Skift Take

Large events like the national political conventions and South by Southwest provide baseline case studies about how to drive passionate engagement between brands and attendees.

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

Everyone in the meetings and events industry is talking about “engagement,” but not very many meeting planners are tapping into the collective knowledge of their communities to co-create programming ahead of their events.

Granted, online crowdsourcing can be a pricey proposition. It takes a lot of resources and manpower to pull together everyone’s ideas, curate them, and integrate them into the overall agenda. But according to Mike Shea, executive director of South by Southwest in Austin, the online SXSW PanelPicker crowdsourcing platform has been instrumental in the conference’s explosive success over the last decade.

“There are a lot of ideas that come through PanelPicker that would never have occurred to us in a million years,” Shea told me last week.

He explained that the proprietary SXSW platform has a lot of moving parts in the back-end, which required some significant investment. However, he said, with so many event tech firms out there, someone should be able to create an off-the-shelf solution to give conference attendees a stronger voice in their own professional development. Read the full story here

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Next Generation Event UX


How South by Southwest Crowdsources New Programming Ideas: For almost any kind of conference to evolve significantly in the future, it needs to leverage the collective knowledge of the community using modern technology to create a more inclusive programming schedule. Read more at Skift

Mike Shea, The Maestro of South by Southwest: Shea says no matter how big your event gets, you can still deliver an amazing experience by identifying “tribes,” and by facilitating ways for different tribes to find each other. Read more at Successful Meetings

How Virtual Meetings Are Enabling Smarter Business Travel [Sponsored]: Earlier this year, BCD Travel and Advito joined forces with technology company Cisco to create a new practice area in corporate travel that previously didn’t exist: Total Collaboration Management. Read more at Skift

Twitter to Stream the Republican and Democratic Conventions: The streams will be available on both the mobile and web apps through Twitter’s new Live product. The company recently tested Live during Wimbledon, streaming matches through a broadcasting partnership with the tennis tournament organizers. Read more at Wired

Six Meetings Industry Trends to Keep and Eye On: IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer explores the impact of the following on meetings and events: the sharing economy, personalization, Internet of Things, human empathy, a shift from wellbeing to wholeness, and the changing role of destination marketing. Read more at IMEX

Tourism & Hospitality

Visit Denver Invests Big In Event Marketing to Woo Event Planners: The collaboration between Visit Denver and one of Chicago’s economic development agencies shows how tourism bureaus can create dynamic experiences to engage conference planners in their source markets. Read more at Skift

Cleveland Prepares for the Republican National Convention: Fresh on the heels of the NBA championships, the city expects to welcome nearly 50,000 visitors on July 18. Here’s a look at the preparations. Read more at Convene

Wall Street Shuns Trump’s Cleveland Convention: Industry execs won’t go near the GOP event for fear of insulting clients and workforce. Read more at Politico

Airbnb’s Potential Impact on Hotels During the Republican and Democratic Conventions: The upcoming national political conventions may prove to be ideal case studies for whether or not Airbnb has the potential to significantly disrupt lucrative hotel compression rates. Read more at Skift

Airbnb Scores Another Win With Corporate Travel Management Integration: Lex Bayer, Airbnb’s head of global payments and business travel, says: “It’s not a game about either choosing a hotel or Airbnb. It’s about finding the right accommodation for the right trip.” 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: Cleveland is gearing up to host the Republican national convention next week, amid fears of disruption from Trump's tribe. Erik Drost / Flickr

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