The Future of Meetings & Events

The annual CES technology event in Las Vegas every year is a monster. Over 175,000 people descend on the city to explore the newest tech products disrupting how we live and work, and no one leaves unscathed by the sheer force of innovation and creativity at every turn.

I spoke with Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which produces CES, about the future of connectivity and the rise of artificial intelligence and voice responsiveness into the mainstream in 2017. He also discussed how CES is focusing more on tourism and hospitality.

For example, Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald was the first travel industry chief to ever keynote at CES in its 50-year history. Carnival’s new Ocean Medallion platform will potentially shift how the travel industry accomplishes mass personalization, which the meetings and events industry needs to jump on, starting now. Read the full story here.

Speaking of megatrends, I’m hosting a Skift Webinar with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts on January 26, focusing on how luxury hotels are redefining business events to drive professional and personal development for next generation attendees. Register for the webinar here.

— Greg Oates, Editor of SkiftX

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Social Quote of the Day

“The physical place is now the new digital interface.” via @jojobickley #nrf17 #IoT #WatsonRetail

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Skift Stories This Week

Interview: CEO of CES 2017 on the Future of Connectivity: CES 2017 this month in Las Vegas marked the emergence of artificial intelligence-integrated connectivity and voice responsiveness into daily life, especially in terms of smart cars and smart homes. The interview also covers the legacy impact of CES on Las Vegas. Read more at Skift

Travel Megatrends 2017: The Festivalization of Meetings and Events: Conference organizers are developing more multidisciplinary programming that pulls from both the business and creative industries, delivering a new convergence of experiences that help brands and attendees plug into business events in more interesting ways. Read more at Skift

J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Conference Is a Case Study in Hotel Compression Nights: Those of us who work with the hotel industry shouldn’t be surprised by this tale, which demonstrates the pricing power properties have when major events come to town. Read more at Skift

Skift Megatrends Webinar

WEBINAR: Megatrends Defining Luxury Hotel Meetings & Events 2017: Join me for this one-hour interactive session with Jonathan Sicroff, SVP, global sales, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. We’ll be discussing key meetings and incentive travel trends disrupting the luxury hospitality space, with a focus on aligning transformative group experiences and long-term business strategy. Register at Skift

Next Generation Event UX

How Adobe Max Keeps The Creative Community Coming Back To Its Annual Flagship Event: Adobe’s signature user conference marries art and tech like few others. For example, the Your Brain on Max exhibit by the neuro-engineering company Emotiv gave attendees wearing interactive headsets an inside view of what their brain experiences as they sketch. Read more at Event Marketer

Why CES Is a Key Incubator for Marketing Executives: Marketers are attending the world’s largest tech show in rising numbers to better understand how technology is impacting the consumer landscape. That’s especially evident in the various event marketplaces promoting products integrated with artificial intelligence. Read more at Adweek

How Davos Brings the Global Elite Together: The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland’s highest ski town is: “Responsive and Responsible Leadership.” According to the author: “One notable event is a simulation of a refugee’s experience, where Davos attendees crawl on their hands and knees and pretend to flee from advancing armies.” Read more at The New York Times

Success in the Digital Revolution: Lessons from PCMA Convening Leaders: Much of Convening Leaders in Austin focused on making sure that event pros are able to navigate the uncertain dawn of the digital revolution. Especially interesting, at the “Predictions Event Professionals Need to Know” panel, Freeman CEO Joe Popolo said marketers are defunding everything but digital and live events. Read more at Freeman

Designing Corporate Events With Sales Professionals in Mind: SAP redesigned its Sapphire Now user conference in Orlando to leverage the ability of live marketing experiences to shorten the average sales cycle. Read more at Convene

Facebook Just Unveiled A New Way To Reach Your Attendees: The new Facebook Live Audio helps meeting and event organizers record live experiences and post just the audio component when video isn’t appropriate due to poor lighting, limited bandwidth, or any number of other things. Read more at PCMA

Virtual Reality Streaming Service NextVR Wants to Introduce Paid Live Events Soon: The virtual reality streaming startup NextVR reports that its app downloads are “going through the roof” following high VR headset sales during Christmas. The company is looking at potential pay-per-view partnerships in sports and entertainment to distribute content to consumers who are unable to attend live events in person. Read more at Variety

5 In-Depth Meeting and Event Case Studies: A thoughtful and granular look at how sophisticated event design can differentiate brands, increase attendee and brand engagement, and deliver higher return on investment. Read more at Event Manager Blog

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The Skift Meetings Innovation Report is curated by Skift Editor Greg Oates [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Wednesday.

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Photo Credit: LG's connected OLED TV display at CES 2017. Consumer Technology Association