Accessibility is vital to a successful event, but isn’t treated by many as a top concern.

There are a variety of technologies, ranging from beacons to conference apps, that can make attending an event easier for a disabled person. But until the meeting planning process integrates accessibility concerns from the start, experts say it will remain a challenge to produce truly accessible events. Check out our story below.

This week we also have the latest on WeWork buying popular meetings platform Meetup, and several takes on the future of messaging technology and branding in a digital age.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of Meetings Accessibility

Technology Alone Can’t Solve Accessibility Challenges Faced by Meetings and Events: People with disabilities are often overlooked by event spaces and meeting planners. A new wave of innovation and technology can help make meetings and events more accessible, but lasting change needs to start with a focus on increasing accessibility during the planning process.

Meetings and Event Innovation

WeWork Will Buy Meetup: Flush with cash from investors, WeWork has undertaken a major spending spree. Of their acquisitions so far, buying the popular Meetup platform makes the most sense and dovetails nicely with how the consumer of today wants to attend events.

Las Vegas Gambles It Can Attract Millennials With Instagram-Worthy Moments: Can the Vegas casinos attract millennials with zip lines and bunk beds? Some of them, sure. But the casinos may have to open their marketing toolboxes anew if they think retooling slot machines will attract this sought-after target market in droves.

Technology and Trends

Nobody’s Sure What They’re Doing With Messaging Apps: Everyone agrees that messaging is the future of marketing and sales. But for now, professionals are still divided on the best way to deploy chat capability.

Millennials Are Over, Gen-Z Forever: How are brands dealing with digital natives as they enter the workforce? The trick is to get interactive and stand for something besides shilling for your product or experience. Oh, and being active on Snapchat or Instagram helps too.

Tech Goes From Assistant to Companion: Could 2018 be the year that virtual assistants driven by chat and voice become genuinely useful? TrendWatching sure thinks so, but there is reason to be skeptical about technology replacing service from a real person.

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Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Photo Credit: A group on an accessibility mapping tour in Berlin. Meeting planners need to craft accessibility options at the earliest stage of the planning process. Sozialhelden / Flickr