Hybrid Meetings: A Death Greatly Exaggerated

Fast Forward Podcast hosted by Logan Pratt


Fast Forward Season 1, Episode 1

Photo of Bill Reed
Bill Reed 

In the first-ever episode of the Fast Forward podcast, host Logan Pratt sits down with hybrid meetings expert Bill Reed to learn more about hybrid meetings, and how they can still bring value to your organization even four years out from the start of the pandemic. 

Bill Reed is the Chief Event Strategy Offer for the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, an organization focused on the causes and treatments of blood disorders. In December, ASH hosted their annual Meeting and Exhibition which was attended by over 30,000 medical professionals from over 110 countries, making it one of the largest healthcare events in the world. That event also had the added bonus of being a hybrid event, and Bill shares why adding a hybrid element to that event actually helped make it more successful. 

[Related: 4 Benefits of Incorporating Hybrid Elements in Your Meetings]

About Fast Forward

Fast Forward is a new podcast hosted by Logan Pratt with a mission to shed light on the future of the meetings and events industry. Each month, Pratt and his guests will discuss and analyze the new technologies, trends and changes that may affect an audience of meeting and event planners, suppliers, speakers, educators, attendees and more. Fast Forward will feature industry experts on the cutting edge of innovation working to help push the industry forward. Tune in to "Fast Forward" to learn what trends and technologies are here to stay and how they will change the industry in the years and decades to come. 

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Editors note: The following transcription was facilitated by AI program Otter.ai and proofed by our editors. Although it is very accurate, there inevitably will be some mistakes, so please consider that when reading. Thank you.

Logan Pratt

Hello! And welcome to the first episode of Fast Forward, a Meetings Today podcast that explores the future of the meetings and events industry. I am your host, Logan Pratt, and I'm really excited about our first guest: Bill Reed is the Chief Event Strategy Officer for the American Society of Hematology or ASH, an organization focused on the causes and treatments of blood disorders. In December, ASH hosted their annual meeting and exhibition, which was attended by over 30,000 medical professionals from over 110 countries, making it one of the largest healthcare events in the world. That event also has the added bonus of being a hybrid event, which is what we're mainly going to be talking about today. Bill, how are you doing?

Bill Reed

I'm doing great! Logan, I'm thrilled to be here with you. And I've never been the first guest on a new podcast. So this will be a resume builder for me at the same time. Good to be with you.

Logan Pratt

Well, I can't think of a better inaugural guest for this podcast, because you've been doing some amazing work in hybrid meetings. So I think the first thing I want to ask you about, is to kind of have you tell us about that event that you hosted in December? And how did you use the utilize the hybrid tools to increase the success of that event?

Bill Reed

Probably by way of background, Logan, it might be helpful for people to understand, ASH as an organization has leaned in heavily to the hybrid format. You know, for many organizations, the experience with the virtual component of a hybrid [event] was initiated in 2020 with the onset of a global pandemic.

So, for many organizations, the advent of the virtual component was in response to a worldwide crisis and many adopted their approach as an accommodation in the short term, meaning for 2021. ASH at that time developed its strategy that this was an opportunity for us to launch the hybrid format for the long-term. So we continued to lean into it as part of our strategy, not as an accommodation for a year or two years, and then it would go away.

So, at that time, we went all in meaning nearly all of the content that's presented at the in-person meeting is also live streamed to the virtual meeting platform for participants that are not at the meeting location, they are hearing the latest and greatest science at the same time as people sitting in the room. And then of course, the virtual platform is a way for people to either engage or re-engage with that presentation on demand after the fact.

And our model that we built is that there is price parity. So, when someone registers for the meeting in person, they are paying the same rate as the person who is registering for the virtual product. So, at the time, we decided price parity is important. It's the same content, so it should be the same price. And that has proven to be extremely beneficial to us in terms of growing our financial results from the hybrid format, which I think is somewhat unique. From what I'm anecdotally hearing from peers.

Logan Pratt

Yeah. And I think a lot of people in the industry want to know, kind of the you kind of touched on a little bit, what are the benefits of hybrid meetings, but are there any other benefits besides kind of, you know, being able to accommodate more attendees that you've been able to notice, you know, what people at the event when people engaging virtually versus at the event, what are some of those benefits that you see with a hybrid event?

