The Future of Meetings & Events

There’s a lot of talk these days about “transformative travel” and the shift from the experience economy to the transformation economy. There’s no shortage of people who think that’s all it is — talk — but I believe transformative is going to be the new local.

Transformative travel means many different things, of course, to many different people in travel, hospitality, and meetings. For me, business events represent the pinnacle of travel because it’s like continuing adult education where creative people talk with innovative people in interesting places to develop new ideas in cool industries.

Today, there seems to be a growing emphasis at events, such as C2 Montreal, Dublin Tech Summit, and New York Fashion Week below, to expand the discussion around technology to include broader audiences, and to distribute content in new realities. It’s great to see tech transcend the “tech bros” crowd at business events to deliver more transformative experiences to more people.

— Greg Oates, editor, SkiftX

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Social Quote of the Day

“To help you get ready for #C2M17, we made a list of 9 Podcasts incl @99piorg @Radiolab @planetmoney + more: c2m.tl/9podcasts

— @C2 Montreal on Twitter

Skift Trends Brief

Sponsored Report: The Trends Shaping Luxury Meetings and Events in 2017: The three big topics in this report look at the convergence of creative spaces for events both on-property and in-destination; deeper cultural immersion to integrate the local community; and a greater emphasis on wellness and transformative experiences. Read more at Skift

Next Generation Event UX

C2 Montreal Will Launch AI-First Forum and Circus Tent Space With Video Roof: At C2 in May, the event’s first ever AI Forum will include programming designed to demystify artificial intelligence to showcase the evolution of the technology, and also democratize AI to expose the scale and impact of AI in enterprise and society. Another innovation this year at C2 Village, the new pop-up 360 Big Top event space has a ceiling that performs as one giant video screen to produce a kind of non-VR VR experience. Read more at C2 Montreal here and here.

Consumer Enthusiasm for Connectivity to Propel Tech Industry to Record-Setting Revenues, Says CTA: The producer of CES in Las Vegas says the future of tech is about connecting people and things with people and things. Lots of things. “Our forecast reinforces our belief that connectivity is going to be one of the driving trends of our time,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “More and more consumers are discovering the remarkable benefits connected products deliver, providing anytime and anywhere access to information, entertainment and each other.” Read more at Consumer Technology Association

Sex, Drugs (Well, Coffee) and Big Data at the Dublin Tech Summit: The Dublin Tech Summit kicked off today, described as a tech event for the everyman, and especially everywoman, versus the usual “tech bros” crowd. Programming themes — above and beyond the ubiquitous medtech, fintech, AI/VR and IoT — include fashion tech, sex tech, and the evolution of workplace culture. Read more at The Irish Times

Create & Cultivate’s First Style Summit Informs Next Generation of Fashion Influencers: This Fort Lauderdale event was the latest offering from the online platform and conference series Create & Cultivate, which brings together female creatives and entrepreneurs to network, inspire, and build their businesses. Attendees participated in workshops, mentor sessions, and panels covering topics from influencer marketing to brand building. Read more at BizBash

Samsung Goes for a New Look in Virtual Reality at New York Fashion Week: Samsung teamed with FTL Moda, a fashion production firm that stages shows for New York Fashion Week, to produce what the two are touting as the first all-digital fashion presentation. Neha Singh, founder and CEO of Obsess VR, the startup behind the VR software used for the show, says: “With VR, we can create experiences that let anyone feel like they are sitting in the front row of a fashion show, or walk around and shop in a store anywhere in the world from your own couch.” Read more at Fortune

Inside Audi’s Evolution As a Hot Trending Experiential Marketer: It’s a rare turn of events when a brand’s live engagement strategy evolves to where it starts to become a brand pillar itself. Audi’s experiential marketing strategy is a key point of differentiation for the automaker in one of the most competitive consumer categories. Read more at Event Marketer

Events as a Platform for Creativity and Innovation: Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, is a member of Freeman’s new design leadership council. In this Q&A, Adler discusses the role of events to inspire individual learning: “Any event is a platform for creative expression, from the artist in the back of the house producing the whole thing, to how people work together creatively to enhance the experience or potential of what can be done. You just have to view the event from the perspective of how it can enable people to do what they want to do.” Read more at FreemanXP

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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: The new 360 Big Top event venue at C2 Montreal has a roof that does double time as a giant video screen. C2 Montreal