Dining and drinks have become as important to the attendee experience as an event’s programming and networking opportunities, mimicking a wider shift across the travel industry.

We’ve all stared down a tepid chicken breast during a conference’s banquet lunch, wondering if it’s worth even taking a bite. Sadly, heading to the hotel Starbucks afterward for a rubbery, predictable sandwich is often a more satisfying idea.

What a missed opportunity for an event to make memorable, and shareable, impressions on its guests throughout the day.

This week, we took a look at how hoteliers and meeting planners are looking to provide more memorable dining experiences at events. The issue is that limiting food and beverage costs has been a challenge.

We’ve also got the latest on Marriott International’s global ambitions and the effort to remake Oman into a tourism and event hotspot.

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

— Andrew Sheivachman, Business Travel Editor

The Future of EvenTs and Meetings

Planners and Hotels Wrestle With Rising Costs as Event Dining Evolves: As social media shines a spotlight on dining experiences, delegate expectations are placing pressure on food and beverage budgets. Meetings organizers don’t just have to deal with allergies and intolerances; they also have to wow attendees while keeping costs under control.

Marriott CEO on Tech Giants: ‘We Are in an Absolute War for Who Owns the Customer’: Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, along with his fellow hotel CEOs are right: It’s not the “disruptors” like Airbnb that are the biggest threat, but the already established tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Alibaba, and others that are the real competition for the hotel industry.

Oman Is Preparing to Be the Perfect Introduction to the Middle East: Oman represents one of the most fascinating opportunities in modern tourism. And thankfully, the country seems to be taking the right steps to realize the vast potential.

Around the Industry

What Event Planners Hate About Their Jobs: Email overload and dealing with dramatic coworkers top the list.

Ticketing Services Partner With Social Media Apps: The future of selling event tickets and registering qualified leads could soon be handled through intermediaries like Facebook and Snapchat. We’ll be taking a deeper look at this emerging trend in the coming days; stay tuned.

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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: Chefs preparing dishes at a Culinary Institute of America event. Culinary Institute of America / Flickr