Skift Meetings Forum — September 27, 2023

Announcements

Skift Meetings Awards 2023: Meet the Winners


Skift Take

The Skift Meetings Awards have been designed to celebrate the business events industry’s most respected and innovative suppliers. Discover the final results and meet the 2023 winners!

Celebrating its inaugural year, the Skift Meetings Awards celebrate the industry’s most respected suppliers, setting the standard for excellence in business events. 

This year’s shortlist showcased an understanding of planner needs, consistent delivery of exceptional service, and extraordinary offerings that leave a lasting impression.

Following a scoring review by the Skift and Skift Meetings team, our 2023 winners have now been chosen. This year’s categories were split across three defined criteria groups:

  1. Hotels 
  2. Other suppliers
  3. Tech Providers  

So, without any further ado, here are the 2023 Skift Meetings Awards winners!

Hotels

Best Hotel Chain (Global)

Marriott International

Marriott International’s unparalleled collection of 31 leading brands and 8,500 properties spanning 138 countries and territories gives meeting planners a variety of options to find the perfect destination and space for any meeting, event, convention, reunion and more – no matter the size or purpose.

When a customer hosts an event with Marriott, there is one focus – to make it outstanding. A series of innovative tools help streamline the process and best-in-class associates tailor every element to break away from the traditional and reimagine the complete event experience.

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Highly Commended: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,100 hotels across more than 95 countries, including a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments.

Best Hotel Chain (U.S.)

Gaylord Hotels

At Gaylord Hotels, bringing people together is what they do best. 

With decades of expertise in meetings and events, Gaylord Hotels provides the perfect setting to bring groups together. A welcoming, big-hearted spirit. Warm, attentive service. Expansive, radiant environments. Locally-inspired cuisine. Wow-worthy experiences.

Gaylord Hotels’ five resorts – plus a sixth opening in 2025 – create lasting impressions and provide unique opportunities to cultivate connection and deliver a spectacular occasion for attendees. 

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Best Hotel (Global)

Conrad Punta de Mita

Situated among the area’s serene natural landscapes and aquamarine waters, the new-build Conrad Punta de Mita holds AAA’s Four-Diamond Award and delivers an inspired beach vacation – the Conrad way.

Drawing influence from Mexico’s rich history and unique culture, indigenous artwork integrates with exceptional amenities to create a sense of barefoot resort elegance that highlights its local Mexican identity.

Punta de Mita’s natural beauty combined with the charm of Mexico creates the perfect balance of idyllic inspiration and an engaging, new destination.

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Highly Commended: Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Widely known as the “Grande Dame” of Bermuda and nicknamed “The Pink Palace,” Hamilton Princess & Beach Club first opened its doors in 1885 and is highly regarded as a symbol of elegance, hospitality and outstanding quality.

Best Hotel (U.S.)

Sheraton Waikiki

Sheraton Waikiki is the crown jewel of the Marriott Waikiki Collection Complex, a three-time winner of the State of Hawaii’s Green Business Award. It won in 2010, 2016, and once again recently in June of 2023.

All three host hotels are LEED certified with Sheraton Waikiki and The Royal Hawaiian Gold Certified, and Waikiki’s oldest hotel, the 122-year-old Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, is LEED certified.

For nearly 25 years, the Waikiki Collection properties have been trailblazing pioneers in the area of sustainable practices with the implementation of various energy efficient projects since the late 1990s.

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Best Hotel Event Space (Global)

Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana

At adults-only Hyatt Zilara and all-ages Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana all-inclusive resorts, meeting guests delight in this beautiful complex located in an exclusive gated community on the breathtaking shores of the Dominican Republic.

The old adage is true: Location. Location. Location. But the perfect locale isn’t enough.

Attendees also need ideal meeting venues. With more than 45,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space – and the largest ballroom in the greater Punta Cana area – the venue options seem almost endless. Event planners may secure 16 contemporary breakout rooms and choose among 19 picturesque outdoor sites.

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Best Hotel Event Space (U.S.)

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Situated alongside the stunning San Diego bay, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina is an urban epicenter for business travelers, boasting over 270,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event venues.

Following a multi-million dollar renovation, this hotel’s redesigned interiors now reflect the metro-coastal, casual luxury that this adored destination exudes – with meeting spaces that further capitalize on this prime bayside location.

Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina proudly boasts 83 different event spaces, 56 various breakout rooms, with a maximum capacity of 3,718 attendees. In addition to amazing spaces, Marriott Marquis also extends state-of-the-art business amenities, unique and destination-inspired amenities, catering, expert planner services and 1,366 newly refurbished guest rooms and suites.

