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 May 6-10.
Planners Need Better Education to Create Diverse and Inclusive Events
Planners have begun to put a broader focus on diversity and inclusion in their events, but a lot of work needs to be done to shift the homogenous paradigm that has defined the sector for decades. Meeting Professionals International polled 1,087 members to explore how meeting planners and professionals approach building more inclusive and diverse events. The State of Inclusion in Meetings & Events report finds that guest expectations have shaped a wider focus on inclusion in event design. Overall, 56 percent of those polled have written diversity and inclusion policies, with 39 percent stating that they face no barriers to creating “truly inclusive experiences.” A knowledge gap may exist, though, with 40% reporting that they don’t excel when it comes to diversity and inclusion due to a lack of educational resources. Read more.
How 3,500 Vegan Lunches Improved One Event’s Sustainability Bottom Line
You’ve probably worked to improve your conference sustainability—waste diversion, less paper, fewer single-serve plastics—but have you thought about the carbon footprint of the food you serve? The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo has, and the 3,500 plated lunches it served at McCormick Place in Chicago at its November 2018 event were 100 percent vegan. What does a vegan menu have to do with sustainability? Many recent studies have documented that meat production uses far more energy, land, and water resources than growing fruits and vegetables. Consider the numbers from the just-released Greenbuild Sustainability Report: Cutting meat, cheese, and eggs from the lunch menus “reduced Greenbuild’s carbon footprint by more than 9.35 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2 Eq).” According to the report, that’s the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced from charging 1.2 million cell phones. Read more.
Survey: Most US Business Travelers Prefer Ride-Sharing Over Taxis
Seventy percent of U.S. business travelers prefer ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft over traditional taxis, business travelers in the Americas in general—as well as in Europe and Asia-Pacific—prefer taxis, according to a new survey. This was among the topics showing the greatest variance in a survey of travelers’ preferences released Tuesday by CWT, a business-to-business travel management platform. Travelers from the three regions participated in the study. Sixty-three percent of business travelers in the Americas prefer ride-sharing services over taxis, followed by 44 percent in Asia-Pacific and 31 percent in Europe, according to the survey. In the Americas, the United States (70%) had the greatest preference for ride-sharing among the countries surveyed, followed by Brazil (66%), Mexico (61%), Argentina (51%) and Canada (43%). Read more.
Fyre Festival Founder Plans to Self-Publish a Memoir
The man who founded the famously ill-fated Fyre Festival plans to tell his story in a self-published memoir. Billy McFarland, who is serving a six-year sentence in federal prison, is writing a book with the unconventionally spelled title "Promythus: The God of Fyre.” McFarland is writing the book in longhand, New York Magazine Reports, in a series of letters to his girlfriend, Anastasia Eremenko. The planned manuscript will be around 800 handwritten pages when completed, according to McFarland. McFarland became infamous in 2017 after the doomed launch of his Fyre Festival, which was supposed to be a luxurious getaway on a Caribbean island featuring star musicians and social media influencers. Read more.
Aventri Releases "The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the US"
Finding the right venue for your meeting or event is more important than ever. It's why this week, Aventri was excited to announce our latest guide for meeting and event planners, "The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States." The guide features a list of 100 venues in 10 of the top-rated cities in the United States to help you discover a space that hits on all your event must-haves. Within each city, dive into 10 venues curated by the Aventri team based on capacity, amenities, uniqueness, proximity to attractions and more. It also includes the top things to do in each city that you can share with your attendees, as well as exclusive interviews with chefs from the nation's top restaurants, including Le Bernardin in New York City, the Optimist in Atlanta, Adele's in Nashville and more. Read more.