Skift Take

The meetings industry is getting a lot better at leveraging data to inform event design and strategy, but there's still a long way to go to personalize the experience on a mass scale.

The Future of Meetings & Events

Event tech companies are getting better at providing data that CMOs and planners can actually understand, leverage, and build on to design offline and online engagement more strategically. Still, we haven’t yet tapped the full potential of event tech.

“We strongly believe that data is power,” says Bizzabo founder Alon Alroy. The company says it works with corporations, publishers, marketing agencies, associations, and third-party planners to “help people create a better website, to promote their event via email and social media, maximize participation, and maximize engagement.” The platform also integrates easily with Linkedin, MailChimp, and Salesforce, among others.

Many meeting owners and planners crave as much data as possible to better personalize event design. For example, Horacio Gavilan, executive director of AHAA, wants better attendee segmentation information.

“I know a lot about my members but I wish I could know their generational differences,” he says. “But I also think there is no way for me to track it. I can only make those assumptions based on title.” Referring to millennials, he says, “I know they consume media differently, so how can I, as a meeting planner, make sure I am providing content that is relevant?”

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—Greg Oates, meetings editor

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Next Generation Event UX

How Smart Event Organizers Are Using Big Data to Create Better Events: Today’s meeting planners need more data than just how many people are attending to design a relevant event for attendees and make money for conference producers. Technology from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as well as websites and apps from companies like Bizzabo, Cvent, Eventbase, and Eventbrite are filling in those knowledge gaps. Read more at Skift

How Virtual Reality Will Shape the Future: Aimone Bodini, virtual reality director and speaker at the upcoming VR & AR World 2017 event, says: “When creating virtual worlds we are also creating virtual characters, and artificial intelligence can improve the communication between the user and these characters. They might react to people’s words or actions, which will be helpful in creating more immersive and engaging VR experiences.” Read more at TechX365

Bold, Human, and Electric: How Twitter Brings Its Brand to Life at Events: Helen Stoddard, head of events for Twitter, gives her take on the brand experience industry, attracting the right audience, measurement, and maximizing budget. She says: “Brand experience is incredibly important because we want people to walk away understanding the bold, human, electric characteristics of our brand. So we work to dimensionalize these characteristics in order to dictate the physical connections people will have with the brand.” Read more at FreemanXP

An Unhealthy Hotel Booking Ecosystem – Relying On One Source of Digital Bookings: The hotel meetings industry is ripe for digitization. Many hotels are still taking bookings for meeting rooms on pen and paper, while others are managing their meetings business using Excel. More planners want and expect instant booking online with real-time rates and availability, as well as better integration with back-end data management systems. Read more at Hospitality Net

An Easy Way to Bring Virtual Reality to Your Event: Exit Reality is a custom virtual reality video content solution that can be delivered anywhere in the United States. Yoni Koenig, co-founder and CEO of Exit Reality, says the product relieves planners of the need to coordinate hardware, content licensing, and production. Read more at BizBash

Destination Disruptors

‘A Model of Collaboration’: Forging Deeper Connections With Destination Marketing Organizations: Gary C. Sherwin, chair of Destination Marketing Association International, and president and CEO of Visit Newport Beach, says the DMO’s role has evolved dramatically in recent years: “The primary function of the CVB today goes far beyond marketing. We are now destination architects, imagineers, culture cultivators, project engineers, as well as clever marketers. In many cases, the CVB is the driving force in facilitating a dialog between its community and the customer.” Read more at Convene

ICCA and BestCities Team Up For Incredible Impacts Program: The International Congress & Convention Association and BestCities Global Alliance launched the new “ICCA Incredible Impacts Program” during IMEX Frankfurt this week. Highlighting the legacy value of association meetings, the new initiative provides grants to organizations to evaluate, research, and communicate the holistic value of their meetings beyond the attendee spend. Read more at ICCA

When Artificial Intelligence Rules the City: A new report from Stanford University, produced by a panel of experts on technology, business, and cities, dives into the potential impact of artificial intelligence on the future of urban user experience, and the way people will work and network with our virtual assistants. Read more at CityLab


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: A panel session at CES 2017. Personalizing experiences on a mass scale still proves difficult. CES

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