Sometimes it’s good to change things up. That applies to this week’s guest-edited newsletter — your regular scribe is off this week — and, more importantly, meeting and event venues.

A new report shows that the number of venues with flexible spaces is increasing as small events in particular look to create a variety of experiences throughout the course of a gathering.

“The momentum in venues creating more flexible meeting environments is the standout result this year,” said Mark Cooper, CEO of the International Association of Conference Centers, which released the report.

We also include a couple of stories about diversity and inclusion; they’re mostly just talk, but perhaps action will finally follow.

Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman will be back next week. If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out to him via email at as@skift.com or tweet him @sheivach.

— Hannah Sampson, News Editor

The Future of EvenTs and Meetings

Flexible Meeting Spaces Become Common as Small Events Evolve: Venues are getting smarter about designing space in a more flexible way to enable more creative events. This is a welcome change as companies and groups gravitate away from the tired old meeting concepts and toward more memorable, experiential events.

Benchmark Investment in Venue Operator Shows Demand for Creative Meeting Options: Benchmark, the hospitality company, has bought a stake in UK-based etc.venues, which boasts “stylish contemporary design” and a “premier food and beverage focus.” The goal: expansion to the United States.

The Meeting Industry Is Getting More Serious About Inclusion: Meeting Professionals International is studying the use of “inclusive event design,” which will be used to develop a training program. It’s just a step, but it takes a lot of steps to make solid gains.

Around the Industry

Absence of Women in Aviation Leadership Roles on Full Display at Industry Gathering: It’s one thing to make promoting women a big topic of discussion at your annual industry gathering, and it’s another to make serious strides the rest of the year. Travel companies are not getting much better about this, but at least people are having a public conversation — which will hopefully force accountability.

All Attention Focused on This Singapore Hotel As Trump-Kim Meeting Nears: Singapore is no stranger to hosting events for world leaders. But can the city/state island handle one of the biggest summits since the end of the Cold War? When high-profile events come to a hotel or destination, the pressure to provide flawless service mounts.

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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: An Govhack Australia awards ceremony at Brisbane City Hall is pictured. A new report shows that small venues are embracing more varied ways for their customers to hold meetings. Govhack Australia / Flickr