Welcome to another edition of our newest column, Connect Weekly, 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 June 24-30!
Gearing Up for WorldPride
NYC’s 49th annual Pride March was attended by and celebrated by approximately 2 million people this Sunday. Pride parades also took place in a variety of cities internationally. Like every year, it created a space filled with great emotion, color and history, but unlike previous years, the parade route was altered. This year, the parade began in Chelsea, then went to (its usual endpoint in) Greenwich Village, and then continued up Fifth Ave. The alteration in the event was planned to test the flow of traffic for next year’s LGBTQ WorldPride, which is expected to host over 5 million people. Next year’s parade will tie in with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.
Venmo Launches Debit Card
The war between Paypal’s fintech company Venmo and big banks rages on. This week, Venmo launched its newest venture: a Venmo debit card. Moving from the virtual realm to a physical wallet, Venmo’s physical debit cards can connect to a user’s Venmo mobile app balance. The cards are on the Mastercard network, and are aiming to compete with corporate banks. As the company grew into a phenomenon, banks have scrambled to keep up, directly competing by launching Zelle, their version of Venmo. These new, sleek, stylistically vertical debit cards seem to be yet another point of competition in the world of currency.
A Fundraiser with a Funky Twist
Ballet and disco dance together as an unlikely match. The National Ballet of Canada hosted its annual fundraiser and raised $1.3 million with a groovy 70s theme. The event hosted 1,800 attendees at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and transformed the venue into a dazzling display, complete with disco balls dangling from the ceiling. The dinner gala portion of the evening held greater excitement, from the funky, reflective, Instagrammable “selfie station” to the Saks Fifth Ave valet lounge, the décor captivated and attendees were wowed. The audience left the event with smiles on their faces and candy—provided by Squish—in their bags.
The Future of Smart Desks
Whether you prefer to sit or stand while you work, Cemtrex’s new SmartDesk does it all. The futuristic technology platform is made up of 3 touch screen monitors, totaling 72 inches of display. This Windows PC is brought to life with the 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. Instead of fumbling with and tangling wires, the entire system is powered by one single plug, at the end of one single wire. Like something out of a sci-fi movie, the desk has a built-in scanner, a wireless mobile device charging pad, and even wireless headphones for making calls. The keyboard and trackpad are built into the desk surface, and a single button adjusts the height of the desk. Is there anything it can’t do? It’s even motion sensitive, allowing the user to wave or point in front of the screen to move and scroll through pages on the display.
Event Planning & Social Media: Get all the Stats
Recently, with the help of Little Bird Told Media, etouches constructed a survey to gauge how event and meeting planners are using social media. Which platforms are they actually using? How exactly are they using these platforms to increase engagement and enhance event experience? In our most recent webinar, founder of Little Bird Told Media Alex Plaxen discusses the results of the survey. The report explains not only how planners are connecting with their audience vial social media, but also how they’re measuring success and ROI with these efforts. Watch and learn the perfect social media marketing mix, here on demand.