Skift Take

Millennials are starting to step into management positions at event companies, easing the way toward more sustainable events. But the industry still has a long way to go.

Meeting planners are getting a lot more pressure from higher-ups to make sustainability a focus when planning events, and a big part of this is reducing food waste. It makes sense. Event lunches are often hefty buffets, with plenty of leftover food.

Good intentions only go so far, though. The world of meetings is governed by a system of slow-to-change internal rules, some of which may be holding back innovation. A new report from IACC explores the way meeting planners picture the future of venues. We talked to Mark Cooper, the association’s CEO, to see what’s driving the move toward sustainability and what’s holding event managers back.

Check out the story below.

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— Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

The Future of Events and Meetings

Meeting Planners Make Slow Progress on Sustainability: Reducing food waste and environmental impacts are proving to be difficult for meeting planners. The sector’s antiquated way of doing business is holding up progress at a moment when widespread change is necessary.

Choice Hotels Rebrand Campaign Aims to Win Back Business Travelers: Choice Hotels realized years ago that Comfort Inn’s look was outdated. The company has to hope that spending billions on renovations and new marketing materials will make the brand successful again.

Hong Kong-Based Langham Is on the Prowl for Acquisitions in Europe: Langham has expanded in North America, China, and Australia, but not in Europe, where its acquisition of The Langham, London, gave it the brand. A new wave of development earmarks Europe as a priority, and the company wants to enter the resort space as well. But before all that can happen, it needs to further raise brand awareness.

Around the Industry

Airbnb Expands Experiences Into Multiday Adventures: Give Airbnb credit for sticking to its blueprint by offering Airbnb Adventures in its own image, avoiding typical mainstream expeditions. Whether this will develop into a reliable service and big business for the homesharing company will be proven on Colorado cliffs and at Galapagos coffee farms.

RateGain Acquires BCV, Gains Momentum in Hotel Tech Consolidation: RateGain, a travel tech company backed by private equity, said it has begun a roll-up of hotel tech vendors. It joins a party led by Shiji, Amadeus, Accel-KKR-backed Travel Tripper, Sabre, and Jonas Software.

Scandinavian Airlines Goes Local With Farm-to-Tray-Table Menus: For long-haul flights SAS lacks the size and scale to compete with its much larger European competitors. On short-haul routes the airline can’t compete with the cost structure of the continent’s strongest low-cost-carriers. But there’s one place it probably does have an edge: its onboard food.


Skift Senior Enterprise Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: climate change, meetings, meetingsiq, sustainability

Photo credit: Conference attendees gather for a catered dinner. mosespreciado / Flickr

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