coming on the market. Read more at Medium

The Event Guys Launches Comprehensive Guide to Event Technology: The Event Tech Guide is a new digital portal highlighting new meeting and event technology. It’s positioned as “the meeting industry’s first review site for technology providers.” Read more at The Event Guys

Meeting UX Trends

Bringing Mindfulness to Meetings: Mindfulness is fast becoming a cause célèbre at Fortune 100 companies: Google, Intel and Target have created custom, in-house meditation and wellness programs for their employees. Read more at Convene

Great Digital Experiences Create Serendipity – IBM Connect 2016: At IBM Connect 2016 in Orlando, Brian Chaput, program director of digital experience software at IBM, spoke about the potential of IBM Digital Experience (DX) to build audience engagement. Read more at IBM

A Key Challenge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Staying Human and Humane: Robots and artificial intelligence will force people to hone human skills that were more important generations ago. “Empathy, respect — those skills will be effective for the workplace of the future. It is through comparison with robots that we will know what it is to be human.” Read more at World Economic Forum

Hotels + Destinations

Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network Reveals Positive Trends for Meetings Business. Strong Forecast for Large Groups: Incentive group business is good at Marriott CRN properties: 78% of member hotels are seeing an increase in corporate leads, 90% of those coming from U.S. mainland resorts. Meanwhile, 71% of offshore resorts are seeing an increase in incentive groups, and 50% of U.S. resorts are experiencing an increase in leads for incentive business. Read more at Marriott

Tel Aviv: The Smartest City In The World Is Now Also A Smart Tourism City: As Skift earlier predicted, tourism boards are repositioning as “smart tourism boards” to leverage the surge in global attention around smart city development. Read more at Orlando Advocate


Skift MeetingsIQ is curated by Skift senior editor Greg Oates [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Wednesday.

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Photo credit: MIT Media Lab was host venue for this week's MIT Design Driven Innovation 2016 conference. MIT Media Lab

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