Welcome to another edition of our Connect Weekly column, where we share the top five news stories from the week that today's meeting and events planners should know. We aim to cover everything from the worlds of events, technology, business, marketing, social media, travel, hospitality and beyond.
Check out the top stories from the week of September 10-14!
Events Are Becoming Pricey, But Are Still a Priority
New research shows that while events have become more expensive in recent years, hosting and sponsoring events are still major priorities for companies both large and small. The study from the Harvard Business Review says events work for generating buzz and stronger business outcomes, however, there is a significant concern of tracking return on investment. While 52 percent of respondents said event market drives more business than other channels, only 23 percent of those polled say they can calculate return on investment for the events they organize.
Highlights from the U.S. Open's 50th Year
The 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open drew to close on Sunday, and while there was notable controversy on the court, the tournament's landmark anniversary was highlighted by the completion of the $600 million transformation of the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. According to BizBash, the five-year renovation included revamps to 90 percent of the venue's grounds and rebuilds of most tournament courts. U.S.T.A. and sponsors also engaged with fans throughout the tournament, including an opening night performance by Kelly Clarkson and an augmented-reality experience from American Express.
Hurricane Florence May Affect Miami's Convention Bid
Hurricane Florence couldn’t have come at a worse time for Miami Beach. The city, along with Houston and Milwaukee, is a finalist to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and unfortunately, the weather and potential flooding are factoring into officials' final decision. Politico says while heat, humidity, and hurricanes were already among the factors weighing against Miami Beach, some members are also worried about traffic and Miami Beach’s hard-partying reputation, which might muddy convention messaging. They’re also not crazy about the consideration of cruise ships as options for housing some delegates.
New Study Says Nonprofits Are on the Move
A recent survey by the real estate firm CBRE found that a significant number of nonprofits have moved in the past five years, driven more by a desire for better space than by a need to cut costs or downsize. The firm recently noted that 37 percent of respondents to its 2018 Nonprofit Real Estate Benchmarking Survey had moved to new offices within the past five years, and 44 percent said they were looking to either move or do a significant revamp on their current office space. Of those who moved within the past three years, 43 percent said space quality was the most critical factor, followed by cost reduction (35 percent), and space efficiency (34 percent).
Can't-Miss Announcements from Apple's September Event
Earlier this week, Apple made a significant announcement about its new devices, including three new iPhone models, the XS, XS Max, and XR. These new phones officially marked the end of the home button, as new devices going forward will start using Face ID as the security unlock system. The company also announced Apple Watch Series 4, with included updates such as a larger display, a louder speaker, slimmer body, and a red ring around the digital crown instead of a solid red circle from the Series 3.