Tracking attendee engagement will probably always be a challenge for meeting planners. Event tech is continuing to get more sophisticated, adding tools like heat mapping and Wi-Fi to measure dwell time, but it still only offers a scattered view of how attendees are feeling. This makes sense: Events are all about in-person experiences, something which is so valuable but so hard to quantify.

Event software startups such as Bizzabo are working on a way to solve this issue, hoping to reconcile technology with the complex reality of human experience. According to Bizzabo CEO Eran Ben-Shushan, this is only possible with an all-in-one event software platform. By tracking attendee behavior at all points of the event process and collecting it in one, single place, a more holistic picture will start to emerge.

This platform is a ways off, but it looks like that’s where the industry is headed.

Check out this story, and many more, below.

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

Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

The Future of Events and Meetings

Events Are Personal. Tech Is Not. How the Two Are Reconciling: Events are held for a reason: Companies know that face-to-face interactions and in-person experiences are vital for business. The only problem is that those things are notoriously hard to measure.

IHG Launches Loyalty Partnership With Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels: The addition of Mr and Mrs Smith hotels to IHG’s loyalty portfolio will help the hospitality giant better compete against Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt for high-end customers. IHG Rewards members also can’t be too unhappy about new luxury properties within their reach.

Hotel Data Giant STR Acquired for $450 Million: Data and analytics are not just vital in the contemporary hospitality ecosystem but also big business. CoStar’s acquisition of STR shows the overlap between traditional commercial real estate and the global hotel market.

Around the Industry

EbixCash Takes Over Cox & Kings’ Business Travel Clients in India: Some travel companies — Ebix among others — are rumored to be considering taking over all of the cash-strapped Cox & Kings.

Unbabel Raises $60 Million for Translation Services: Travel Startup Funding This Week: In the past week, travel startups raised more than $100 million in funding. The companies Unbabel, Beyond Pricing, Travel Easy, Air Doctor, Seatfrog, Cruisewatch, HappyOrNot, Landline, Planet O, and Go Zayaan look to go to the next level.

The World Needs Reminding That Tourism Doesn’t Happen in a Political Vacuum: On World Tourism Day, it’s worth pointing out that politics and tourism don’t exist independently of each other — they collide.

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Travel Reporter Isaac Carey [ic@skift.com] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Photo Credit: Event attendees meet with one another in company booths. IMEX America 2019, Sands Expo, Las Vegas. Event software startup Bizzabo wants to better track attendee engagement with an all-in-one platform. Isaac Carey / Skift