Skift Take

The next generation of conferences are evolving as multidisciplinary, experiential marketing platforms to better personalize the learning and networking options for attendees. They're also a hell of a lot more fun.

The Future of Meetings & Events

C2 Montreal is one the top five conferences in North America pushing the edge of experiential design, programming, and marketing — but it’s actually much more than that. During the event last week I met with leaders at Tourism Montreal and the Montreal Innovation Quarter, who explained that C2 is also one big billboard to promote the city as a global innovation capital to help attract outside companies and talent to the city.

It all starts with a wildly inventive array of different experiences on the floor, so attendees can personalize their learning and business development opportunities.

In our lead story this week, Freeman produced a new survey showing that CMOs are spending more on live events to round out their marketing mix. They’re also diversifying their programming to engage different audience subsets, inspired by events like C2.

“Some of the research showed that the more personalized the event or experience, the more effective it could be — and that personalization was something that audiences were seeking out — integrating technology and data in order to make the real-life experiences more highly personable and immersive,” says Chris Cavanaugh, executive VP and CMO of Freeman. Read the full story here.

—Greg Oates, meetings editor

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Social Quote of the Week

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Next Generation Meetings UX

Smart CMOs Are Seeing the Value of In-Person Brand Experiences and Events: According to the results of a new survey by Freeman, 59 percent of chief marketing officers recognize brand experience “for its ability to create ongoing relationships with key audiences.” They are also spending more on live events, with more than one in three CMOs saying they expect to allocate 21 to 50 percent of their budgets to brand-experience marketing over the next three to five years. Read more at Skift

Designing an ‘Open Space’ Conference Format with Slido: Leveraging the concepts of open innovation and “unconferencing,” the Focal Point event management company used the Slido audience participation app to crowdsource one-third of the programming at the Open:2017 conference in London in real time. The top three takeaways, according to Focal Point: “Delegates develop immediate buy-in and ownership of the program; the content is relevant to the people in each session; and the subjects that need to be discussed get discussed.” Read more at Slido

Translating the Neuroscience of Behavioral Economics into Employee Engagement: To help prove that corporate retreats and incentive travel programs drive real results to enhance organizational growth, this report by the Incentive Research Foundation brings new science to what actually motivates employees. Primarily, the research explains how the majority of human decision-making is emotional as opposed to rational. Read more at IRF

Event Marketer Launches EventTrack 2017: The Experiential Marketing Content Benchmarking Report: Billed as “The world’s only study on how brands use live experiences to create and distribute content,” the annual Event Marketer report outlines how attendees are capturing and sharing their learning experiences at conferences and events. Download at Event Marketer

XDP Challenges Association Pros To Become Experience Designers: Traditional conferences may deliver on content goals, but they often come up short in providing compelling, memorable experiences. At ASAE’s new Xperience Design Project event this month, the new multidisciplinary format provided attendees with a guided, hands-on exploration of the design mindset. Read more at Associations Now

How Working Closely With Partners Helped Us Host The Best TNW Conference So Far: More than 75 companies sponsored the TNW tech industry conference in Amsterdam this month. Here are some examples of how companies attempted to increase brand awareness and recognition, generate leads or connect with a desired group of people, and share their story to establish themselves as thought leaders in a certain field. Read more at TNW

Destination Innovation

Organizers of C2 Montreal Conference Launch C2 Melbourne: Operated by Cirque du Soleil and the Sid Lee marketing agency, the annual C2 Montreal is Canada’s most successful innovation, marketing, and tech conference. Last week, the organizers announced the launch of the two-day C2 Melbourne sister event, kicking off November 1, 2017. This should significantly elevate Melbourne Convention Bureau’s exposure in North America. Read more at C2 Montreal


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: Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO Karen Bolinger announced the launch of C2 Melbourne during last week's C2 Montreal 2017. Melbourne Convention Bureau

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