Top 10 Skift Meetings Podcasts of 2023

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Skift Take

The Event Manager Podcast produced by Skift Meetings hosts a wide array of industry leaders who share their insights into embracing the strategies that drive success while addressing the issues that shape the ever changing events landscape.

The Skift Meetings Podcast welcomed numerous industry professionals and innovators in 2023. Each episode offers insights into specific topics through conversations with event professionals who share their professional journeys.

The top 10 episodes of 2023 covered topics from analyzing data to drive more successful events and better understand attendee behavior to embracing sustainability and measuring the societal and economic impact of events.

The Skift Meetings Podcast is an ideal resource for both new and seasoned event professionals who are seeking to stay on top of current themes and issues within the events industry.   

Speaking the Language of The C-Suite

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, David Kliman, owner of The Kliman Group, and co-founder of Event Leaders Exchange (ELX), discuss the importance of focusing on the language of the C-suite. Kilman explains this is one of the ways to get a seat at the table. It’s more than knowing industry jargon. It’s important to grasp the company’s objectives. This has helped him ascend to a leadership position.   

New Audience Priorities

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Ken Holsinger, senior vice president strategy at Freeman discusses conducting thorough attendee research to gain a better understanding of audience priorities. His fascination with collecting data from large groups led to the launch of klowd.com, a platform that combines mobile technology with audience interaction to facilitate presentations, which he eventually sold to Freeman. The platform enables event professionals to understand what type of content garners the most audience engagement. Holsinger describes how his current work with data has highlighted the importance of differentiating between sentiment data and behavior data to gain a new perspective for planners on how best to allocate their efforts.

The Evolution of Instant Booking Solutions

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Group360’s CEO Kemp Gallineau and Marriott International’s Global Officer, Global Sales Distribution and Revenue Management, Drew Pinto discuss instant booking solutions with the GroupSync Marketplace. The platform’s functionality eliminates the need to submit RFPs while booking meeting rooms and catering services. Gallineau and Pinto discuss what the partnership means for meeting bookings and how it boosts efficiency by breaking down pain points for planners, and reducing work on the backend for hotel staff.

The Evolution of the Exhibition Industry

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf discusses several factors impacting the global exhibitions industry. UFI’s biannual report, Global Exhibition Industry Barometer, provides a breakdown of the health of the industry. The data included in the report is geared toward assisting meeting planners in making a case to company leadership for hosting exhibitions and trade shows, while providing insights on different markets they may consider exploring. Hattendorf also stresses the importance of organizers shifting their focus from hosting once-a-year events to boosting year-round engagement and explains how UFI does this.

Understanding Attendee Behavior

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Panos Moutafis, co-founder and CEO of Zenus, discusses his journey from attending the University of Houston for his Ph.D. in computer science to receiving funding from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. Zenus, an AI-assisted system that analyzes audience behavior in real-time, is his brainchild. It uses cameras fed into devices to capture and process data.

Meetings by Design

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Eric De Groot, managing partner and meeting designer at MindMeeting, discusses the importance of keeping the roles of meeting organizer and designer separate. He also delves into how he provides guidance in creating events that achieve goals and address challenges. De Groot’s first contact with the meetings industry was as an actor invited to perform during conferences. He describes meetings and events as a specific type of communication and lists the six primary reasons why people should meet as networking, motivation, learning, decision-making, alignment of goals and direction, and rituals.  

Proving the Value of Meetings to the Wider Business World

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Paul Van Deventer, CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), discusses the importance of showcasing the event industry’s incredible social and economic impact that has the power to elicit change. Van Deventer feels the industry has largely failed to do this. He explains that the 2008 financial crisis brought about harsh criticism of the events industry, forcing the industry to demonstrate the value of events. He also explains how he brought local MPI chapters into alignment with the global organization and MPI’s strategy for designing events that showcase local flavor. 

Elevating the Business Events Industry Starts With Advocacy

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Goodwin, vice president, of Government Affairs for the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), talks about his organization’s efforts in working with small businesses and stakeholders. Goodwin outlines the pain points and obstacles including visa issues and travel restrictions. He described ECA’s work alongside government agencies to address and find feasible solutions. He also discusses the importance of bringing people together while doing so in a sustainable manner and says this is one of the largest issues currently facing the industry and the programs designed to confront the problem.

The Societal Impact of Business Events

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Geneviève Leclerc, co-founder & CEO of #Meet4Impact, discusses the factors of a destination that increase the impact potential for an event. Leclerc’s organization is a non-profit focused on planning and measuring the impact of events. Leclerc describes how far too often event organizers focus on hygiene factors and infrastructure and not the impact an event can have on society and the planet. Lecierc outlines the categories of impact used by #Meet4Impact, which includes natural, cultural, built, financial, political, human, social, and intellectual. She also points out the importance for organizations to have a sound method to measure the impact of an event while understanding how impact can be used as a driver for implementing long-term change. 

Environmental Change May Be Uncomfortable, but It Is Necessary

In this episode of The Skift Meetings Podcast, Virginie de Visscher, senior director of business development at Destination Canada Business Events, discusses the importance of environmental change sustainability and the need to address sustainability practices for events. She stresses the crucial role played by education in preventing event professionals from shying away from the topic of climate change due to a lack of knowledge. She describes the result of her work as generating a positive response, building an environment of collaboration while stressing that the conversation of sustainability is open to all.