The Future of Meetings & Events

The last few years have seen a rise of online platforms to book small meeting spaces in creative venues, including sites such as Bizly and Spacebase. They’re designed to alleviate the headaches around the manual request-for-proposal (RFP) process by providing instant direct booking capability and non-negotiable lowest rate guarantees.

“No one wants to use RFPs for small meetings today; they are universally hated by both suppliers and buyers,” Ron Shah, founder of Bizly, told me. “Suppliers generally have less than one percent conversion, and buyers always have to wait endlessly to hear back from them. And then there’s all of this negotiation that has to be processed manually, either via email or phone or whatever. It just sucks for everyone.”

However, enterprise clients want added customization and compliance systems built into these platforms in order to use them more often company-wide. Jumping on that, Shah relaunched an expanded Bizly website this month with a new instant messaging center, so planners can speak directly with venue staff, and a new integrated compliance mechanism. This could potentially kill the RFP for organizing small meetings under 100 people. Read the full Skift story here.

— Greg Oates, meetings editor

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Social Quote of the Week

“Technology is everywhere at #IMEX17! Here’s all the #EventTech that you will be able to explore at the show. j.mp/2oY9ltM

@IMEX_Group on Twitter

Next Generation Event UX

Bizly Wants to Kill the Traditional Booking Process For Small Corporate Events: For online meeting space booking platforms like Bizly to be profitable, they have to offer both automated purchase capabilities and chat functionality with live venue staff to satisfy the demands of enterprise clients. Read more at Skift

The Critical Role of Meeting and Event Planners in the Networked World: BizBash CEO David Adler wrote this call-to-arms for event planners to evolve as “collaboration artists” with a greater understanding of business strategy, social interaction dynamics, and the potential of face-to-face network building to drive organizational growth and innovation. Read more at BizBash

What Do Millennials Really Want From Brand Events?: The smartest marketers are courting millennials through experiential marketing across the online/offline spectrum. From branded activations at music festivals to seasonal pop-up shops, smart organizations are leveraging the crucial link between brand events and brand loyalty. And it all starts with a modern event website because “design is insanely important” for Gen Y. Read more at Splash

Raconteur Launches The Business Events Special Report: The 2017 Business Events special report, published in The Times, explores how planners can elevate their event designs in the digital age. The report covers how to harness the latest tech innovations to create immersive experiences and use engagement data to better understand attendee motivations. Read more at Raconteur

How Artificial Intelligence Will Elevate Human Interaction: As robots and artificial intelligence become more commonplace in everyday society, the conference industry has a big opportunity to capitalize on new technologies to connect event attendees. Tech expert Inma Martinez says: “This is the talk of the town right now — the link between artificial intelligence and human capital.” Read more at Convene

Event Content Curation: World-Class Tips from a TEDx-pert: Fenella Kernebone is the head of curation for TEDxSydney, and she  is responsible for leading the programming for what has become one of the largest TEDx events in the world, and managing a team of over 20 curators and producers. Here’s some of her insights on how to create high-impact event content. Read more at Event Manager Blog

A Face-to-Face Request Is 34 Times More Successful than an Email: New research in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that people tend to overestimate the power of their persuasiveness via text-based communication, and underestimate the power of their persuasiveness via face-to-face communication. Read more at Harvard Business Review

Destination Disruptors

The Sydney Culture Essays: Every city needs to do this. A wide swath of Sydney’s business, academic, community, and government leaders published the new Sydney Culture Essays to position the city’s role as a world innovator. Check out Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn-Lewis Smith’s article: Culture’s Role in Attracting Bright Minds to Sydney. Read more at The Sydney Culture Essays, produced by The Committee for Sydney

Los Angeles Wants Its ‘Everyone is Welcome’ Campaign to Connect With Global Millennials: Los Angeles is part of a trend across major global cities as they attempt to distance themselves from the less welcoming rhetoric coming from parts of their countries. Read more at Skift

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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: Gild Hall in New York is bookable via Bizly. Gild Hall