The Future of Meetings & Events

We’re presently living in an era of duality. Globally, economic growth forecasts are trending upward, while at the same time, there is widespread uncertainty due to disruptive world events and inequality.

That was the message coming out of the annual Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) conference last week in Boston, based on a new report published by the organization.

Spending on business travel increased 3.5 percent in 2016. The report calls for 5.2 percent growth this year, accelerating to 6.1 percent in 2018 and about seven percent the following two years. Those expectations are “pending many global uncertainties,” however, including the threat of terror, geopolitical tensions, immigration crackdowns, and trade policy changes.

“The renewed optimism for business travel activity is being driven by an uptick in global trade, expected improvements in the manufacturing sector, economic improvements in emerging markets and shifting currency dynamics,” reads the report. “Many downside risks remain, however. Most notably, public policy in the U.S and abroad has the potential to drastically change the global business travel environment.” Read the full story here.

— Greg Oates

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The Big Picture

Business Travel Spending Is Expected to Gain Steam Globally by 2018: While growth prospects for business travel spending look strong for next year into 2020, there is still enough uncertainty that experts are adding lots of caveats to their forecast. Read more at Skift

Liverpool Forges New DMO Role In Shaping Visitor Experience Through Collaboration: Peter Smith, head of marketing at Marketing Liverpool, explains how convention bureaus are expanding their role, and working with more partners more strategically, by stewarding the development of urban infrastructure and innovative conference experiences for visiting delegates. Read more at DestinationThink

A Study of the Champagne Industry Shows That Women Have Stronger Networks and Profit from Them: Female executives are a distinct minority in many different industries ranging from energy to agriculture to manufacturing. In such environments they often face daunting obstacles, but could there also be unexpected advantages to being in a minority group? And, if so, what are they? Read more at Harvard Business Review

Next Generation Meetings UX

Airbnb Hosts Expected To Lodge 35 Percent More Comic-Con Guests Than Last Year: An estimated 130,000 people are expected to attend the sold-out Comic-Con this year. With more than a 30 percent premium added to the average hotel rate of $261 per night, an estimated 19,000 visitors have opted for Airbnb lodging, which runs about $70 to $100 per night less than a hotel room. Read more at Bisnow

Meritor is Latest Company to Endorse Airbnb For Meetings: There is no mystery that more meeting attendees and business travelers are using Airbnb every year. Therefore, companies such as Meritor have decided they might as well incorporate room-sharing into their corporate policies rather than trying to enforce compliance. Read more at Meetings & Conventions

Five Trade Shows and How They Grew: Five planners, who organize trade shows in healthcare, hotel design, marijuana cultivation, woodworking, and baseball coaching, share the secrets of their success. Nearly all of them credit that success to a willingness to experiment and the ability to truly understand their attendees’ and exhibitors’ specific needs. Read more at Convene

Technology is a Continuing Pain Point For Event Planners: While event planners are using technology in some aspects of the event life cycle, they haven’t embraced a lot of new tools across the board. According to a new survey conducted by the etouches event management platform, 42 percent of planners consider tech in general a pain point. Read more at Meetings & Conventions

How This Conference Created High-Tech and High-Touch Networking Solutions: The conference organizers for Arizona State University’s ASU GSV Summit, focusing on education and talent technology, inspired more online/offline networking by developing an in-app selfie-making video component. The 3,500 attendees produced short films promoting their bios, products, and personalities to share on social media and within the app. Read more at BizBash

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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 Awwwards London Conference 2017 is pictured here. Awwwards London