The Future of Meetings & Events

Skift Global Forum 2016 brought together the leading marketers, strategists, and technologists in travel last week at New York’s Lincoln Center, which is one of the reasons why the Forum has been referred to as the “TED of Travel.”

Here’s a ton of coverage highlighting the takeaways from two intense days of high-level speaker and panel sessions.

In today’s news, London & Partners announced it received a 66 percent rise in inquiries from U.S. convention organizers during the first two months following the Brexit vote. The British pound has dropped 15 percent since the June 23 referendum, making London somewhat more approachable for more groups. Read the full story here.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Social Quote of the Day

“South by South Lawn recap: Attendees learned, listened, connected and brainstormed! medium.com/@hugh_w_forrest/four-lessons-learned-at-sxsl #SXSW #SXSL @POTUS #Obama

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Event Places + Spaces

excel-london-exhibition2-1Conference Planners Show Surging Interest in London Since Brexit: Demand for conference space in London is always high, but price considerations usually tend to dampen some of that excitement. With a 15 percent drop against the U.S. dollar though, suddenly post-Brexit London seems like a bargain, relatively speaking. Read more at Skift

Unleashing Innovation in Boston: Boston’s second annual HUBweek is a “creative festival celebrating innovation at the intersection of art, science, and technology.” This is another example of how innovative events can bring entrepreneurs and investors together to drive economic development in the host destination. Read more at The Boston Globe

W Hotels Is Trying Something New With Its Own Traveling Music Festival: Good to see W returning to its role as a leader in lifestyle hospitality programming. Last week’s WAKE UP CALL: A W Hotels Music Festival at W Scottsdale illustrates how hotels can morph into property-wide event platforms, and how planners can integrate big name sponsors. Next up is W Las Vegas. Read more at Forbes

The Top 100 Events in the U.S. in 2016: A key theme running through the list of the top 100 events in the country is evolution, as more conferences and festivals expand into new sectors and experiment with more interdisciplinary programming online and offline. Read more at BizBash

The Rise of Generation C and Small Meetings: In the U.S. alone, two-thirds of all meetings have 50 participants or fewer, representing a $124 billion industry. This breakdown of the market by number of attendees illustrates a new realignment occurring in the corporate meetings landscape. Read more at Hotel Executive

Next Generation Event UX

The Future of Event Marketing: This collaboration bettwen Event Manager Blog and eTouches is an extensive overview of event marketing today, explored in three sections covering trends, strategy, and tools and tactics. This is a must read for corporate planners to better understand disruptive event trends including co-creation, multi-channel journeys, and the rise of integration. Read more at eTouches

Why Are 170,000 People Heading to San Francisco? Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2016: The Salesforce event has 2,500 breakout sessions this week. There’s a Shark Tank-inspired pitching session with Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca, and will.i.am, with up to $150,000 at stake, and you have to love this: 20 monks are coming in to lead daily mindfulness sessions.  Read more at USA Today

Burberry Makes Its London Fashion Week Show A Weeklong Event: Here’s a good example of how brands are building out their events as experiential marketing platforms with an expanded roster of live, interdisciplinary programming and a comprehensive digital content strategy. Read more at Glossy

How Tech and Big Data Influence Experience Design: From next-generation beacon analytics to second screen platforms with live feedback functionalities, event technology is changing the way that planners design event spaces, and inevitably how consumers experience them. Read more at FreemanXP

Augmented Reality Will Be Everywhere in 5 Years But Virtual Reality Will Stay Niche: In a new report from Forrester on “The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch” from 2017 through 2021, the research and advisory group singled out A.R. as the future of “blending the physical and digital.” Read more at Inverse

Event Spotlight

IMEX America 2016: The biggest event in the meetings and convention industry rolls into Las Vegas this month with a more holistic focus on event technology than ever before. Check out IMEX America’s update on its Tech Zone, EventTech Tours, Innovation Tours, and TECHknowledge area. Read more at IMEX

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

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Photo Credit: Skift co-founder Jason Clampet interviewed Chip Conley, Airbnb head of global hospitality, at Skift Global Forum 2016. Skift