Skift Take

A focus on integrating business objectives and creative inspiration is driving innovation in event strategy today, and it's finally spreading into the mainstream.

The Skift Meetings Innovation Report is a weekly newsletter defining the future of business events by deciphering disruptive strategies that improve engagement and knowledge sharing. Subscribe.

The Future of Meetings + Events

The meetings and convention industry is going in two directions right now, which at first glance might seem divergent.

One, there’s the growing focus on the economic impact and business outcomes of meetings and events, and how the industry needs to continually define and redefine its role and ability to drive business development. That is the motivation behind the Meetings Means Business Coalition’s new “Worth Meeting About” campaign launching today. Read our story here.

Two, we are all dead tired of being bored and uninspired at meetings. Event attendees are craving creativity, and that doesn’t mean lame miniature golf courses or mixology classes in prefunction spaces. With all of the digital tools at our disposal, the future of meeting design is limitless in its ability to open new pathways to discovery and engagement, globally.

So, commerce and creativity, or business and inspiration, are driving innovation in event strategy today. The stories below celebrate those places where the two come together to define the next-generation conference. That includes PCMA’s tweet below to crowdsource strategy and content ideas for Convening Leaders in Austin next year. I love that. User-generated programming is the only way that events can truly evolve.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

Social Quote of the Day

“2017 Convening Leaders Content Committee wants your perspective on objectives, challenges & more. … #pcma #mpi

@pcmahq on Twitter

MMB_WMA_1024x700 2

Industry Advocacy

The Meetings Industry Is Launching a New Advocacy Campaign, But Will it Work?The new Meetings Mean Business ad campaign is timed to coincide with the national political conventions to impress upon governments that they should support hospitality and tourism’s efforts to attract meetings and conventions. Read more at Skift

Next Generation Event UX

Meetings & Events: In Search of a Mission: Pádraic Gilligan, managing partner at the meetings consultancy firm SoolNua, provides feedback on Skift’s Meetings Industry Manifesto. He also includes some examples of destinations that he says embrace the manifesto’s primary pillars of community, content, and collaboration. Read more at Padraicino

Cancel the Keynote, Toss the Agenda: Rise of the Unconference: Though the theater-style seating concept will always be one of the most common meeting designs, today’s attendees and hosts are looking for any excuse to get out from behind the podiums and break away from the traditions of conventions. Read more at Smart Meetings

Maker Faire: Three Perspectives for Better Brand Experiences: There is quite possibly nothing else on earth like this sprawling mecca for makers, tinkerers, scientists, creators, and inventors. Maker Faire gives a whole new meaning to user-generated conference content and programming. Read more at FreemanXP

C2 Montreal

Q&A with Ali Velshi: How “The Many” Are Holding the Key to Humanity’s Greatest Challenges: A great interview from C2, and a lens into the future of crowdsourcing: “What we find is that some of the best solutions come from some of the farthest corners of the earth, from non-traditional places, from places where education has not been the obvious source of this innovation.” Read more at C2 Montreal

Live from C2: Totally Reimagining Live Events: The coolest conference you’ve never been to kicked off yesterday, themed around the mashup of creativity and commerce. Read more at Global Experience Specialists

Forget Storytelling. ‘Hypertelling’ Is The Future, Says Google Zoo Founder: At C2 Montreal, Mike Yapp explains how technology is driving a narrative leap akin to the printed word. Read more at Campaign

C2 Montreal Creative Minds: A couple local television news updates from CTV Montreal about what C2 means for the city and the future of innovation in business. Watch at CTV News Montreal

7 Activations That Made C2 Montreal a Truly “Experiential” Conference: Marketers have long referred to their most interactive projects as “experiential.” But at C2 Montreal, the entire conference was one giant activation. Not terribly surprising given that Cirque du Soleil is a founding partner. Read more at Campaign US

Tourism & Hospitality

How Wikipedia Revolutionized Destination Selection for Their Annual Event: Wikipedia chose the small town of Esinio Lario in the northern Italian mountains for its annual Wikimania event. With only 772 inhabitants, the community has no notable hotels other than a few B&Bs with a total of 250 beds. Very few of the residents can speak English. Read more at Event Manager Blog

What London and San Francisco Know About Business and Innovation That Other Cities Don’t: The annual A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index shows destinations their competitive positioning on a worldwide basis to inform their strategy to attract more corporate investment and business events. Read more at Skift


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

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Photo credit: Maker Faire is the biggest annual conference for Do-It-Yourself devotees and lovers of homemade tech. Maker Faire

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