After speaking to about a dozen event tech executives in the last month, one clear thread has emerged: There is no single best approach to enhance events with digital tools.

The evolution of digital platforms has empowered organizers to interact with attendees before and after an event. Increased options, however, can also create uncertainty and additional challenges from a programming perspective.

Do you really want everyone staring at his or her phone throughout your event? Nope.

Check out my chat below with Etouches’ executive Brian Friedman on bridging the digital gap.

We also have the latest on how conferences are cracking the luxury travel segment and the powerful growth of meetings and conventions as an economic driver.

As always, if you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of Meetings and Events

Bridging the Digital Divide for Meetings and Events: While augmented reality and holograms are the sexy new technologies in the event space, the basic integration of digital tools with physical events is still undergoing a period of transformation.

Thought Leadership Conferences Target High-End Travelers: Nowadays, luxury travel is all about discovering new frontiers. It’s not just about expanding physical and geographic boundaries. The travel cognoscenti are “brain dating” around the world to stretch their minds.

Meeting Planners Face a Daunting Challenge in Rising Food and Beverage Costs: Spending as a result of U.S. meetings and events has steadily increased since 2009, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon, according to new research. Spending on food and beverage likewise isn’t easing up at all.

Saudi Arabia Wants Events to Put It on the Global Tourism Map: Maybe Saudi Arabia is finally turning a corner in dismantling some of its obstacles to tourism. If so, perhaps those citizens who spend their money going to Dubai or Egypt will spend it in the kingdom instead.

How Design Thinking Can Enhance Your Meetings: Creative design, along with concern for those both inside the room and outside, can help create more efficient and useful meetings.

Around The Event Industry

Millennials Want Face-to-Face Event Opportunities: Younger attendees still want to interact in real life, even if many think that technology and social media are better ways to reach them.

Android’s Augmented Reality Tech Backbone Is Here: Android developers now have more powerful tools to develop augmented reality apps and content. Google wants the technology on 100 million phones but faces a tough road to reach that level of penetration.

Live Nation Crunching Data to Conquer Millennial Event Space: The concert ticket giant pivots to become a brand experience company. It wants to market to millennials and Gen Z consumers by analyzing data on their behavior and desires.

It’s Tough for Associations to Find the Right Talent: The economy is good and associations want to staff up. The problem is finding people with the right skills, especially as about half of associations polled are looking to expand.


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

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Photo Credit: Everyone is talking about augmented and virtual reality, but event planners are still trying to figure out how to best use digital marketing tools and apps. TED Conference / Flickr