The recent U.S. government shutdown severely limited travel for government workers, leaving event planners across the country having to deal with damage control.

Planners say that a huge reduction in government spending will hurt their first-quarter business, although no one is quite sure of how far the ramifications will extend. They’re also preparing for the near-inevitability of another shutdown. Check out the story below.

I also dove deep into Airbnb’s acquisition of event space platform Gaest. The move is great for Airbnb, but doesn’t mean much for the wider event tech ecosystem.

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

Gaest acquired by airbnb meetings

Government Shutdown Caused Serious Pain for Meeting Planners: It’s nearly impossible to get a final tally of the shutdown’s impact but it’s safe to say the meeting industry was harmed. Now, experts advise planners to take caution.

Airbnb’s Event Ambitions Won’t Disrupt Meetings Sector: Airbnb’s acquisition of Gaest makes a ton of sense for the homeshare giant, but doesn’t represent any major shift in the overall meetings and events space.

Tourism to the U.S. Fell Behind in 2018: Trump’s policies and a strong dollar have led to stagnant international tourism growth in the U.S. Expect the slowdown to continue in 2019.

Around the Industry

Caesars Doubles Down on Its Non-Gaming Strategy With New Brand: You can bet the incredible brand recognition of the Caesars name will still prove to be a double-edged sword as Caesars tries to delve deeper into the non-gaming space.

Travel Booking Is Finally Coming to Instagram: When Facebook enabled airlines and hotels to build booking functionality into their Facebook pages years ago, it was a total bust. But Instagram and WhatsApp seem to have an engagement level that was missing last time around, making these e-commerce moves appear to be a lot more feasible.

Dubai Holding to Develop Burj Jumeira to Host Large-Scale Events: Dubai does not lack high towers. Here’s another, and one that will provide events planners with more exciting venues. Roll it on.

Subscribe

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

Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report

Photo Credit: Travelers stand in line at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check point inside Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. As the partial U.S. government shutdown enters a third day, lawmakers have left Washington for the Christmas holiday with no sign of urgency to resolve the fight over President Donald Trump's demand for border wall money. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg Bloomberg