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 February 10, 2020.
Coronavirus Concerns That Prompted Mobile World Congress Cancellation Signal Worldwide Events Impact
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is one of the biggest tech events of the year, attracting 100,000 attendees and over 28,000 exhibitors – many from China, from which flights have been banned for the last week in an effort to contain the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Despite a detailed list of enhanced safety measures published by GSM Association (GSMA), high profile exhibitors continued to drop out of the Barcelona event due to concerns over the level of risk attached to an event of this scale. Ultimately, GSMA decided to cancel MWC, citing the exhibitor exodus making it impossible to go on. The question remaining is whether MWC will serve as the bellwether for other major global events. In this post, we’ll take a look at the attendance restrictions and health measures GSMA responded with, as well as what the future might hold for upcoming events in the wake of the coronavirus. Read more.
Insurance For Conferences and Special Events; What Planners Need to Know
Planning conventions can be a whirlwind of choosing keynote speakers, venues, session topics, and vendors. But if you neglect to also spend a few minutes examining your special events insurance needs, you may be setting you and your organization up for legal trouble. Whether you need special events insurance or not depends on a number of things — not the least of which include how you are planning the event, where it is going to be held, how many people are going to be there, and what types of things you will be doing. At a typical technology conference held at a convention hotel, a lot can go wrong — from guests falling and injuring themselves, to vendors damaging the venue. And if you are planning to include interactive events and/or alcohol, you had better be thinking insurance. Read more.
Can Planners Put Attendees’ Phones Over Yonder?
It’s not often that meeting planners canpersuade attendees to disable their phones while at a business session. But a relatively new product might make it easier when audience distraction is a prime concern for an event host. Yondr bags are foam pouches for cell phones with locks that event staff can quickly enable as attendees walk into a session; attendees keep possession of their phones and simply put them on silent mode before placing them in the pouch. Attendees who must use their phones during a session can step out to the prefunction area and unlock their pouches by waving them across eletronic keys set on cocktail tables. Once the session ends, both the tabletop keys and event staff with handheld devices can disableeach lock as attendees walk out. Read more.
How to Think Like a Non-endemic Exhibitor: American Express at CES
Activating as a non-endemic brand at a trade show like CES brings with it the added challenge of demonstrating your relevance while rising above the crowded landscape. For the last three years, American Express has broken through by avoiding technology at the annual show for consumer electronics—instead, swooping in to be of service to attendees. It’s a strategy rooted in the 170-year-old brand’s messaging surrounding customer service. It’s also one backed by new industry research. According to the We Know Experience 2.0 report (Momentum), making attendees happy doesn’t just look good in pictures. It can move the needle. The report reflects on a “stark shift” in consumer expectations in recent years. Read more.
Find Out How Immersive Venues Promote Attendee Engagement
When a conference is held in a city known for it’s warm weather and sunshine, it’s a safe bet that attendees will be looking for ways to get outside and capitalize on these aspects. Rather than crafting an itinerary that keeps attendees inside, savvy meeting planners are seeking unconventional, meeting-compatible spaces that allow attendees to take full advantage of the sights, scenery, flavors and, yes, weather of the destination while attending the conference sessions—all to inspire creativity, increase engagement and provide a casual atmosphere for networking. The southwestern United States, which is known for having more than 300 days of sunshine each year, is one of those regions where attendees crave outdoor experiences, especially in the winter when the temperature is a comfortable 70 degrees during the day. Read more.