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 November 26-30!
How to Handle Dietary Restrictions at Meetings
A new report from IACC is shedding light on how meeting planners and venues can accommodate dietary restrictions of all kinds. Teaming up with the World Obesity Foundation—as well as M.P.I., the Events Industry Council, and Thrive Meetings & Events—the association released the “Guide to Managing Conference Delegate Dietary Requirements” last week. The report notes that 75 percent of venues offer staff training on ways to deal with allergies, and only 33 percent of venues offer basic nutritional information on menus—but that 79 percent of meeting planners say they now receive more dietary requests than two years ago.
What 5G Will Mean for Hotels and Events
New 5G mobile technology, which is about 1,000 times faster than the current 4G LTE systems used by most phones, will help reinvent how we use smartphones and bring a new level of real-time connectedness to the various devices known as the internet of things. The upside of the technology for meetings and events is clear; increased bandwidth and reduce latency will make virtual reality and augmented reality feasible in the context of an event. It will also reduce the need for Wi-Fi, particularly at large events. Aventri's VP of Digital Innovation Brian Friedman says: "It will take time for events to adopt and trust 5G network solutions, however, it’s an exciting future that will combine the physical and digital worlds.”
"Festivalization" of Meetings a Growing Trend
Attendees’ desire for immersive experiences—a growing trend in the meetings industry—is expected to reach new levels in 2019, according to a new study. Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) 2019 Meetings & Events Future Trends Report notes the rise of “festivalization”—designing an immersive business event that includes the best parts of a consumer festival—to better address attendees’ needs. This shift requires meeting planners to focus more on co-curation of sessions, social media activity and novel venue design, workshops and visuals. It also means planners will have to engage attendees more in the planning, designing and implementation of every facet of meetings.
How Outdoor & Experiential Marketing are Building Smart Cities
According to the OOH & experiential marketing panel at The Drum Future of Marketing conference, advertisers are still a long way off from taking full advantage of experiential marketing's potential. There is still work to be done in educating clients to use digital more flexibly, and with creative agencies to educate what sites can support full motion. For example – motion isn’t allowed on roadside sites because it’s a distraction to drivers and therefore, can be dangerous. Shopping malls and train stations however, where people are actively looking to be distracted are, according the panel, still being underutilized.
Airport Hotels Go Glam
In recent years, several properties have opened at airports around the globe with attractive amenities, sleek design and tasty food. They’re welcoming hotels for travelers to spend a night or even a multi-day layover. Some of these hotels attempting to break the stereotype of poor accommodations include more upscale décor and amenities, such as free welcome cocktails, 24-hour grab-and-go food and beverage outlets, and buzzing lobbies that showcase local art and double as hangout spaces. Marriott's Moxy Hotels also feature photo booth elevators where guests are encouraged to take selfies.