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Most-Read Stories of 2021 on Meetings Today

December 29, 2021
Collage of pictures from 2021 stories

Another year has come and gone, and it was a rollercoaster 2021. Meeting and event professionals have continued to navigate an unpredictable pandemic that has made staying nimble necessary. From in-person meeting considerations to hybrid meeting experimentation and the people in the industry who are helping move business forward, our most-read stories on Meetings Today this year involved topics on how to best navigate the ever-changing state of the pandemic, while fostering in-person and virtual connections. 

We also continued to offer a robust webinar series in 2021, and they remain free and on-demand on our website for you to watch and further your education. Below, we have compiled our top five most-watched webinars, and the links to view them on-demand in case you missed out.

Finally, as in-person meetings move forward, destination selection may be more important than ever. Our motto at Meetings Today is "connecting people and places," and we continue to stay true to this by offering in-depth destination features and reports every month. Stay abreast on the latest across the country and dive into one of our most-read destination stories from this year.

Most Popular Stories on Meetings Today in 2021

  1. 20 Trendsetters Who Made a Difference in the Last Year, (August 9): This summer, in our annual Trendsetters feature, we shined a light on your colleagues who have led the drive for diversity, equity and inclusion, and also highlighting those mentoring the next generation or who have made a pandemic pivot.
  2. 12 Major Changes Coming to the Meetings and Events Industry—And How to Prepare, (September 1): There's no question that the meetings industry has been massively disrupted these past two years. Futurist Don Phin explores what changes are coming our way, and how to best prepare.
  3. 3 Health Screening Solutions for the Return to In-Person Events, (May 28): Considering mandating vaccines for your next event? As vaccines became widely available this year, and organizations explored implementing mandates for vaccines and COVID-19 tests for events, we highlighted three tech solutions to make the job easier.
  4. 10 Standout Hotel Renovations in the U.S. for 2021, (June 14): It wasn’t uncommon to hear of properties spending their closure time upgrading key areas or, in some cases, undergoing full renovations. We kicked off summer 2021 by highlighting some of the most noteworthy upgraded properties.
  5. How Large Resorts Are Set Up for Social Distancing Success, (January 26): Thanks to their many amenities, onsite leisure activities and an abundance of space, the buildings originally envisioned to hosts hundreds of attendees for a multiday conference or retreat utilized their properties in different ways. We explore which properties pivoted, and how.

Most-Watched Meetings Today Webinars in 2021

  1. A Hybrid Meetings Primer: The Rise of the Smart Venue, (March 31): Led by hybrid event pioneer Mary Ann Pierce of MAP Digital, this webinar explores how venues will need to invest in smart technology to assist the returning event organizer in managing the new, and at times daunting, digital needs of their events. 
  2. Elevating the F&B Experience, (July 28): Mary Cline, regional director of catering sales for Wolfgang Puck Catering, guides webinar participants through the effects of COVID-19 health and safety modifications on the food and beverage experience. Cline ultimately highlights how to adapt F&B programs to the COVID-19 environment, and how to modify them as the pandemic continues.
  3. Risk Management Must-Knows, (September 29): This webinar, with leading meetings and events risk management expert Brenda Rivers, founder of Andavo Meetings and Incentives and president of SAFE LLC™, focuses on how the entire meeting and event industry supply chain must work in tandem to engineer enduring risk mitigation strategies. Rivers highlights leadership skills that will produce enduring risk management strategies and duty of care best practices to prepare for threat of any future crisis.
  4. Strategic Negotiating in a Post-Shutdown World, (June 30): In this webinar, Robyn Mietkiewicz, strategic partner for INNOV8 Meetings + Events, arms participants with tactical strategies to help them negotiate and defend their organization in the post-shutdown world. Mietkiewicz reviews key contract clauses, negotiations tips and strategies to ensure a strong contract to protect your organization.
  5. Site Selection in the Post-Shutdown World, (April 28): Honored meetings industry consultant and educator Joan Eisenstodt, principal of Eisenstodt Associates, LLC,  helps participants develop an RFP strategy for destination and site selection to avoid costly surprises. This includes increasing awareness of news to follow and questions to ask, people to see and timing for in-person or virtual site inspections.

Destination Features You Read the Most in 2021

  1. Charlotte’s Development Isn’t Standing Still During the Pandemic, (March 18): In many cities, while meetings may have slowed down, development has not. We look back on the most exciting news in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  2. Iconic Foods of Austin and Texas Hill Country—And Where Groups Can Try Them, (June 21): Sometimes, the best way to explore a destination is through its cuisine. From breakfast tacos to kartoffelpuffers (authentic German potato pancakes) to Texas wine, we explore the best foodie finds in Austin and Texas Hill Country in this article.
  3. Two New Luxury Hotels and ocV!BE District Catapult Anaheim, California’s Meetings Capabilities, (November 3): In 2021, our editors got back to in-person FAM trips and site visits. In this fall 2021 report, Danielle LeBreck explores the latest news catapulting Anaheim to new meeting and convention heights.
  4. The Story Behind Las Vegas' Neon Lights, (February 2): Senior Contributor Jeff Heilman dives into the history behind the iconic lights of Las Vegas, from the shiny new Allegiant Stadium to the original signage of Circus Circus Resort & Casino.
  5. 5 Cultural Attractions for Offsite Events in Madison, Wisconsin, (March 15): Cultural touchstones abound in Madison, Wisconsin—and as offsite venues, they can enlighten attendees to their meeting destination beyond a stuffy boardroom or standard hotel room. This spring, we explored some of the best attractions in the Dairy State's capital city.

Listen to this next: All the episodes of Dare to Interrupt hosted by Courtney Stanley

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