Introducing our new column Connect Weekly, where we share the top five news stories from the week that today's meeting and events planners should know. You'll find articles from the events industry, as well as from the worlds of technology, business, marketing, social media, travel, hospitality and more.
Check out the top stories from the week of June17-23!
Las Vegas Recognized for Smart City Innovations
Skift’s recent report recognized Las Vegas’s Innovation District for its smart city technology implementation. Primarily focusing upon transportation, the evolving District has brought multiple projects to fruition, linking large brand names with smaller startup companies through the platform. The projects vary in objective and user base as well. While some projects—like Audi’s V2I tech system—aim to connect drivers with their surroundings in the city streets, others—like NAVYA’s shuttle—incorporate new forms of public transportation. According to Skift’s data, “the shuttle has transported more than 25,000 riders” in the past eight months. The electric shuttle reduces the traffic in the areas that need it, and by embracing the evolving technologies and possibilities, the city is moving forward with the smooth new speed.
Coach's First Ever Brand Activation Event Concludes
This week concluded fashion brand Coach’s first ever external brand activation event. The event experience, called Life Coach, hosted a New York, expression-driven audience of consumers. Attendees booked times on the event website, free of charge. With a "Twin Peaks-esque" look, the interactive rooms were decked out in style, transforming the simple SoHo space into an exciting experiential venue. Attendees could leave their mark on the walls, send postcards to their future selves, play carnival games, and more. The experience aimed to connect the young, Instagram-driven audience with Coach as a meaningful name brand. Due to the success of the event, Coach predicts that the brand activation will continue on to other cities in the future.
Alexa for Hospitality
According to Mashable, Amazon is moving into the hotel market with its new “Alexa for Hospitality.” Much like Amazon’s previous Echoes, this one would respond to a user’s voice, but would have specific limitations based upon its needs, as well as the need for privacy. The modified Echo will launch with three primary goals: to cater to hotel needs—from ordering that forgotten toothbrush to lowering the blinds, to inform overnighters of the activities and restaurants in the area and connect them with the concierge for reservations, and to play compatible media, music and more. Though it’s still in its launch phase, the Amazon for Hospitality looks as though it’s going to find its way into the most luxurious of hotels. Keep an eye—or an ear—out for the soft but mighty voice.
Adidas Tells the Story of Street Art
For decades, street art and graffiti have been considered vandalism, in spite of the cultural experience and history the paint often represents. This week Adidas Skateboarding, a brand long associated with street culture, jumped at the opportunity to restore the experience of graffiti once more. The brand hired world-renowned street artist RISK to help redecorate the Los Angeles Venice Pavilion. Built in 1961, the Pavilion was a famous site for skateboarders and graffiti artists in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but it was demolished in 2000. Though the attraction will only be restored for a few short months, the movement is unifying Adidas with the artists, legends and history of the area. The cultural story needed to be told, and Adidas Skateboarding used its voice.
Instagram Announces New Longform Video App IGTV
Pictures and stories and videos, oh my! Instagram is expanding its reach, and this could mean trouble for YouTube and Snapchat. On Wednesday, Instagram launched its newest endeavor, IGTV, a new longform video app. The app will enable users to create and publish videos longer than 60 seconds. This move brings Instagram to the forefront, as its capabilities grow and limits recede. Upon launch, IGTV will not include ads, but the CEO is working on finding ways for content creators to make money off their vertical videos. The app will be accessible to iOS and Android users, in addition to being incorporated into Instagram’s current mobile app platform.