Bill Reed

Yeah, and we're continuing to learn each cycle, we've now done it four years. Each cycle, we get more and more insight about the changing behaviors of our long-standing customers with these two options. And we're learning about the new audience that we are attracting through the existence of the virtual meeting component. So, our strategy is based upon we want to maintain the loyal in person audience of 30,000 people, plus develop a distinctly different loyal audience for the virtual product that is unlikely to ever come to the in-person meeting.

As a global audience, you might think of this as a global society, we sometimes think of this as the international participant, perhaps someone in a low-to-middle-income country is probably never going to be able to afford the travel expenses to come to the in-person meeting. So this is a great new product for them to consider that was not even available prior to the pandemic.

But our model, when you register for the in-person meeting, you also get access to the virtual meeting platform. And what's really interesting, and what we're learning, is there are new behaviors, those in-person participants are coming to the meeting and doing things differently at the meeting, during the meeting leveraging the virtual meeting platform. An example I'm fascinated by is we see in our data, that there are participants that are sitting in a session room, connected simultaneously to the virtual meeting platform, wearing earbuds, and they are listening in to a second presentation at the same time, as they're sitting in a room listening to another one. And there are lots of examples about value. You know that person probably used to, back in the day, would listen to the first speaker in that session room, and then maybe get up and change session rooms to go listen to the second speaker in a different session room. Now they can actually do that from the same seat wherever they're sitting. And they don't even actually have to be in the session room. They could be sitting in ASH Central enjoying a cup of coffee. But because they're connected to the virtual meeting platform, they're getting more value.

We also see evidence in the data, and the data collection is really important, is that an in-person participant from another time zone, let's say, they're a little groggy in the morning. They are attending the first time slot of sessions from their hotel room, connected to the virtual meeting platform, while they wake up. And then later in the day, we are seeing evidence that they appear at the meeting at the convention center and are sitting in a session room.

So different participants are learning how to leverage the traditional way you attend an in-person meeting, plus infusing the modern advantages of the virtual meeting platform together. So I'm finding that fascinating, and there are lots of examples like that, Logan, that we're seeing.

Logan Pratt

Yeah, that's so interesting. Do you think that that added value to your participants also reflects back to you as an organization? Do you see increased attendance rates? Like what is the value that you as a planner see out of offering more value to your attendees in that sense?

Bill Reed

Yeah, I think it's given participants greater opportunity to learn more than just confining it to the specific days of the in-person meeting, right? So there are only so many hours in those four days in which a brain can learn. And also it's allowing people to manage their time during those four days differently. And I'll give you an example.

There is, in the data, we discovered a certain number of our registrants who showed up, we know they were there, because they picked up their badge, never ever went into a session room. And so through our RFID data, at every session, we know who's in a session room for how long and you know all of that information. So we saw a cohort of people that were never ever in a session room, and we talked to them and we're learning, they go to the in person meeting and knowing that because of the virtual meeting platform, they can always catch up on the presentations, the education, the scientific discoveries that are presented.

Their strategy is they're maximizing the networking, one-on-one conversations, meeting with a group of their colleagues while everyone is together in one place. And then they can go back and watch the sessions that they missed later. Whether later is later that night, or a week later, or a month later from the meeting date. So people are learning different ways to attend an in-person meeting, because of the existence of the virtual component.

Logan Pratt

That's so interesting. I think you brought up COVID a couple of times throughout this. Like that you started this hybrid meeting in 2020, four years since the pandemic, why should planners still consider adding a hybrid component? You know, because it kind of seems like such as 2020, 2021 concept and yet your organization has continued to do it, you know, I'm sure you're going to continue to do it into 2024. Why is that? And why should planners not consider it just a COVID-era type of meeting?

Bill Reed

I think the biggest advantage, if you think about it, is it gives you the ability to expand your audience beyond whatever your traditional in-person attendance is going to be. You know, if I go back to those dates, if we're being candid, I think many people had an expressed or latent fear that the existence of the virtual meeting would cannibalize people who come to the in-person meeting. And of course, we all know the realities and advantages of a strong in-person meeting. So somewhere under the surface, many people held that fear that's unfounded. So when you lean into the fear and say, well, let's see what happens. What we have discovered is, you're able to grow the audience, not that the audience shrinks. So we are seeing greater attendance, and attendance meaning in-person plus virtual, than we ever would have grown for the in-person-only environment. So I think that's huge value.

