OCT 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 10 of 67

O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 11 ANNUAL STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT industry-related developments that will have an impact on meetings and events during 2018 and beyond. Hi-Tech and Safety For meeting professionals, all the changes and challenges we face as a society must be incor- porated into the ongoing process of planning meetings and events. Technological changes, which intersect nearly all of the elements of the meetings industry, are ongoing and must continually be addressed. 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of Apple's iPhone and, even for those who prefer the Samsung Galaxy or other types of smart phones, it's impossible to deny the impact this device has had on the way meetings and events are conducted. The era when meeting planners tried to prohibit or limit the use of cell phones during a meeting has changed dramatically, to the point where mobile apps are an important – and sometimes essential – participation tool. Wireless devices have also had a major impact on the way that convention and meeting facilities are built and renovated, as demand for ever-increasing bandwidth, charging stations and interactive kiosks keeps growing. (For a closer look at the impact of new devices, see "Event Technology in 2017," on page 14.) But along with the options and efficiencies that new technologies are providing to planners there is the education and training required to learn how to use them and the need to address potential security threats related to their use. Michael Domin- guez, chief sales officer for MGM International, as- serted that meeting professionals are responsible for cybersecurity during his keynote speech at Global DMC Partners Connection 2017, which took place in August at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. He warned against handling registration and oth- er transactions using anything other than a dedicated line, remarking "If you are still asking about free Wi-Fi, you are behind the times. The best advice you can give any attendee is to stay off free Wi-Fi." Safety issues of all kinds have become more paramount for meeting and event planners. During a peer-to-peer session at Connection 2017, meeting planners, DMC leaders, hote- liers and other event industry veterans ► Hotel Room Nights In 2017, my meetings/my organization's meetings resulted in... 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Percentage of Meeting Planners More than 1,000 501-1,000 201-500 100-200 Fewer than 100 Size of Destination Most of the meetings I plan are held within... Transportation What method of transportation do your attendees typically use? + 41% of meeting planners say: More than 50% of their attentees DRIVE to meetings 43% of meeting planners say: More than 50% of their attendees FLY to meetings 16% of meeting planners say: A mix of FLY-IN & DRIVE-IN attendees 32% 5% 19% 14% 30% 48% First-tier Destinations 46% Second-tier Destinations 6% Third-tier Destinations

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