Welcome 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 July 8-12, 2019.
When Your Meeting Destination Is in the News
At the beginning of June, news stories began to break about U.S. tourists to the Dominican Republic dying in hotels under mysterious circumstances. By June 12, the FBI was investigating, and stories about visitor deaths were frontpage news. Unfortunately, reports showing that U.S. deaths in the Dominican Republic were lower than many other Caribbean destinations and in line with annual norms were buried and easy to miss in the media frenzy. For Hosts Global, a consortium of DMCs, the news coverage presented a challenge: The invitation-only seventh annual Hosts Global Forum was booked into the Paradisus Palma Real Golf and Spa Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The event, from June 27 to 30, hosted more than 200 clients and hospitality professionals from more than 60 different regions who had all booked long before the media storm. Read more.
Pride 2019: 28 Thoughtful and Colorful Ways Brands Supported the L.G.B.T.Q. Community
With 2019 marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots plus WorldPride in New York, it was hard not to spot a brand with a temporary rainbow logo, limited-edition product, or a billboard touting a campaign in support of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. The idea of corporate Pride celebrations felt likePride commercialization to some critics. Still, many brands in June celebrated with out-of-the-box activations that touted new initiatives and supported L.G.B.T.Q. rights organizations. Others showcased thoughtful twists to the typical rainbow design. Here’s a look at some Pride event highlights in New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Toronto from brands including Kimpton, American Express, Lululemon, AT&T, and Smirnoff. Read more.
Google’s Taking Another Crack at Building a Social Network
After shutting down failed Google+ in April, the big G is giving this social network thing another go. It’s currently trialing Shoelace, a hyperlocal network for people who want to find others to join them in activities like sports and attending shows. It’s currently invite-only, and promises to help you “connect with others who have the same interests.” You can create a listing for an event or activity you’re participating in, and invite friends and strangers to join you. In addition, Shoelace will surface events that you might be into. As Android Police noted, Google has flirted with this concept before: in 2011, it launched Schemer, which aimed to do pretty much the same thing as Shoelace. Read more.
Equinox's New Hotel in New York City Combines Fitness and Luxury
Equinox, a leader in the “fitness as lifestyle” movement, opens its first hotel in New York's Hudson Yards this month. With the opening, two aspirations of the new generation — travel and wellness — will collide in a big way. As anyone who has experienced a breakdown of their workout routine while traveling knows, exercising and being on the road traditionally have been at odds with each other. Hotels and resorts have offered bandaids in the form of gyms, workout gear lending programs, and morning yoga sessions. Equinox, in contrast, is entering the market with an unparalleled solution to travelers seeking the best of both worlds. To deliver on the concept, “For Those Who Want It All,” the brand has created the experience of a lifestyle hotel with a world-class luxury level of service. Read more.
Improving the Attendee Experience With the 5 Hows
Many of us are familiar with the 5 Whys, a Six Sigma construct for getting to the root of a problem. The idea is that, in order to solve a problem or analyze a situation, you continue to ask “why” to go deeper and deeper until the true issue is revealed. This is also a great tool for understanding the true purpose of your event. All events should have a purpose that is greater than just the “annual gathering of the so-and-so community.” In other words, why does your event exist? There should be a clear purpose that both furthers the goals of the organization and also advances the industry of the constituents. One of the best ways for this message to resonate is to create clear thinking space for your attendees. How to do this? Human-centered design. Read more.