Category Archives: Trends

starwood uber

Starwood Loyalty Program, Uber to End Partnership  

Meeting professionals soon will be unable to use Uber rides to earn Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) points, but the transportation company may offer other loyalty program options. Marriott International, which purchased Starwood in 2016, issued a statement Tuesday indicating that the Starwood-Uber partnership will not be renewed in 2018. Starpoints that already have been earned…

Read more

IACC Report: Gluten-free Tops Dietary Restriction List at Events

It’s unanimous. Every respondent in a recent IACC survey confirmed that requests for gluten-free options—especially for desserts—are rising. Vegan requests followed, with some 83 percent saying they have received more requests for meals free of dairy, fish, meat or eggs. While some requests are due to lifestyle choices, many are because of serious allergies, so…

Read more

8 Top Travel Predictions for 2018

Travelers in 2018 will rely more on artificial intelligence and digital technology before booking a trip, and will increasingly emphasize health and wellness during their stay, according to a study by The study, which was based on customer insights from more than 1 million guest reviews as well as research from some 19,000 travelers…

Read more
day of the girl

What Meeting Planners Can Do to Support #DayoftheGirl

Today marks International Day of the Girl. The United Nations sanctioned this date in 2012 as an initiative to empower girls who have been victimized by a variety of circumstances, ranging from violence to natural disasters. UN Women—an organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women—issued a statement saying, “On the International Day…

Read more

Bonus Material: Answers from Live-Event Best Practices Webinar

We all know that the foundation of brand affinity, loyalty and advocacy is experience. But how do you implement all these new tactics to make your events stand out? Katie O’Brien, vice president of Experience Design at FreemanXP shared the social, behavioral and technological trends that enhance chemistry and create meaning in a Smart Meetings…

Read more
Tea Break

At Your Next Meeting, Take a Tea Break

The trend toward longer, more inspired breaks at meetings—30, 40 or even 60 minutes to refresh the mind and body—can encompass many activities, or none at all. (The latter possibility is known as “white space,” for unstructured time blocks.) In keeping with millennials’ desire for deeper, more experiential events, breaks can offer team games, stretching…

Read more
trends impacting the hospitality industry

Top 10 Trends Impacting the Hospitality Industry

Editor’s note: We wrote the following story in July 2015 and it has been one of your favorites ever since so we thought we would go back and let you know what has changed. The updates are highlighted below, and a few of the findings ended up surprising even us. The Hotel Show, which stages…

Read more

Partners in the Evolution

Planners of medical and pharmaceutical meetings are getting significant help from hosts There is probably no other niche in the meetings and exhibitions industry as complicated as medical and pharmaceutical. Not only do these meetings have all the challenges of other types of educational and networking programs, but the U.S. Open Payments legislation and the…

Read more

Responsibly Planned

When we bring people together, we impact lives—the lives of attendees, businesses and, according to a recent Smart Meetings reader survey, the lives of the beneficiaries of a multitude of charities supported by events. Incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)—defined as integrating social and environmental concerns in business operations—in events is now the rule rather than…

Read more
strange foods trends

9 Strange F&B Trends Explained

Chefs are becoming more and more inventive with food presentations, making for some pretty outrageous creations. Love it or hate it, a quirky presentation gets people excited. Outlandish f&b displays are a new experience and, perhaps more importantly, they’re highly Instagrammable. Rather than scoffing at the latest food craze, corporate meeting planners can take advantage…

Read more