Greetings from PCMA Convening Leaders in Pittsburgh this week, where thousands of event professionals gathered to schmooze, learn, eat delicious sandwiches, and explore one of the emerging destinations for meetings in the U.S.

I had a chance to sit down with Visit Pittsburgh CEO Craig Davis, who discussed the attempts to not just turn Pittsburgh into a dynamic destination for meetings, but grow hand-in-hand with the city’s emerging technology sector.

We also have insights from new research from Marriott International and PCMA on the future of meeting design and experience. Check out my report from the convention below.

Oh, and U.S. giant Travel Leaders Group acquired a UK-based event management firm. Consolidation continues with a global flavor.

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, Senior Editor

The Future of Events and Meetings

Pittsburgh Turns to Tech for Future Meetings Appeal: Destinations with a distinct character are finding ways to take advantage of their identity while evolving, presenting themselves as platforms for both business innovation and leisure fun.

Travel Leaders Acquires UK-Based Event Management Company: Consolidation continues in the global event management marketplace, with Travel Leaders Group investing more in international assets that expand its reach in a crowded marketplace.

Shutdown’s Toll on Travel Mounts With No End in Sight: There’s no telling when this shutdown will end — especially since President Donald Trump mentioned “months and even years” on Friday — so the travel industry may need to prepare for a long-term impact.

Skift Call Jan. 16: Why Travel Needs to Shake Off the Gloom in 2019: You’re hearing a lot of doomsday forecasts for 2019. Global recession. Stock market rout. Runaway inflation. We’re here to give you the flip side for how travel this year could be just fine. Listen to our experts on Wednesday, January 16 at 1 p.m. EST on a Skift Call. Please join us for this all-important discussion.

Around the Industry

New Visit Florida CEO Comes Straight From Political Arena: Visit Florida’s recent history has been rocky. Will a former Republican lawmaker have success making the case to her old colleagues for increased funding?

Hispanic and Asian Travelers Can Play to Travel Advisor Strengths: Travel Advisors seeking to grow their clientele can’t afford to ignore the growing diversity of U.S. travelers. In particular, Hispanic and Asian communities are increasingly wielding considerable economic impact.

MGM Resorts Embarks on 2-Year Cost-Cutting Plan: MGM Resorts’ CEO says it clearly: We’re in the last stages of economic expansion this cycle. Hotel chains will begin to prepare themselves for what comes next.

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Skift Senior 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 remote session viewing area at PCMA Convening Leaders in Pittsburgh, Pa., in January 2019. Skift