Oftentimes organizations are looking at the expense associated with delivering the virtual on top of all of your other expenses for the in-person, right? However, if your business model is set up correctly, as is in the case, the revenue associated with those virtual registrations is far paying for the incremental virtual expense. So we are making more money. So if we were to eliminate the virtual at this point, we would be taking a step backwards financially. And that's contrary to what many believe is the case.

If you only look at it from an expense perspective, obviously it's more expensive to deliver to both audiences. However, that ignores what is your upside potential? How could you grow your revenue with increased registrations, from people who are never, ever going to come to your in person meeting, as great as it is, they just won't come whether they're time starved [or] they don't have the travel resources.

In our industry, not everyone can leave a hospital setting, you know, on the first or second week of December, and leave the patients unattended, so someone has to stay behind. Now they have the ability to stay behind, take care of patients, but they can keep up with their peers in terms of the latest scientific discoveries that are unveiled for the first time at the ASH annual meeting. So that's very exciting. And it grows the capacity of the profession as a result.

Logan Pratt

I think you mentioned kind of you kind of touched on the financial costs of producing a hybrid event. And I think that is a fear of a lot of meeting planners. And it's also a difficulty in terms of them pitching this to their higher ups in terms of getting more budget to add these hybrid components. So can you maybe walk through for your event, and also for most hybrid events, what are the main sources of costs for those events? And how can those be leveraged into sources of revenue? If this was a first time meeting planner trying to pitch this to like a higher up?

Bill Reed

Sure. So I think during those pitch meetings, I'm not there. But I could imagine, and what makes me fearful for our profession, is those pitches only focused upon the expense. So if someone were to come to me and say, “I have an idea for a new product, and it's going to cost you a million dollars,” and there's no conversation about the revenue that that new product is going to generate. Why in the world would I take on a million dollars of expenses without the return on that investment? Right?

So I wonder if everyone's talking about first, what is the revenue potential if we were to do this? And then what is the expense to deliver? Okay, so I'll just put that out there for everyone to ponder and think about their experience with those pitch meetings. Did you only talk about expense? Well of course that leads you to the conclusion of “virtual is expensive”.

But to your question, the expenses. The obvious is the cost of the virtual meeting platform. And there's a gazillion of them out there. They all have different bells and whistles. But one of the things that we've learned is after the pandemic, when we were craving social interaction, many of our participants just want the nuts and bolts “I want to see the presentations as they're occurring through the live stream simulcast of it”. So you can pick your platform, that's going to be a cost and it's going to vary dramatically based upon what you prioritize. There's also going to be the incremental audio-visual cost and that could be have, you know in every session room that you're live streaming, you need a camera to livestream it. You need, in many cases, not all, you need a camera operator to do that beyond the AV team that is in the room.

But there are opportunities to scale lots of these options based upon what your priority is. In our case, we have camera operators in the room, because at any given time, we have 30 to 35 simultaneous sessions going on, all of which are live streamed. So many of them are [in] larger session rooms. So we have camera operators in the room for the in-person session room, IMAX screens already. So it's not an incremental expense we're just, you know, sending the image to an additional location between the screens in the room, it gets pushed to the virtual meeting platform as well.

And then, you know, there are always going to be marketing expenses associated with marketing an additional product, right? So, while it is one annual meeting, we are marketing separately the virtual meeting for audiences that, quite frankly, we don't want to come to the annual meeting, because at 30,000, we think that's the ideal size of our in-person meeting. And if the in-person component were to grow significantly beyond that, it's a very different attendee experience. So we want to honor our ability to deliver individualized experiences for 30,000 that we might not be able to do if that suddenly became 60,000. I know that's contrary to many people's frame of mind. But that's our strategy is to really have an exceptional experience for 30,000. And then grow to 60,000, hopefully, through the virtual component.

Logan Pratt

Can I also ask also, I think, because you referred now to 30,000 live, in-person, attendees. So how many people attended this event in December for you total? Because people are watching on demand and stuff. So I don't know if you would count them as an attendee because they're watching stuff on demand? But like, you know, the virtual registrants, how many total does that make for the event?

