South by Southwest kicked off this week in Austin, and it’s sure to be pandemonium as always. We’ll see what new controversies emerge by the time next week’s newsletter drops. Maybe I should have attended this year.

Anyway, this week I wrote about a pair of reports examining two areas of event technology undergoing immense change: marketing and distribution. Check out the stories below.

Technology has enabled meeting and event planners to do old things in new ways, but it adds a layer of complexity on top of everything. Online booking and automated marketing are the future, but they’re just starting to get smarter.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at as@skift.com or tweet me @sheivach

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of Event Technology

Events Need to Figure Out a Strategy for Evaluating Marketing Tools: With event technology exploding in scope and complexity in recent years, it’s no wonder that organizations aren’t sure which sales and marketing tools have the most positive impact. It’s the right time to start figuring it out, though.

Online Bookings Grow for Small and Simple Meetings: Meetings booked online are small in stature and short in duration, which comes as no surprise. The consumerization of the booking process for meetings is well underway.

Around the Industry

Where Will 5G Hit First? Certain cities across the world with have access to 5G mobile networks first, although it will be years until most mobile phones will be able to use them.

South by Southwest Promises to Tackle Gender Discrimination Despite Weak Track Record: It’s time for the world’s most popular innovation conferences to not only take a stand against sexual discrimination, but develop programs that help attendees grapple with gender issues that are often ignored.

How Independent Hotels Can Get in on Incentive Travel: Incentive travel is growing, but independent hotels are missing an opportunity to cash in.

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

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Photo Credit: A scene from the Web Summit in 2014. Event marketing automation is here, but not many are using it to reach attendees outside when an event is actually happening. Web Summit / Flickr