The Future of Meetings & Events

Two of the biggest challenges facing meeting and event planners today revolve around how to best use event technology and how to align meeting design with business goals. Part of the problem is that there’s not a lot of solid academic and industry research to help planners develop better skills in tech and business strategy.

This week, American Express Meetings & Events launched its annual 2017 Global Meetings & Events Forecast, which highlighted the need for more collaboration between senior corporate leaders and university faculty to develop that research.

“We are clearly seeing changes in expectations around what meeting professionals should be doing, and how we should be contributing to their success,” Issa Jouaneh, senior VP/general manager of American Express Meetings & Events, told me. “As an industry, we’re looking to really elevate the profession in terms of not just execution skills, but also the value tied to creating real visibility around what meetings and events deliver for corporations.” Read the full story here.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Next Generation Event UX

New Meetings Industry Forecast Explains Need for Better Educated Planners: Corporate leaders and university faculty need to collaborate more to develop meetings industry research that supplies meeting planners with a more comprehensive understanding of event technology and business event strategy. Read more at Skift

The 15 Most Innovative Meetings in 2016: The breadth of these creative conferences show how successful business event and festival design is based on shared experiences designed to build community and deliver specific business outcomes. Read more at BizBash

How Managers Can Help Their Introverts Network: This is a topic that needs a lot more research. According to the author: “Many introverts love to connect deeply. They may not meet as many people at a given event, but they’ll often come away with a smaller number of authentic and valuable connections.” Read more at Harvard Business Review

[Sponsored] Event Intelligence Is the Key to Executing Smarter Meetings: Now, at last, SMM technology is offering fresh possibilities by focusing on the attendee experience, and it’s bringing back the relevancy of in-person meetings while making them more engaging and measurably profitable. Read more at Skift

Grace Hopper Conference Spotlights Women in Tech: Research shows that a strong network contributes to women staying in technology fields, so the purpose of the Grace Hopper event is to help women network with other women who are passionate about tech but often feel disconnected from the mainstream industry. Read more at U.S. News & World Report

Place + Space Making

St. Louis Tries to Rebrand the City for Meetings With a New Music and Tech Festival: St. Louis is fortunate to have one of the more advanced startup communities of any small city in America, and it’s leveraging that aggressively through the Murmuration Festival to reposition itself as a forward-thinking destination for meetings and events. Read more at Skift

Australian Ambassador Helps Sydney Launch New Research Conferences: Catalysts For Thriving Economies: This new report is part of Business Events Sydney’s industry-leading Beyond Tourism Benefits series. BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said, “Business events mobilize exchanges and collaborations that form the foundation of innovation, economic development, and societal change — all catalysts for a thriving economy and prosperous community.” Read more at BESydney

Marriott’s M Beta Hotel Is a Working Laboratory on the Future of its Brand: Marriott wants to take an historic brand that’s often been described as comfortable, reliable, and maybe even boring, and transform it into something that’s potentially more design-driven, innovative, sophisticated, and localized. Read more at Skift

6 Examples of The Community-Driven Convention Center: These six cities are investing heavily in their convention center districts to convert them into world-class innovation districts for the betterment of both visitors and locals. Read more at Convene

Placemaking and The Promise of the New Urban Agenda: Convention planners can learn a lot from urban planners about activating cities with purpose: “’Place’ is an environment in which people have invested meaning over time, defined by how it is used and the people who use it. Placemaking, then, is the community-driven process by which a physical environment is made meaningful.” Read more at Citiscope

Event Spotlight

TNW Momentum: This year’s TNW Momentum brings together 5,000 CEOs, founders, marketing and product managers, and designers to share how they’re building their organizations. The co-founders of Slack, Mattermark, Foursquare, Reddit, Duolingo, 500 Startups, Birchbox, Refinery29 and others will explain their growth stories from different stages of each company’s development. Afterward, attendees move into a series of roundtables for intimate conversations with biz/tech leaders like the founder of Google Drive and the head of UX at Vine. Read more at TNW Momentum

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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.

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Photo Credit: The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing this week in Houston promotes diversity and equality in the tech industry. Anita Borg Institute