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 November 4, 2019.
Does the Meetings Industry Have a Mental Health Problem?
Do you ever have a moment when you pause and think, “I have no idea what I’m doing?” I know I do. Just a second where I step back and wonder how I actually got to this point in my career, and what the next turn is. When you work in a space where you are inventing new things there is no roadmap to follow. I have to rely on my experience and on all the times I’ve tried and succeeded, and tried and failed, to know what to try next. When I have these moments, I often get stuck listening to the little voice in my head telling me that I’m a fraud, and I’m not good enough. This is imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is when you feel inadequate and fake, even when you are successful. Read more.
The 15 Most Innovative Meetings 2019
It’s easy to get burned out at a meeting or conference. Sitting through long, back-to-back sessions in windowless rooms isn’t always the most engaging—or creativity-inducing—environment. But the best meeting producers are taking active steps to fight attendee fatigue, using creative programming and layouts inspired by music festivals and other gatherings. For some, that means reconceiving the layout or turning the host city into an immersive campus. For others, that means employing unique social media strategies, taking meaningful steps toward gender equality, or even asking attendees to go completely tech-free. Read more.
Planners Just Don’t Care About Cannabis Laws
Looking beyond dates, rates, and space, Meeting Professionals International asked respondents to its fall 2019 Meetings Outlook Survey to comment on social and economic destination issues that make an impact on them when selecting a meeting site. The association asked about seven big-picture concerns that planners might consider as they compare destinations: gun laws, gender and racial equality, workers’ rights, commission rates, cannabis laws, treatment of immigrants, and the homeless population. Respondents were asked how much each issue affected their site selection: “a great deal,” “a moderate amount,” “a little,” or “not at all.” Of the seven, the top concern is gender and racial equality, with 27 percent saying it affects site selection “a great deal,” and another 22 percent responding that it affects them “a moderate amount.” Read more.
Instagram Influencers Ruined Travel. Can These Influencers Fix It?
You know the “Insta-tourist”: a world traveler jet-setting from place to place, seemingly without a care in the world or a day job, inspiring all sorts of FOMO. With its delicate tone, gorgeous content is critical on Instagram, and until recently it wasn’t necessarily the place for criticism. Lately, though, environmental concerns have entered the conversation, identifying international crises like wildfires or condemning celebrities who fly on private jets. Influencer-driven content flourishes on Instagram — #travel has been used on Instagram over 454 million times—but all that travel can have steep environmental costs. As Instagram experiments with hiding post likes to decrease competition and pressure on users (it was recently named the worst social platform for mental health), and influencers see declining engagement, there's hope that space will open up for stronger connections—and better content. Could sustainable travel fill this void, enabling positivity and change instead of just aspiration? Read more.
Airbnb Finally Embraces Verified Listings After Halloween Deaths
As Airbnb tries to distance itself from a shooting that left five people dead inside an Orinda, California, home on Halloween, it announced new policies to both protect guests and prevent scammers from gaming its regulations. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said Wednesday that Airbnb will verify all listings on its platform by December 15, 2020, and will finally guarantee to guests that the listing they have booked is accurate beginning on December 19, 2019. Details are scarce, with this verification apparently coming from a combination of touchpoints including its technology and guest reviews instead of manual inspections by Airbnb employees. In the lead-up to its expected initial public offering next year, Airbnb is addressing the elephant in the room: its hands-off approach to guaranteeing not just the quality of its product, but safety of its users. Read more.