Skift Take

The trend is starting to gain traction, albeit very slowly. Attendees seem to like it because it shakes things up and makes the travel itself less tedious.

Every so often, a really big, important event will cause hundreds of professionals to fly out of one particular city and land in another.  The IMEX conference in Las Vegas is one, attracting hundreds of thousands of people from across the world, as are political conventions and major tech and research summits, among others.

Companies in recent years have started to capitalize on this mass movement, with some airlines reserving entire flights for groups of special, handpicked attendees, usually high-ranking industry professionals. These flights turn into events in and of themselves, with speakers, gift bags, and plenty of free food and drink. Oh, and networking. Lots and lots of networking.

Delta Air Lines talked to Skift about its festival shuttles, bringing members of the entertainment and tech industries to events along the western U.S. Plus, the owner of conference planning company ProPlan explained the ins and outs of a recent WestJet VIP flight to the 2018 Canadian Innovation Conference.

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 [email protected] or tweet @ikcarey.

Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

The Future of Events and Meetings

In-Flight Events Are Starting to Slowly Lift Off: So far, these flying meetings are mostly exclusive, invite-only affairs, where sought-after execs network with one another while trapped on a plane.

Eventbrite Struggles to Keep Customer Loyalty as Ticketfly Integration Drags On: The events platform posted a solid quarter, with self sign-ups growing both in the United States and internationally. Still, if the company can’t keep its larger Ticketfly clients, investors aren’t going to stay happy for long.

Hyatt Joins Other Big Hotel Chains by Pledging to Eliminate Small Plastic Bottles: Hyatt joins Marriott and IHG by promising to get rid of single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion with large-format bathroom amenities. Hotels are wisely promising to do what they can to mitigate waste. Let’s see if they can make their deadlines.

Around the Industry

Cooler Temperatures Can Heighten Perception of Luxury: How consumers feel about luxury products may depend on how they feel. That is, whether they perceive something to be hot or cold.

Accor and Alibaba Form Partnership to Attract Chinese Travelers: Accor has formed a partnership with online marketplace Alibaba to make it easier for Chinese travelers to book rooms and other services. It’s a smart move to appeal to Alibaba’s 700 million high-spending consumers who are eager to travel around the world.

Oyo CEO Claims Backer SoftBank Isn’t Trying to Sway Its Hotel Strategy: WeWork’s implosion is putting pressure on all of SoftBank’s investments, Oyo included. If it’s not changing course already, the budget hotel chain may soon have to decide whether, as CEO Ritesh Agarwal put it, to grow fast or grow right.

The Best Of EventMB

The Best of EventMB is our newest section, giving you a look into the most important and interesting content from EventMB, whether it be reports, articles, or resources for planners. EventMB joined the Skift family in September and is the largest online media resource for trends, technology, innovation, and education in the events industry.

100 Event Trends for 2020: Here are 100-plus event trends transforming the industry. Consider this your guidebook to navigating 2020 and accessing the latest ideas changing the way we plan and execute events.


Travel Reporter Isaac Carey [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: delta, meetings, meetingsiq, PCMA, westjet

Photo credit: Two attendees smile for the camera on the Delta Festival Shuttle to South by Southwest in March 2019. Delta News Hub / Flickr

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