Are you reading this on your phone right now instead of paying attention to what you’re supposed to? If so, we’re honored.

This week we asked a few meeting planners about strategies for keeping attendees engaged despite digital distraction. Methods vary, but ensuring that attendees are able to relate to not just the content in front of them but others around them is key. Check out the story below.

We’ve also got a deep dive into the serious ramifications that Google Maps’ evolution into an all-purpose tool has for not just travel, but the wider world.

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

How to Keep Meeting Attendees Off Their Smartphones: In the era of smartphones, the traditional meeting format of a presenter with a slide deck is no longer acceptable. Meeting organizers are deploying various strategies to keep attendees focused.

Google Maps Is Ready to Transform the World of Superapps: Consumers in the West reach almost reflexively for the Google Maps app as the service becomes a nearly ubiquitous utility despite a dearth of messaging and payments. Whether it evolves into the next superapp may depend on whether users really want a do-everything app and the mood of regulators seeking to break up big tech.

Marriott’s New Contract With Expedia Signals a Shift in the Direct Booking Wars: As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your rivals closer. Or in this case, that rival might turn out to be a friend, after all, once you’ve become the world’s biggest hotel company.

Around the Industry

Is Accor the Next Starwood? What’s Next for Hotel Mergers: Accor as a takeover target? Stranger things have happened. (Anbang, anyone?) No matter what transpires in hospitality going forward, though, it’s clear that consolidation is here to stay.

Uber’s Airport Rides Still Small Part of Business, IPO Filing Reveals: Expect fresh light on the importance of airport rides to the fortunes of Uber to prompt more airport authorities and ground transportation companies to pressure the company harder for various concessions.

Travelers With Disabilities May Find Advantages in Using Travel Advisor Specialists: The number of people with disabilities is increasing and travel advisors need to understand this demographic. If they don’t, not only will they lose business to specialist agencies, they may also risk prosecution.

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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: Attendees of the TEDx Annecy conference. TEDx Annecy / Flickr