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Other Suppliers

Best Destination Marketing Organization (Global) 

Destination Toronto

As Destination Toronto set out to rebuild the business events pipeline following the pandemic, the organization took the opportunity to reimagine support and service for confirmed citywide business. They understand that a successful meeting requires a team effort, so their services team is the link between a client’s vision and the city’s resources, connecting planners to the city’s best and most sought-after assets for hosting meetings, conferences and events.

Working together, the Destination Services and Global Marketing teams co-developed the 6ix Stack Attendance Marketing program, offering a solution to support event attendance for all groups meeting in the city.

The 6ix Stack Attendance Marketing program is a comprehensive attendance marketing program offering a range of services from 24/7 on-demand assets to highly customized programs tailored to a client’s business objectives. The program reimagines service offerings for groups under three key content themes – attendee experience, educational & networking opportunities, and local innovation & thought leadership.

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Best Destination Marketing Organization (U.S.) 

Destination DC

Destination DC (DDC), has made DEI a bedrock principle for the official destination marketing organization of the nation’s capital. DDC’s forward-thinking president and CEO, Elliott L. Ferguson II, leads industry efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable environment that looks to the future while systematically deconstructing barriers that have been in place for underrepresented Americans.

DDC strives to promote and support businesses that reflect DEI and inform meeting and event planners of the resources available in Washington, DC, to enrich their events.

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Best Convention Centre (Global) 

Québec City Convention Centre

Since its inauguration on August 26, 1996, the Québec City Convention Centre has hosted over 3,340 events—that’s 4.04 million room nights and $2.18 billion in spinoffs in the Québec City area. Today the Centre contributes significantly to the city’s economy and social and intellectual life while putting Québec City on the world convention map with industry-leading sustainable development initiatives.

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Highly Commended: Tobacco Dock Venue Ltd

In the decade since re-launching the 200 year old building as an events venue, Tobacco Dock has accelerated through the ranks to become one of the most in-demand spaces in the UK, providing event organisers with not only 57 event spaces over 16,000sqm, but a venue that serves as a springboard for the creative mind.

Best Convention Centre (U.S.) 

CAESARS FORUM

The latest addition to the Caesars Entertainment empire, CAESARS FORUM offers 550,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the two largest pillar-less ballrooms in the world, a central Las Vegas Strip location connected and within walking distance to 20,000 hotel rooms, LEED Silver-Certification, and more.

Having opened only three years ago, the conference center’s biophilic design and plentiful natural light create a welcoming environment while its tech-forward amenities such as video walls in the foyer and “intelligent” glass in boardrooms allow for plentiful personalization as well as unique branding opportunities. The facility is built on one level with a large in-house culinary facility offering restaurant-quality food.

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Highly Commended: Seattle Convention Center

With the grand opening of Summit, SCC’s new state-of-the-art convention center building, Seattle is one of the only destinations with two convention centers located in its downtown center, ushering in a new era of excellence for the meetings and conventions industry. 

Tech Providers

Most Innovative Event Technology Product

Wordly

Wordly uses AI to deliver high quality, easy to implement, and affordable live translation into the 30 most common international business languages, making events more inclusive, engaging, and productive for everyone.

Wordly is a comprehensive solution providing 4 products (translated audio, captions, subtitles, and transcripts) and supporting 5 event formats (in-person, virtual, webinar, hybrid, and video) through a secure cloud network.

Wordly 3.0 was introduced in early 2023 and added several game changing features – including Natural Sounding Voices to improve the audio experience; Customizable Glossaries to increase translation quality; Video Captioning to expand the use of on-demand content; Translated Transcripts to support the needs of global teams; and Developer APIs to enable easy integration with leading event management platforms like Cvent.

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Best Site-Sourcing Solution

The Vendry

The Vendry have built a platform that combines an innovative Search Engine and Knowledgebase technology with the power of Community to enable event pros to dramatically accelerate their venue search process.

The Vendry is creating the most robust database of venues in the world – and taking a first-of-its-kind approach to do it.

The Vendry is combining insights from their world-class community with the robust technology powering their Search Engine and Knowledgebase to give event professionals the venue search platform they’ve been waiting for.

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Best Event Management Platform

Splash

Splash is a global event marketing technology company that empowers everyone in an organization to execute on-brand, measurable events at scale.

In today’s competitive buying market, buyers require nearly 30 interactions with a brand before purchasing. As a result, marketers need to find multi-channel, multi-touch solutions to keep their brand front-of-mind and their audiences engaged — all while managing reduced or static budgets and headcount coupled with pressure from leaders to exceed ever-increasing revenue goals.

Splash’s solution? Intuitive and accessible tools that transform everyday events into reality.

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Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted finalists! Stay tuned for upcoming content features with winners and sign up for notifications for the Skift Meetings Awards here.

Even though Skift Meetings Awards applications for 2023 are now closed, you can pre-register for 2024 by filling out the form below.