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Connect Weekly: A Conference with 100% Women Speakers, Sober Tourism & More

Lauren Mumford |

a woman speaking at an eventWelcome to another edition of Aventri's 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 18, 2019.

Are Your Attendees Ready to Track “Self Sustainability”?

The International Congress and Convention Association wanted to do more around sustainability for its 58th ICCA Congress inOctober in Houston. While it made a push in many areas—using biodegradable badges and electronic post-conference surveys, not handing out conference bags, following good waste management practices, and so on—organizers also asked an important question: How can we engage attendees in event sustainability? At the same time, Business Events Dubai, which had hosted the 2018 Congress, was looking for opportunities to stay involved with the event, and it didn’t want to be just “a sponsor with a logo on the wall,” says Shawn Cheng, CMP, DES, project manager, conferences, at MCI, the conference organizer. Read more.

Retail Conference Shoptalk to Have Only Women Speakers in 2020

Shoptalk said on Wednesday that its 2020 retail conference in Las Vegas would feature exclusively female speakers in a one-off move the organizer said was meant to address the paucity of women in top roles in corporate America. The well regarded annual conference, which is scheduled for March 22-25, launched in 2016 and attracted 8,000 people in 2019. The event's organizer says the all-female format will be replaced by a 50-50 gender breakdown starting in 2021. A third of the speakers at its March 2019 conference were women. "This is not a long-term plan to be 100% women, but to move the needle we really do need to take this quite bold step," Zia Daniell Wigder, Shoptalk's chief global content officer, tells Fortune. Read more.

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How to Add the Christmas Spirit to Your Social Media Campaigns

It is the most wonderful time of the year of many of us, but Christmas is a particularly magical opportunity for retailers, brands and businesses. Ensuring shoppers find inspiration during the busy festive period isn't magic; however, as many businesses turn to social media channels to get the get products to the right customers across the holiday period. Not only is Christmas an ideal time to introduce brands to new customers, but it the perfect reason to reconnect with existing shoppers. Getting campaigns right at the beginning of the season is crucial. According to Facebook's Global Holiday Study, carried by Ipsos in January, in 2018, 43% of us began our Christmas shopping in November or earlier. What's more, it also found that by late-November, nearly one in ten holiday shoppers had finished. Read more.

How to Delight Meeting Attendees in 2020

Attendee satisfaction is the best indicator of the success of your meeting, reports Event MB in its State of the Event Industry survey. What attendees want, more and more, is authenticity. Attendees seek greater engagement with the educational content and more meaningful connections with peers and the destination. Creative meeting planners can use traditional spaces, such as hotel ballrooms and convention center salons, to create the authentic, unique experiences that attendees seek. The Winter Classic is a fitness meeting that also raises funds for The Adam S. Hamilton Academic & Athletic Scholarship Fund in honor of the Kent, Ohio-native US Army specialist who died while serving in Afghanistan. The organization transformed a big-box room at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland into the ultimate CrossFit gym, hosting literal hometown heroes to compete with world-renowned CrossFit athletes. Read more.

Travel’s Moment of Clarity: Sober Tourism Is a Real Business

From rooftop bars to pub crawls, pool-side happy hours to club nights, alcohol tends to play an outsized role in travel, especially for young people. For the increasing number of travelers who either abstain from alcohol entirely or who are “sober curious” — meaning those taking a conscious break from drinking — booking standard travel experiences that don’t center around alcohol can be challenging. This is especially true at a moment when solo travelers are open to joining group trips, but may not be so keen on meeting or traveling with people who are interested in pub crawls, happy hours, and partying. It is all part of a cultural moment that is challenging the prevalent yet unexamined idea that all adults drink by default, unless they have some past that means they stopped. So it’s especially curious that when it comes to travel, the industry is just starting to show signs of recognition that this is a market worth catering to. Read more.

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This Post was Written by Lauren Mumford

Lauren Mumford has worked at Aventri since 2015 as a content marketing associate. She manages the Aventri blog, social media promotion, the bi-weekly company newsletter, and many other content-related projects. Prior to Aventri, Lauren was in the...

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