Bill Reed

Yeah, and we are learning that new language all the time, Logan, because it used to be simple when you called an attendee an attendee. But, you know, for the purpose of this there is a virtual participant and an attendee. So in 2023, we had just under 5000 virtual participants for that. So if you do the math, 5000 participants times our registration fees, which are not cheap because it's an exceptional meeting, I will add. You know, that's a good source of revenue.

And because we've leaned all-in, and all of the content is live streamed, we can command the full registration price. So another variation to the theme that I've seen other organizations do is that if you're only offering a small slice of the content on the virtual platform, it's very hard for you to justify the full registration price. So then, if you're cutting back on the revenue that potentially could be generated, you're cutting back on the potential for the meeting, the virtual component, to generate net income after expenses.

So I'm really fortunate that, you know, the ASH board agreed with our strategy to “go big or go home”. And that's proving to be not only beneficial financially, it's beneficial to our mission. Because more hematologists are getting smarter and are learning more about what others’ research is yielding so that they can apply that to their research by participating in the virtual meeting.

Logan Pratt

Yeah. That's so interesting. I think a lot of planners might be asking themselves, you know, “it's great that Bill and ASH can do this hybrid event, but that won't work for my meeting that won't work in my industry.” You know, it's a healthcare industry, maybe a planner isn't in the healthcare industry. Do you think that the hybrid components and hybrid meetings can only work in certain industries? Or do you think everyone can benefit from adding those components to their meetings?

Bill Reed

It's an interesting question. And I think the answer is: it depends.

And here's the first thing that I think it depends on, this is just my N-of-1 opinion, I think the whole thing starts with the mindset of the business event strategist. Right? So if you see this as a market opportunity, you are more likely to approach this from all the positive attributes that doing this could bring to your organization. If you look upon it, from the “expense only” perspective, the negative side of things only, the conclusion can be predicted before you even start down the path. And there may be some out there who, during the pandemic, dip their toe in the water in the virtual.

And the work associated with planning a virtual meeting is very different than the work associated with planning an in-person event, right? So, I like to call a thing a thing, I think a number of my peers completely disliked the work associated with the virtual meeting and couldn't wait for the business decision to come about that we were going to pull the plug on the virtual and walk away from it. When, in any business endeavor if you were creating a new business, you would probably build a product, get some experience with it, find out what worked, what didn't work, tweak it, do it again a couple of cycles, to see whether you could improve upon it, and see if you can build a market for it.

And I feel badly that I think, my opinion only, is that people pulled the plug too early because they didn't like it, or results didn't magically instantly appear in year one or year two. Because they were focused upon what it was costing them. Any business that you start is going to, perhaps, operate in the red for a little bit of time until you build the business or the company or the product to the point where it catches on. And I think too many organizations may have pulled the plug before they gave it time to prove it as an expansion, rather than just a cost or a pain in the neck.

So for me, you know, I would say I enjoy the in person aspects. I don't dislike the virtual aspects. It's not my favorite thing in the world. But it's an important part of building our business and working towards our mission. So why would I unplug it when we can get to our ultimate goals faster? Because we invented it, not invented it, but created it for our audience.

And so I just I know I'm, I feel so passionately about this, that I want… It's not too late for those organizations that pulled the plug. You can come back at it, you can change the model. One of the things, that in full disclosure, I think ASH had an advantage with is that our meeting is in December. If we go back to March of 2020, you know when the world shut down, if you will. A lot of organizations had meetings coming up in a week, two weeks a month. They had to put together something in a hurry. Because we were nine months away from our annual meeting, that gave us the luxury of taking a few minutes, taking a deep breath and then pausing to develop our strategy. Because we had that runway, if you will, of nine months to get to the virtual product.

Logan Pratt

Yeah and I love that message that you that you were kind of touching on like you're going to get the outcome that you expect when you go into something with a negative mindset, versus a positive mindset. I think that's a great business lesson, but also a great life lesson.

Bill Reed

It applies to everything, not just hybrid meetings!

Logan Pratt

Yeah, so I love that. I think mindset is so important when you’re approaching something like this, if you go into it with a negative attitude, of course you're gonna get a negative result. But if you go into it with a positive attitude, and a positive outlook, you know, towards the future. And I also love that you're kind of seeing this hybrid component as an investment into the future and not just like a one off thing. Which I think is a way different mindset than a lot of people are thinking about hybrid.

