Skift Take

While the number of challenges facing today's meeting planners are numerous, there are plenty of opportunities, too.

The Future of Meetings & Events

Being a meeting or an event planner is not at all easy, especially today. It’s an often- thankless job that requires the ability to multitask like nobody’s business and there’s so much behind-the-scenes, on-your-feet action that no one will ever know exactly what the planner ever did, on a good day.

Simply put, it’s always been a challenging career, and while certain technologies and platforms are making it easier for organizers to do their jobs, there are still a lot of obstacles that remain.

We decided to speak directly to a handful of planners to get their unfiltered views on what challenges them most today. Read the full story here.

For some, it’s an issue or perception: the fact that their clients don’t really understand what it is they do, and therefore what it is that a planner can do for them.

And while planners had the upper hand following the recent Great Recession when hotels and venues were forced to lower their prices, the pendulum has swung back in the opposite direction. The competition is fiercer than ever for planners to be able to source hotels and venues for their events.

Appealing to multiple generations of attendees is yet another challenge facing planners today, as is knowing exactly how to handle attendee data.

It’s certainly a challenging landscape out there for today’s planners. Here’s to more solutions for planners in the days and years ahead.

— Deanna Ting

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Social Quote of the Week

“What can #behavioralscience tell us about true motivation?” via @MaritzTravel”

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The Big Picture

Meeting Planners Sound Off on Their Biggest Challenges: The challenges being faced by meeting planners are as wildly divergent as the events they plan. To succeed, they need to be informed, nimble, and tough. Read more at Skift

Tourism and Economic Impact of Republican Convention — Even Researchers Can’t Agree:  One of the other short-term impacts that Cleveland’s tourism industry must address is whether it wants to be known as a bastion of conservative values. It’s usually a bad idea to mix politics and destination marketing. Read more at Skift

Travel Advisory for Missouri Leaves NAACP and Local Chapter at Odds:  If we’ve learned anything from other states with similar discrimination bills it’s that local economies suffer and many events and conventions pull out in favor of more welcoming and inclusive destinations. Read more at Skift

Airbnb’s Road to an IPO: Everything You Could Possibly Need to Know:  The company that got its start all because of a design conference will eventually go public, but when? Skift took a comprehensive look at what the company needs to do to finally be ready, including the role that business travel, including meetings and events, might play in the company’s growth into a dominant travel player. Read more at Skift

Can Influencer Marketing Campaigns Reach Meeting Planners?:  Influencers are all over social media touting the latest place to see, restaurant to visit, or shoe to buy. So why haven’t destinations harnessed that power to target meeting planners? One city is about to try — and others likely aren’t far behind. Read more at PCMA Convene

Next Generation Meetings UX

Panorama 2017: How Sponsors and Artists Kept the Returning Festival Fresh: The second edition of the Goldenvoice festival showcased new, interactive digital art exhibits as well as upgraded experiences from returning sponsors. Read more at BizBash

SummitSync Introduces Platform For Event Sponsors To Measure ROI: Companies spend over $300 billion every year sponsoring and attending events, yet fewer than 50 percent of marketers say they have a standard process to measure event success. Read more at Medium

Skift Global Forum 2017

Meet the Speakers for Skift Global Forum 2017: We don’t mean to brag, but the list of speakers attending our upcoming Skift Global Forum in New York City is one of the best for any travel conference, period. Check it out, and join us in September if you can. Read more at Skift


The Skift Meetings Innovation Report is curated by Skift Hospitality Editor Deanna Ting [[email protected]]. The newsletter is emailed every Wednesday.

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Photo credit: Aubri Nowowiejski, founder and board member of Student Event Planners Association. She believes event planners need to find creative ways to engage Millennials at meetings. Student Event Planners Association

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