Skift Take

While meetings and events are cross-pollinating more sectors in their programming, the industry at large needs to expand how it defines and measures the value of that convergence.

The Future of Meetings & Events

I gave a presentation at the annual Visit Florida Leadership Summit in Orlando yesterday about the convergence of tourism and economic development heading into 2017. Part of the discussion focused on the evolution of the meetings and events industry as an incubator for innovation across all sectors, and how that drives long-term business relationships in the host destination between visiting groups and local stakeholders.

There was a lot of interest in this subject at the Visit Florida event. Convention and visitors bureaus worldwide want to better understand, and more importantly, quantify the value of those business relationships that drive long-term economic growth in their communities. It’s a challenge for them because there is almost zero research in North America about measuring the holistic value of meetings, above and beyond the short-term tourism spend.

In 2017, Skift and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition are going to be collaborating on a research project to explore the legacy impact of meetings. It’s a big undertaking but it’s what Skift does best: Connecting the dots that no one else is connecting. If you have any insight that you would like to contribute to this research, please email me at [email protected].

In the meantime, read our interview last week with Paul Van Deventer, CEO of Meeting Professionals International, and the new co-chair of Meetings Mean Business, where we discussed the importance of measuring the entire value spectrum of business events.

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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sxswVideo: SXSW and Bonnaroo Founders On Making Events Transformative Experiences: The founders of South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin and Bonnaroo in Tennessee say they’re developing more multidisciplinary event programming to bring together as many creative elements as possible, so brands have more opportunities to engage attendees at different levels throughout the event experience. Read more at Skift

Event Tech Leaders Cvent and Lanyon Announce Merger: Cvent and Lanyon Solutions announced yesterday that the two event technology companies had merged, effective immediately, and would operate under the Cvent name moving forward. Together, the new enterprise now owns somewhere between 80–90 percent of the online event management industry. Read more at Skift

Cvent CEO Reggie Aggarwal Discusses Next Steps for Lanyon Integration: Aggarwal emphasizes that Cvent will continue to support all Lanyon products and services during the transition into one company, but questions remain about extensive employee reshuffling, product and services duplication, and the potential for such a large monopoly to innovate. Read more at Meetings & Conventions

Event Manager Blog Suggests 10 Event Trends for 2017: This list is all over the place in terms of meeting industry trends, ranging from drone streaming to diversity to “death to empty seating.” The breadth of detail exploring each trend and the corresponding links make this a worthwhile download. Read more at Event Manager Blog

FreemanXP On Event Tech Trends, Personalizing the Attendee Experience, and UFI Shangahi: FreemanXP has been ramping up its industry insight of late, although we’d like to see more data and research in their case studies. The latest looks at event tech trends from Las Vegas to London; how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs provides an intriguing reference point for customizing events to individual needs; and takeaways from the UFI Congress in Shanghai. Read more at FreemanXP here and here and here.

The Event Marketing Institute and Cvent Publish a New Survey on Event Tech: According to this new Event Technology Engagement Study: “Event producers and meeting planners collectively want more innovation in two areas: ease of use of technology, and software and services to enhance their reporting and analytics process.” Read more at Cvent

High-Tech Ideas From The Future Of Storytelling Festival: Described as something between a tech exhibit, film festival, amusement park, and arcade, the Future of Storytelling event in New York highlighted virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences. There were also demos of eye-tracking software, haptic interfaces, and facial recognition technologies inside the 75,000-square-foot “FoST Playground.” Read more at Event Marketer

Tourism, Hospitality & Venues

Hyderabad’s Tech Scene Feeds Off Apple’s Presence: India’s tech capital has been attempting to build its meetings and conventions business in recent years with varied success, but the new Apple Maps office could help increase the city’s exposure among more IT-sector meeting planners in the West. Read more at Intellectual Capitals

Leaving a Life-Saving Legacy Behind: Celina Renner, congress manager for the International Diabetes Federation, talks about the federation’s “global-to-local” strategy, and the value of working with destination coalitions like the Best Cities Global Alliance. Read more at Convene


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 Future of Storytelling Festival describes itself as a tech exhibition, film festival, amusement park, and arcade. Future of Storytelling Festival

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