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January 22, 2016

The Top Meetings and Events Stories of the Week

The Marriott and Starwood merger was the talk of the industry this week as we had an opportunity to catch up with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson on the fate of Marriott and Starwood's luxury brands post-merger and what's next for the meetings industry. Here are the most-read meeting stories of the past week to keep on your radar. 

surveyResearch Study Quantifies Value of Face-to-Face Meetings

This week Meetings Mean Business (MMB) released a new survey showing increased investment in face-to-face meetings for 2016. 

The survey shows that in-person meetings are beneficial to several aspects of business operations, including the ability to close deals, engage a team and develop professionally. Executives report that meetings improve their ability to network, grow professional and grow their company’s bottom line. Four in five surveyed believe they have attended an in-person meeting, conference or event that would not have yielded the same success as one conducted remotely. The survey also finds that meetings enable successful and meaningful connections. The majority of executives agree that team engagement, collaboration, professional development and productivity are improved by participation in in-person meetings, conferences and events.

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PCMA 2016 - Interview: Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International on 'Luxury Brands" from International Meetings Review on Vimeo.

Marriott Likely to Keep All Luxury Brands in Starwood Merger

The Marriott-Starwood merger was another major topic of discussion this week. When Marriott announced it would buy Starwood last year, a major point of speculation focused on the fate of the hotel brands -- particularly in the luxury market -- owned by the two companies. James Latham spoke with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson at PCMA/Convening Leaders in Vancouver to learn more. 

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PCMA 2016 - Interview: Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International from International Meetings Review on Vimeo.

Marriott CEO Talks Starwood, Meetings Biz at PCMA/Convening Leaders

Also at PCMA/Convening Leaders, James Latham got a chance to talk with Sorenson on the impact of the Marriott-Starwood merger on the meetings industry. 

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Schengen Agreement Suspended in Austria

In Austria this week, authorities suspended the Schengen agreement, which allows travelers to move across the borders of several European countries in a move that will affect asylum-seeking migrants. 

The move means that migrants attempting to pass through Germany and other countries will be halted at the border with Austria. The move went into effect this past Saturday. 

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Hawaii Island via Paradise Helicopters. // Photo by Joe Pike

The Latest Meetings and Events News From Hawaii

Finally, Hawaii was in the spotlight this week with our roundup of the latest convention and incentive updates from the state. 

The highlights ranged from hotel and meeting venue renovations to new activities and creative programs. 

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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