The Future of Meetings & Events

The Convention Industry Council hosted its annual Conclave educational conference at the Hilton Baltimore last week. I was invited to moderate a panel on Millennial trends reshaping the meetings industry, based on my collaboration with Meetings Mean Business last year to produce the Skift Trends Report: What Millennials Want in Meetings.

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The theme of the panel revolved around why we need to kill the stereotypes attached to generational differences. In fact, according to many industry people of all ages I’ve spoken with, we need to just stop talking about Millennials altogether.

By labeling an entire generation as one homogenous group, and focusing so much on how we’re different, especially with regard to technology, that’s impeding progress toward more effective industry-wide collaboration both online and offline.

“I think it’s kind of been established who Millennials are, both the negative and positive stereotypes,” said panelist Shawnna Kerns, 26, marketing & communications manager for the Convention Industry Council. “It’s almost been talked to death at this point, so I would definitely say now it’s time to move beyond understanding who you are to what can you do.” Read the full story here.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Next Generation Event UX

cic-millennials-copyMillennials Don’t Talk About Millennials. Neither Should the Meetings Industry: There is so much fatigue around the Millennial conversation in the meetings industry, and whether they want to attend live business events. Acknowledging that will help shift the industry conversation toward collective, multi-generational action around meeting strategy and business outcomes, versus who’s good on Instagram. Read more at Skift

The 2016 Miami Home Design Show Thrives on Face-to-Face Meetings: Show director Adam Kayce believes the event’s continued success is rooted in its ability to physically stand out from a crowded digital market. The show also did a good job collaborating with some of Miami’s cultural influencers. Read more at BizBash

How to Engage An Online Audience: When you’re streaming to an online audience from a face-to-face event, how do you help them be part of the action? Three digital event strategists explain their strategies. Read more at Convene

Disrupt Conference Shows an Industry Grappling with Diversity: The 2016 flagship event for AOL’s technology news site TechCrunch attracted 4,000 participants across a broad spectrum of nationalities and ethnicities, and more women. Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle

Fox Sports Is Bringing Virtual Reality To Live College Football: By hooking their phones up to a Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard, viewers are able to watch games in their full, immersive glorification of concussion-inducing violence. Those who don’t have a headset will still be able to interact and watch in a 360-degree video setting. Read more at Digiday

Tourism & Hospitality

Montreal’s Quartier De L’innovation: A Neighborhood With Solutions: The district is an “innovation ecosystem” combining a creative grouping of schools, private start-ups, and established businesses. They’ve been pulled together to address the new realities of innovation challenges occurring on a worldwide scale, but with modern, localized solutions. Read more at Tourisme Montreal

How Toronto’s Downtown Core Became the Ultimate Film Festival Event Space: Love how the Toronto International Film Festival incorporated the city of Toronto into the spectrum events. Brands such as Nespresso, Casper, and Axe hosted parties, lounges, and screening events in creative venues not called a “conference center.” Read more at BizBash

Event Spotlight

IBM World of Watson 2016: We are so going to be at this. Where else can you see a cognitive dress, have a cognitive concierge, or kick the tires of a Watson self-driving car? The future of how event organizers integrate machine learning and design thinking could start at IBM WOW, maybe. Read more at IBM


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

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Photo Credit: The IBM World of Watson 2016 conference kicks off in Las Vegas on October 24. IBM