Bill Reed

Yeah and, you know, Logan, we haven't talked about this, but the data and the insight that we are gaining about our customers. We always thought we knew our customers pretty darn well, But we are now learning with the amount of data from the data we're collecting at the in person meeting through RFID. So, you know, in the badges when someone walks into a session room, we know they're there. We know the topic of that presentation. So we now know what that individual is interested in so that we can market other related products to them.

Of course, in the virtual meeting platform, there's a digital trail of everywhere you go on the platform, which is no different than the internet, and we keep building our insights about those individuals as well. So at the end of the day, we have so much more unbelievable useful data about our customers that we only relied upon anecdotally, what we thought we knew. And we're now seeing through the data. Because we bring it all into one spot between data from RFID, data from the virtual meeting platform, data from the mobile app, data from lead retrieval. You know, it's an explosion of insight that can be tough to get your arms around, there's so much of it. And for me, personally, I can get lost in the data, because I'm very curious, and I can go down these rabbit trails. But luckily, you have to pull back and say, “Okay, what is it I want to learn?” And now I have data to prove things.

So you know, we have an additional person whose role is to mine this data and make us smarter about our customers, so that we can serve them more effectively in a personalized, tailored approach 365 days a year, not just during the annual meeting dates.

Logan Pratt

Definitely. I think I also want to touch on one more thing. I think when people are, again, pitching this to their higher ups, and trying this for the first time, what is like the biggest mistake that you see planners making when they're planning their first hybrid event? If they're coming back to it, like you said, after 2020?

Bill Reed

I guess I would say expecting perfection on day one. Right? So we didn't get this entirely right in our first iteration of that. We made mistakes that probably no one else saw. But we made mistakes in round one. We fixed them for round two. In round two, we made different mistakes and we fix them for round three. So I think, you know, just approaching it just like any new business or any new product, approaching it from the perspective of “it may not be perfect at the beginning”. “We'll eventually get close to-” it's never going to be perfect. Whoever says their meeting is perfect is kidding you. We all know things will happen and things will go wrong. And that's okay.

The difference in the virtual meeting that I've observed is you don't get any advanced warning. At an in-person meeting, an experienced professional can sort of see a problem coming down the track before it arrives and you can course correct make some adjustments to prevent the disaster from happening. In the virtual space, you don't get that early warning system. It happens and suddenly your audience is reporting a problem that you need to react to quickly.

So in our first hybrid meeting we went in with the approach that everyone was a generalist on our team. And that if you were responsible for “component X”, you are responsible for that in the in-person environment as well as the virtual environment. And the reality that we learned in that first iteration is it's nearly impossible for the same human being to bifurcate their focus in that way. So from there, we learned, “okay, we need some team members who are doing nothing but paying attention to what's happening online and managing that appropriately. And people who are only focused upon the in-person.”

But we discovered, for about 50% of the early planning cycle, there was advantages to the generalist. So we learned in the planning phases, you need to have continuity and synergy between the experiences so that your virtual product doesn't end up being completely divergent from the in person product. So having the same person set up the advanced planning for both. But at some point, you got to really focus on one or the other. So our pattern became generalists for the early stages of planning, and then there's a fork in the road and you're either watching the virtual component or the in person component. And there's a few of us, obviously, that have responsibility for both. That, you know, when you're on site I never realized until recently how easy the in-person only was compared to the in-person plus the virtual if you're one of those people that has responsibility for both.

Logan Pratt

Wow. And I love the fact that you guys are constantly innovating as well. And you're, you're seen as like, you know, year four going in like “let's keep improving upon the event.” Because I think a lot of people can get kind of stagnant and kind of in a repetitive, you know, circular stuff, but I love that you guys are constantly innovating and trying to find new ways to do it better. And, you know, looking at the imperfections and saying, you know, “let's improve upon those. And let's not let those be stagnant.”

Bill Reed

And Logan I will say it's… I'm very fortunate because I'm one person on a team that is constantly looking for improvement. You know, the ASH team, and it's an extensive team of both our employees as well as our vendor partners and extended consultants that we work with. None of us really enjoy the rinse and repeat environment. So everyone's coming to the table with, “Hey, I think we should try this.” And we have to be diligent in figuring out what's the greatest priority to try in the next round so that we don't spread ourselves too thin.

