Skift Take

We identify who we are, and how that aligns with our networks and general society at large, through meetings and events. Those experiences are the launch pads for our greatest potential.

The Future of Meetings & Events

Meetings and events show us how we’re evolving as a society full of millions of networks clamoring to share messages and build engagement for both good and inherently ignorant reasons. They are a prism into the times that show us the road ahead, and the challenges and opportunities we face.

Last week, New Orleans’ Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave one of the best political speeches in recent times about how a community can evolve beyond its horrific history. This week, the Manchester bombing shows a new horrific future, which has the meetings and events industry feeling numb yet more cohesive than ever before.

Follow tweets from the Manchester Convention Bureau and Anthony Cassidy at the MCB, for updates.

Today, I’m writing this newsletter from the C2 Montreal conference. There’s a lot of early buzz around new digital platforms for crowdsourced community learning and knowledge sharing to drive higher levels of diversity, inclusivity, and understanding. The passion here around civic tech and social entrepreneurship is palpable.

Below, check out other new conference developments, such as the launch of Google Lens at Google I/O, and the new SXSW/Mercedes Benz event kicking off in Frankfurt this fall, focusing on the convergence of innovation in mobility and connectivity.

And if you’re feeling ambitious, Joanna Peña-Bickley, the global chief creative officer at IBM iX, suggests how “cognitive experience design” is the next frontier to help us navigate the collision of conflicting information overload we find ourselves grappling with today.

—Greg Oates, meetings editor

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Social Quote of the Week

“Live-streams are here! If you can’t attend #C2M17, you can feel like you’re here by tuning in:

@C2Montreal on Twitter

Destination News

Visit Florida’s Budget Cuts Could Seriously Impact Florida’s Robust Meetings Business: All eyes are on Florida Governor Rick Scott as he decides whether or not to veto a bill passed in the legislature earlier this month that would cut the Visit Florida budget by 67 percent. If the governor withholds his pen, the destination marketing organization’s budget will be slashed from $76 million to $25 million, which could deliver a severe blow to tourism in the country’s most visited state. Read more at Skift

Next generation Event UX

New Research Considers Human-Centered Meeting Design: A new multidisciplinary study intends to shift the strategic conversation around meetings beyond financial ROI and learner outcomes. The goal of the research is to show the value of meeting experiences that impact human behavior, influence decision-making, create moments of meaning and insight, and inspire creativity.” Read more at Convene

The Slickest Things Google Debuted at Its Big I/O Conference: Google is integrating artificial intelligence into a suite of new products, showing how AI-first is the new mobile-first. Of those, Google Lens is one of the most interesting. The long-awaited photo-recognition technology pulls up search queries when you point your phone camera at something. Read more at Wired

Cognitive Experience Design: Designing Intelligent Brands with AI for the Cognitive Era of Business: Joanna Peña-Bickley, global chief creative officer at IBM iX, explains how we are all suffering from information overload, and how artificial intelligence can be brought to bear at events to make them more effective. She says, “Cognitive Experience Design (CxD) is the art of empathetically respecting an individual’s time and choices while balancing the science of crafting data into intelligent individualized experiences that lead conscious decisions. Read more from Joanna Peña-Bickley

Reinventing the Way Humans Learn: Our Story, Our Plan: Christine Renaud, founder of E-180 and the Braindate collective-learning platform, says: “We need a ritual, a thoughtfully crafted moment where we commit ourselves to come together and learn from each other.” To date, organizations such as Airbnb, Amazon, Cannes Lions, Salesforce, TED, and C2 Montreal have hosted thousands of face-to-face Braindates for conference attendees to discuss themes of common interest. Read more at E-180

Opening Up Berlin: Open Circle Curates an Unforgettable TOA Berlin Experience: Many events have speaker and VIP dinners, but Tech Open Air in Berlin is blowing that out with a comprehensive series of events for thought leaders to network more deeply. Read more at Tech Open Air Berlin

TED Uses Facebook Live as Part of New Strategy to Expand Audience: The organizers of the annual TED conference in Vancouver want the event to be super exclusive but they also want the content to be shared worldwide. Here’s how they used Facebook Live to stream both the headline speakers on the main stage and other more casual interactions behind the scenes. Read more at BizBash

Your Conference Needs To Focus On Providing 4D Experiences: Instead of amusement-park escapism thrills, conference organizers need to design and foster real “4D” experiences: deep learning, deep play, deep reflection and deep connections. Read more at MPI

The SXSW Feedback Project Explained: Hugh Forrest, chief programming officer at SXSW, explains how the Austin conference develops conversations with past participants about what works and what doesn’t at the annual event. The comprehensive Feedback Project shows how organizers and attendees often have different views about event design and content. Read more from Hugh Forrest

SXSW Is Expanding Into Europe With A Different Name and a New Vibe: SXSW is expanding its reach with a new conference in Frankfurt this September called “me Convention.” Sponsored by Mercedes Benz, the event is designed to “unite the tech, design, and creative industries for international exchange and business.” Read more at Forbes.

What Sponsors Want And How Conference Event Directors Can Provide It: In order to clearly build the value of partnership to sponsors, conference organizers need to deliver concrete facts on the effectiveness of sponsorship beyond just traditional impressions. However, nearly 70 percent of planners report they lacked a consistent, standardized way to measure the impact of sponsorship, leaving them unable to deliver the data their sponsors need. Read more at MeetingsNet

How Is Innovation Fostering The Communities Of The Future: Fablabsbs, makerspaces, hackerspaces, and anything that can be seen as an ‘Innovation Lab’ are designed as playgrounds for curious people to unleash untapped convergencies. Equipped with high-tech machines and professionals, they are spaces that empower participants to build meaningful and value-oriented solutions to current problems and promote social, political, and economic inclusion. Read more at OuiShare


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: Tech Open Air Berlin created its Open Circle sessions to deliver more ROI for speakers and VIPs. Tech Open Air

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