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Connect Weekly: Changes in NYC Transportation, Chilly Brand Activations and More

Taylor Shaw |


Event NewsWelcome 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 August 5-10!

Ride-Hailing App Drivers Seeing Changes

The New York City Council just voted on a bill that’s predicted to affect New York transportation for the next year. According to Council Member Adrienne Adams, 85% of ride-hailing drivers—think Uber, Lyft, etc.—earn less than minimum wage. This bill will require all such drivers be paid minimum wage. Additionally, the bill halts all new driver hires for a year, starting 120 days after the bill becomes a law. Supporters of the bill argue that the bill will ensure the estimated 80,000 drivers are paid the appropriate $13 per hour. The halt in new driver hires aims to reduce or at least plateau traffic. Those who protest the bill—from Uber to NYC residents who are frustrated with public transportation—argue that the city will bring New Yorkers back to “an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer borough.”

Staying Chill at Chicago’s Lollapalooza

There are a wide variety of words that come to mind when someone mentions a summer music festival: the bright colors, trendy outfits, songs and sounds—and naturally—the overwhelming heat. This year’s Lollapalooza in Chicago was no exception. While most vendors at the event found creative ways to draw attendees in, some took advantage of the extreme temperatures by marketing toward the need to cool down and take a break. American Eagle’s activation featured two-story architecture to provide festival-goers with a bit of shade. Toyota’s “Corolla Scoop of Love” offered guests ice cream cones. Arguably the coolest design was by Bai, the beverage company. Not only did the activation offer fruity popsicles and drink samples, but their photo station shot bursts of cold air for both sensational and visual effect.

Facebook Page Engagement Drops Significantly

This week, Hubspot reported the results of a recent study by Buffer and BuzzSumo on Facebook page engagement. The study found that on average, page engagement has dropped by over 50% in the last 18 months. The report further broke down the numbers, finding that images rather than videos or links continue to have the highest levels of engagement—although all content interaction continues to decrease. However, the amount of posts per quarter has increased. The data continues, by finding the optimal “golden number” of post frequency, and then segmenting the engagement drops by industry. Marketers and event marketers should keep their fingers on the pulse of this valuable social data.

Amazon in the Travel Industry

The release of Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality shook up the hotel industry, but Skift’s recent report predicts that hotels don’t need to feel threatened. IHG CEO Keith Barr describes how the corporation’s re-entrance can be viewed as an opportunity instead. He is skeptical about the importance of some of the capabilities Amazon claims to be offering; he’s “not convinced that voice search in the hotel space is inevitable and as prolific as people are saying.” Additionally, Barr argues that even if Amazon were to move into the travel industry, the move would impede more upon online travel agencies (OTAs) because they’d be left in a larger fight for the customer’s digital loyalty. To read more about Barr’s views on IHG and the travel/hospitality industry, click here.

Apple, AR and Self-Driving Cars?

Do you find the idea of climbing into a self-driving car scary? You’re not alone. However, according to Mashable, Apple has filed patents for an augmented reality windshield. The plans are tentative, and Apple has not commented on the display, but the patents point toward plans for a self-driving car with the comforting distraction of an AR monitor for the “driver.” Supposedly, the system would have the capabilities to detect physical signs of distress, then alter the AR monitor to show relaxing or calming scenes. Though there are very few elaborative facts, the idea of an iCar that can allow people to facetime via windshield instead of via phone intrigues.

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This Post was Written by Taylor Shaw

Taylor is a summer marketing intern at Aventri. She is currently a rising senior at Fordham University, where she studies English and Marketing. On campus, she is the managing editor of The Fordham Ram, the university’s 100-year-old newspaper. She...

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