The Future of Meetings & Events

The purpose of the Washington, DC-based Meetings Mean Business Coalition is to advocate for the power of meetings and conventions to drive new business development for all stakeholders. Most notably in 2016, the organization brought hospitality and tourism companies together from around the world to advocate for the value of meetings during the first annual Global Meetings Industry Day in April.

I asked incoming co-chair Paul Van Deventer, CEO of Meeting Professionals International, about what he wants to bring to Meetings Mean Business as the head of a major meetings industry association. Previous co-chairs have come from the hotel and events sectors. He answered that the coalition can do more to engage meeting planners in the campaign to drive exposure around their industry.

“We’ve done a really good job of engaging the supplier side in developing the messaging and pushing the messages,” Van Deventer said. “We need to do the same on the planner side. There has been some engagement, but I think there’s a lot more upside opportunity, and using the platform that I have, as well as my colleagues running the other industry associations, I think we have a lot of leverage we can bring to bear in the market.”

Read my full Q&A with Van Deventer here.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Event Industry Trends

How The Meetings Industry is Advocating For a More Global and Collaborative Mindset: The Meetings Mean Business Coalition has built a strong war chest of advocacy materials supporting the value of face-to-face meetings, but incoming co-chair Paul Van Deventer says industry organizations should work more closely together to drive global growth. Read more at Skift

Convention Industry Taps U.S. Homeland Security to Make Meetings More Secure: Following recent terrorist attacks and acts of violence in high-profile locations popular for meetings and events, the convention industry is compelled to proactively develop a new set of security standards. This is going to be costly, but it’s a different world in 2016, and that’s something the industry needs to accept. Read more at Skift

Hyperloop One’s New Autonomous Transportation System: ‘We’re Not Just A Train In A Tube Company Anymore’: Yes, the Hyperloop concept sounds like a science fiction movie today, but there’s serious talk about connecting the 90-mile corridor between Dubai and Abu Dhabi for a 12-minute ‘Loop transfer. Worth checking out just for the videos. Read more at Venture Beat

How The Broncos Are Embracing Tech, On Game Day And Beyond: The Bronco’s Orange Herd app leverages augmented reality functionality and partnerships with brands like Coca-Cola and Bud Light to deliver exclusive experiences to fans, including videos, stats, app games, and a Broncos-specific emoji keyboard. Read more at Built In Colorado

Next Generation Event UX

XING Events on Digital Transformation in the Event Industry: Here are the top four impacts of digital transformation in the event industry according to this online survey with feedback from 2,500 event organizers and 2,000 attendees. More than half of the surveyed organizers want improvement in the areas of attendee management (56 percent) and attendee communication (57 percent). Read more at Event Manager Blog

Dreamforce 2016: Seeking Optimus Prime – Practical Vision, Practical Reality: This post is somewhat exasperating to read to get past the author’s BS-y self-love, but there’s a ton of context around the overall meeting design philosophy at Salesforce’s big annual event. Read more at ZDNet

Exploring the Unrealized Potential of Cognitive Computing in the Travel Industry: A new IBM survey quantifies travel industry interest in artificial intelligence. The report emphasizes that the biggest impact of AI in travel relates to operational efficiencies and the ability for travel brands to personalize their engagement with consumers. Hotels, tourism bureaus, and convention centers should pay attention to this. Read more at IBM

The Event Marketer’s Guide to Next-Generation User Conferences: Some interesting insight here about creating micro-moments at conferences, immersing events into host destinations more strategically, and integrating creative user experiences to deliver more multidisciplinary learning environments. Read more at Cramer

How The Digital Transformation Affects The Events Industry: Technology is impacting how conference participants are evolving as content providers, and how conference organizers engage them before and during events. Hard to believe the average age of Facebook users is over 40. Read more at the German Convention Bureau

How HP Turned Demos Into Journeys At Panorama: The Panorama Festival in New York was designed to link technology with creative industries in music and art. HP demonstrated the capabilities of its newest brand solutions through eight immersive art installations powered by HP products. Outside, an interactive facade was live-wired with generative projection-mapped content by VolvoxLabs. Inside, there was a 360-degree virtual reality theater and art exhibition space. Read more at Event Marketer

A Handbook for Scaling Up Solutions Through Knowledge Capturing and Sharing: This World Bank publication identifies the correlation between enterprise leadership, shared learning, and collaborative action based on that learning. It’s not specifically about meetings, but it basically defines the modern framework around aligning event design and business outcomes. Read more at The World Bank


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: HP's Panorama Festival in New York incorporated creative pop-up venues to house a series of immersive tech experiences. HP

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