Skift Take

It won't be enough to attend a meeting anymore. Conference attendees are going to need to see events in a whole new way — even if that reality is augmented.

The Future of Meetings & Events

Virtual reality hasn’t quite taken off as a travel marketing tool, but augmented reality could be another story — and meetings and events are another world.

At one extreme, if virtual reality is a solitary nerd playing video games in his mother’s basement, then augmented reality is (potentially) a house party down the block where a bunch of kids are doing more or less the same thing, but together. Instead of strapping on a burdensome headset that puts one single user into a completely fictional landscape, groups of people can participate in a shared augmented reality together.

It’s not just the immersion that meeting planners want, which can already be achieved through virtual reality. It’s that shared experience that bonds people together and keeps the group conversation going. Augmented reality already has great potential for adoption — after all, Pokémon Go enjoyed psychotic levels of popularity, if only briefly. However, meeting and event planners have an eye on experiences that are more collaborative and longer lasting.

We’ll be watching to see if tools such as Apple’s new ARKit can help meetings reach a new level of interactivity and engagement.

— Sarah Enelow

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The Future of Technology in Meetings and Events

How Augmented Reality Will Impact Meetings and Events: Apple’s next generation of phones — the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X — will all carry Apple’s ARKit, a free iOS 11 software update that enables developers to create augmented reality applications that place digital objects in the real world. Read more at Skift

Virtual Reality Arena Opens at MGM Grand: It’s the city’s first “free roam” virtual reality arena. The new 2,000-square-foot space gives up to eight people at a time an immersive experience. A wearable computer backpack, goggles, and headphones are included. Read more at Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Business of Artificial Intelligence: In the sphere of business, artificial intelligence is poised have a transformational impact, on the scale of earlier general-purpose technologies. Although it is already in use in thousands of companies around the world, most big opportunities have not yet been tapped. Read more at Harvard Business Review

Next Generation Meetings & Events

Lufthansa’s FlyingLab Turns Airplanes Into an Event Space: Through a year-old program called FlyingLab, the German airline is hosting digital-focused events from 30,000 feet. These have included a preview of a fashion designer’s collection, workshops to show off new technology, and interviews with prominent speakers. Read more at Digiday

How Major Brands Are Expanding Live Events to Reach New Audiences: At Advertising Week, leaders from Pandora, Live Nation, the Tribeca Film Festival, and Heineken shared how they’re selling FOMO, using technology, and putting the attendee first. Read more at BizBash

Evolving End-to-End Meetings Automation: Meetings technology companies aspire to measure on-the-ground attendee experience and engagement and then connect that data with registration details as well as sales and marketing strategies. If you’re a travel manager or a procurement-oriented strategic meetings manager, this could be unfamiliar territory, but it’s essential to understanding the value of an individual meeting and to defining an organization’s overall business strategy for meetings. Read more at Business Travel News


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

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Photo credit: Apple's new ARKit allows users to create augmented reality experiences for iPhone and iPad. Apple

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