But I think it's an exciting environment, because there's never a rinse and repeat from one event to the next. And that's a good thing both on the delivery, but also on the revenue generation side of the equation. We are constantly coming up with new ways to package this offering to a new buyer of it. So as long as you continue to grow the revenues, there's ample money to pay the expenses associated with the virtual component of a hybrid meeting.

Logan Pratt

That's awesome. I think the last thing I want to ask you… I think, since this podcast is called “Fast Forward,” and we're kind of looking to the future of the meetings and events industry. What do you think the future of hybrid meetings will look like? Are there any new technologies that you're excited for? Or are you just excited for more people to implement this model into into their meetings?

Bill Reed

Yeah I think, you know, the future is very bright. And it's not a matter of whether it will change and evolve, or whether there is new technology. The answer to all of that is yes. If the meeting doesn't change, it's probably going to be on the backward spiral, the downward spiral, I guess is more appropriate. So I embrace the fact that it's going to change and the pace in which it changes is probably going to get faster.

So as we all explore artificial intelligence and its potential, that will be an accelerant of everything. So I encourage everyone to… if you have not dipped your toe in the water in that arena, you have to. You have to figure out how you leverage artificial intelligence to make you and your business strategies stronger. It's not one or the other. It's the person who is smart and utilizes artificial intelligence to make themselves smarter, is going to outperform the person who is smart and all they're doing is relying upon their own individual or collective team intelligence to drive their operation in the future. So who knows what that's going to entail?

I think it goes back to what we talked about earlier, Logan, that you've got to experiment, you've got to try. And, you know, what works, keep doing it, magnify it. When something doesn't work, figure out what the root cause of the problem was and change something about it and just keep trying and experimenting. Because you can't afford to sit back and rinse and repeat. So that's what I would offer.

And for me as a person of a certain age at a certain stage in my career, that is absolutely what is exciting and driving me is that I feel like I'm utilizing skills and tools at my disposal like my early career stages when you just had to try to figure things out, you relied upon mentors where they could be helpful. You looked to others for examples. This is a time where I'm able to go back to those very exciting, exhilarating experiences in my career stage, and that's very, very unique. I'm so grateful that we're not in a time when everything is staying status quo, because I'd be bored to tears. So my mind is constantly thinking about these things and how we can all perform better in our respective roles.

Logan Pratt

Yeah, and I think AI and kind of that future technology is not going away by any means. And I think I think you're right, that a lot of people need to kind of learn how to use it and kind of learn how to incorporate it into their working lives, because it's not something that's going to be going away anytime soon. I'm sure that's a topic that we'll be covering on lots of future episodes of this podcast for sure.

Bill Reed

Yeah I agree. And I would also suggest that if you are resisting virtual meetings and their power or artificial intelligence in its power. To really consider “What are you afraid of? What is it that you're afraid of?” And I think, on an individual level, if you're resisting artificial intelligence, what is it that's framing that mindset, going back to what we talked about earlier. If you're looking at the positive attributes in your mindset, good things are going to come your way. If you're fearful or only looking at the downside of these things, that's probably going to come your way too.

Logan Pratt

I love that philosophy. And I love that mindset. And I hope that's something that everyone can take away from this. Thank you very much, Bill, for being the inaugural guest on the Fast Forward podcast.

Bill Reed

Hey this was fun, may have to do this more often, Logan.

Logan Pratt

Thank you so much!

That was my conversation with Bill Reed, someone who I consider to be one of the brightest minds working in our industry today. I think what was so fascinating about talking to Bill was his unrelenting optimism about the future of the industry and his passion about what he was doing. You could feel how optimistic and excited he was about the future of both his event and the industry as a whole. And that energy became infectious as our conversation went on.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this is a new podcast from Meetings Today called “Fast Forward.” Throughout this podcast, we will talking with people who are on the cutting edge of innovation in the industry and working to help push the industry forward. Each month, we will be chatting with planners, suppliers, educators, speakers and more; to learn what trends and technologies are here to stay and how they will change the industry in the years and decades to come. If you liked what you heard, make sure to check out our podcast page at Meetingstoday.com/podcasts or find us on Spotify. Thank you so much for listening. 

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About the author
Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email logan.pratt@meetingstoday.com.