The Future of Meetings & Events

Atout France, the country’s national tourism development agency, launched a 5-month influencer campaign in the spring, leading up to the IMEX Frankfurt meetings industry trade show last month.

The agency contracted London-based Irina Trofimovskaya, founder of The MICE Blog, to drive higher online and offline engagement around the #BizInFrance hashtag on Twitter and LinkedIn.

This is new for a destination to use influencers to engage meeting planners, at least at this scale. Atout France reported both a rise in social media interactions before IMEX, and a jump in meeting planners visiting all of the French partners during the show.

Jerome Poulalier, manager of Atout France’s meetings department in Frankfurt, said, “Our other goals included increasing awareness of French destinations beyond the most popular cities, extending the engagement lifecycle beyond the IMEX Frankfurt event, and creating more sharable, visual content.”

— Greg Oates

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Social Quote of the Week

“.@sxsw is the world’s fair of the future, @MayorAdler. #Austin #SXSW @usmayors

— Santa Fe mayor @javiermgonzales on Twitter

Destination Disruptors

France Tests Social Media Influencer Strategy to Engage Meetings Industry: Lots of destinations work with influencers to drive leisure traffic, but France’s national tourism board is among the first to contract a meetings and events specialist to engage conference planners. This should inspire other countries and cities to try the same because it positions them as digital innovators to younger audiences. Read more at Skift

Announcing the Cities Summit at SXSW 2018: The South by Southwest conference in Austin is launching a new series of sessions next year focusing on the rise of cities as, what Austin Mayor Steve Adler calls: “incubators of the future.” As such, urban destinations are evolving as innovation platforms with a deep knowledge base across different growth sectors. Conference planners can leverage that to educate and inspire attendees, rather than cities merely playing the role of venue and experience providers. Read more at SXSW

U.S. Conference of Mayors Launches New Mayors Agenda for The Future Strategy: Bipartisan collaboration was the big theme at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors last week in Miami Beach. The event produced the new MayorsAgenda.com portal and strategy paper focusing on four priorities: Safety, infrastructure, workforce, and inclusivity. You could say the meetings industry has the same four priorities. The value here for planners and the industry at large is the section on inclusivity. Download the paper at Mayors Agenda

Next Generation Meetings UX

PCMA Educational Conference Partnered With Innovative New York Venues: Representatives from organizations including Stanford University, Microsoft, Disney, and others hosted offsite sessions during PCMA’s annual industry education show in New York. By integrating the city’s innovation economy into the event programming, PCMA provided a more diverse platform for attendees to explore a wider range of creative thought leaders and venues. Read more at Convene

The Experience Movement: How Millennials are Bridging Cultural & Political Divides Offline: According to a new Eventbrite report, 79 percent of Millennials in 2017 agree that attending live events makes them feel more connected to other people, their communities, and the world, which is significantly higher than 69 percent who reported the same in 2014. Read more at Eventbrite

Event Manager Blog Publishes New Event Sponsorship Report: Event sponsors are looking for more out-of-the-box ideas to make sponsorship dollars extend further and drive higher return on investment. According to the report, “Sponsors are over the regular ideas of ads in event programs, social media mentions and followers, etc. They now look for more client presence and impact pre, during and post events.” Read more at Event Manager Blog

What Science Can Teach Us About Capturing an Audience’s Attention: According to new research, event speakers should lead with stories and back them up with data, versus the other way around. Neuro-economist Paul Zan says, “Character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better understanding of the key points a speaker wishes to make and enable better recall of these points weeks later.” Read more at Inc

Top Trends of London Tech Week 2017: Some of the big themes coming out of London Tech Week this month include: Brexit isn’t dampening the flood of tech talent into London; new life-like robots show increasing sophistication in artificial intelligence; tech companies are getting creative to attract young tech workers; and the growing conversation around 5G is making people imagine how we’ll actually use our devices in 2020. Read more at OFF3R

In the AI Age, Being Smart Will Mean Something Completely Different: The central premise here is that people will need to develop emotional intelligence and a creative, collaborative mindset to succeed in the era of artificial intelligence. According to the author: “What is needed is a new definition of being smart, one that promotes higher levels of human thinking and emotional engagement. The new smart will be determined not by what or how you know, but by the quality of your thinking, listening, relating, collaborating, and learning.” Read more at Harvard Business Review

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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 Atout France booth at IMEX Frankfurt 2017. Atout France