Skift Take

Innovation is no longer the sole domain of tech companies, media visionaries, and Millennials. Today, everyone is at least attempting to integrate more inspiration and creativity into their events to resonate with more diverse audiences.

Skift’s Meetings Innovation Report is a weekly newsletter defining the future of business events by deciphering strategies that drive engagement. Subscribe.

The Future of Meetings & Events

This week’s Meetings Innovation Report emphasizes the systemic shifts taking place across the meetings and conventions industry at every level.

From the destination perspective, cities from Omaha to Jerusalem are emerging as new alternatives for large group events in the face of skyrocketing costs in many first-tier urban capitals. Check out how Visit Britain is attempting to drive convention business to second-tier cities throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In terms of the meeting user experience, everyone in event tech and event design is pushing innovation and creativity to the forefront of their strategic mandates for 2016 and beyond. Even successful enterprises like Web Summit, which has grown from 400 to 50,000 attendees in six years, are pivoting their focus to expand their relevance.

In his post this week, Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave wrote: “It’s time for Web Summit to grow up a little bit more, and in a way that reflects the growing impact of technology on every aspect of our lives and the lives of 7 billion other humans.”

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

Social Quote of the Day

“Revealed: The Psychology of Social Sharing by @InboundAgent – ht @ratanb #LearnSocMedia”

@sree on Twitter

Hospitality & Tourism

Aston Martin BritainVisit Britain Has A New Plan To Attract Large Conventions Following Brexit: Based on a directive coming straight from the Prime Minister’s office, Visit Britain needs to collaborate more closely with its convention industry partners. Now that the government has ponied up the necessary funds to do so, Visit Britain has detailed its plans. Read more at Skift

Meetings Association Members Convene in Utah, Which Tries to Grab Future Conferences: Visit Salt Lake considers the American Society of Association Executives conference a site inspection for the city and hopes to transform the conference into a stream of future conference bookings. Now if the city only had a new convention hotel to close the deals. Read more at Skift

Demolition of the Riviera Casino in Vegas Will Give Way to a Bigger Convention Center: The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority purchased the Riviera last year for $190 million to raze it and expand the Las Vegas Convention Center. Read more at Skift and watch the demolition at ABC News

5 Midsize Cities Using Their Local Knowledge Economies to Bring In Meetings: With large cities becoming prohibitive for many large convention groups, midsize cities from Richmond, Va. to Brisbane are tapping into their local tech and academic communities to attract meeting planners with more than just affordable rates. Read more at Convene

Top 10 Emerging International Meetings Cities: Cities from Jerusalem to Guadalajara to Taipei are investing heavily in urban meetings and technology infrastructure to boost their convention business. Read more at Smart Meetings

Skift Deep Dive

Iceland and The Trials of 21st Century Tourism: Skift’s Andrew Sheivachman traveled to Iceland to meet with the country’s major tourism, hospitality, and tour officials for an in-depth look into the evolution of the country from a insulated fishing economy to a global tourism capital. Read more at Skift

Next Generation Event UX

Why Does Innovation Challenge Associations So Much?: When it comes to what the corporate world can pull off, do association executives ever get jealous of how fast many of their for-profit equivalents can move? As author Ernie Smith states: “The average association turns a corner about as effectively as a tour bus.” Read more at Associations Now

The World is Changing and So Too Must Web Summit: In six years, Web Summit has grown from a tiny and local 400-person gathering to the “most important event in technology,” “Davos for geeks,” and “Glastonbury for geeks.” But how does an event owner maintain that momentum and pivot programming to align with major global disruptions. Read more at Web Summit

Outside Lands 2016: How the Festival Made Attendees Feel Like Tech Stars: RFID wristbands served as attendees’ entry ticket and digital wallet throughout the weekend, and the Heineken House was tricked out with a digital graffiti wall and 360-degree HD video projected on the dome ceilings. Read more at BizBash

Creativity Is The Seed of All Innovation: Creative ideas are often tricky to fully implement within the constraints of a 1- or 2-day conference. Meetings that provide safe spaces to focus on something different, meet different people, and get away from everyday routines produce the most creative outcomes. Read more at MPI

7 Inspiring and Outrageous Experiential Marketing Examples: Here are some interesting case studies from recent years where brands like Volkswagen, Zappos, and Gatorade successfully marry online and offline experiences. Read more at Event Manager Blog


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: The Outside Lands 2016 festival in San Francisco integrated RFID bands and digital video walls to collect data and drive attendee engagement. Outside Lands

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