The Future of Meetings & Events

Lots of stories this week about 2016 year-end meeting and event trends. Technology, by far, is driving the most interest among meeting planners and attendees, especially matchmaking solutions and strategies to integrate artificial intelligence and virtual reality into live programming.

There’s been a lot of discussion about AI and VR in hospitality and tourism from the leisure sector this year, but I expect we’ll see a much bigger conversation about measuring AI/VR impact on the group side in 2017. The human-machine interface (HMI) theme, marrying human and computer cognition, is interesting, well beyond its applications in event design and new event business models.

Check out the JWT Thompson wrap-up report of Web Summit in Lisbon, which explores the evolution of AI. Data from a Web Summit survey of 224 tech investors shows: “Fifty-three percent agree that it is ‘inevitable that AI will destroy millions of jobs,’ while the vast majority of investors (93 percent) say governments are not prepared for the impact of AI on jobs.”

— Greg Oates, Senior Editor

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Social Quote of the Day

“Why companies should throw festivals, not conferences: Create peak experiences. fastcocreate.com/3054925/four-ways-brands-can-make-the-most-of-cultural-moments by @karlocordova via @FastCoCreate

@ChipConley

Next Generation Meeting UX

Four Ways Brands Can Make The Most Of Cultural Moments: A look at how brands are integrating timely world events and cultural moments into their event programming to increase collective engagement. Read more at FastCo Create

Web Summit 2016 Inevitably Had A Political Edge, As The US Election Day Fell In The Middle Of It: Some interesting takeaways from Web Summit in Lisbon recently, including the evolution of artificial intelligence to build community, and 500 Startups founder Dave McClure’s epic rant on stage about the U.S. election. Read more at JWT Intelligence

IBTM World Launches Event Trends Report: The report shows rising meeting buyer demand broken down across key market sectors. Read more at IBTM World

5 Trends To Watch In 2017 For The Exhibition Industry: Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, emphasizes that, amid rising global tensions, exhibitions are being used by whole industries “to meet and to take stock of themselves.” Read more at UFI

2017 Predictions From the Most Influential People in The Meetings Industry: A wide-ranging look at how meeting design, event technology, and event business models are expected to evolve in 2017. Read more at Successful Meetings

2017 Event Trends That Will Grant Your Events An Edge Next Year: Next year should see more immersive examples of how event planners are using all the new tech toys, including drones, chatbots, AI, AR, and VR. Read more at Endless Entertainment

Humans, Machines and The Hard Work of Relationship-Building: Will 2017 finally be the year where attendees start adopting networking and matchmaking solutions at scale, such as Presdo Match, Grip, SummitSync, and Pathable? Read more at Event Tech Brief

How Event Chatbots Could Forever Change The Industry: Chatbots are already well established in the food, entertainment, and retail sectors. The events industry is next because: “People like using messaging apps, [so] it’s up to brands to meet them there.” Read more at Bizzabo

Meeting Rooms of the Future Will Be Experiential, Tasty, and Wired: According to phase two of the International Association of Conference Centers’ Meeting Room of the Future study, meeting planners want more residential-style settings, networking spaces, and connection to the outdoors. Read more at MeetingsNet

Tourism, Hospitality & Venues

Business Events Sydney CEO on the Impact of the City’s New International Convention Center: Sydney’s new ICC convention center is attracting a more sophisticated level of tech conferences such as COSPAR 2020, bringing 3,000 astronomers and space industry scientists to the city. Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

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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: Data coming out of IBTM World in Barcelona (pictured) suggests higher meeting budgets and buyer demand in 2017. IBTM