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This Week in Events — December 9th

Three faces looking to the right

In case you missed it … Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics … Sundance and Berlin fests are forging ahead despite Omicron concerns … and The Vendry hosted a Fireside Chat with execs from IMEX, CES, Emerald, and ASM Global which covered emerging trade show trends and much more

Hot Topics - What Event Profs Are Talking About Right Now

Party Pre-Game With At-Home COVID Tests

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on the use of at-home COVID tests. It now recommends that “even if you don’t have symptoms and have not been exposed to an individual with COVID-19, using a self-test before gathering indoors with others can give you information about the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.”

  • At-home COVID tests, which are most commonly rapid-antigen tests, are now sold in most pharmacies and by major web retailers in the U.S.
  • President Biden announced that at-home test kits will essentially be free when people claim the reimbursement through their insurance.
  • Publicist and Black in Fashion co-founder Sandrine Charles will be sending out rapid COVID-19 tests ahead of an upcoming event, even though proof of vaccination is required to enter. “We just wanted to ensure that we extended that extra layer of safety for these guests,” Charles told The Cut.
Stephen Shankland/CNET via CNET

Related Reading:

With Omicron Out There, Here’s How To Decide If You Should Attend That Holiday Party, According To Dr. Fauci (CNBC)

The New Rules for Hosting That Holiday Party (The New York Times)

Can At-Home COVID-19 Tests Make Holiday Gatherings Safer? (U.S. News & World Report)

What Will Meetings Look Like in 2022

Still virtual, reports Wired, but better. “In 2022, producing better remote meetings will begin to be a skill that leads to promotion, leadership opportunities, and success as a worker,” Prezi C.E.O. Jim Szafranksi told the pub. “Gone are the days when you put ‘proficiency with Excel’ on your resume, and instead you will talk about proficiency in key hybrid work skill sets such as creating engaging content and facilitating inclusiveness and participation.”

  • He added that we’ll also learn to book shorter, more focused meetings. “The prime meeting time will be Tuesday through Thursday, between 10 am and noon.”
  • Microsoft, Zoom, Google, Webex, BlueJeans, and LogMeIn say they’re listening and responding to user complaints about their video conferencing tools, working on minimizing background noise, allowing people to blur or change their backgrounds, get in and out of back-to-back meetings with one click, and better focus on individual faces and voices when workers are huddled in the same room together.
  • Early next year, Microsoft Teams plans to roll out a feature called front row, a new layout option in which video boxes are spread across a horizontal plane at the bottom of the screen to help remote workers feel more connected in the meeting.
Liyao xie /Getty Images via Wired

Related Reading:

The Metaverse Will Make Your Meetings Worse (VentureBeat)

As the World Reopens, Can Zoom Maintain Its Hold on Face-to-Face Meetings? (Fortune)

Why Hybrid Doesn’t Have to Mean Hassle (TechRadar)

Brands Get Into the Spirit with Holiday Activations

‘Tis the season for brands to spread some holiday cheer with promotional activations  that range from thoughtful and jolly to kooky and whimsical. Here are some that stood out to us so far:

  • For the third holiday season in a rowKFC is selling a scented firelog inspired by its 11 herbs and spices recipe. This year, consumers can also enter for a chance to win a vacation at a secluded Kentucky retreat—dubbed the Kentucky Fried Chicken Firelog Cabin.
  • Amazon unveiled the world's first smart holiday windowcontrolled by Alexa voice command. Fabricated and produced by experiential agency New Moon, the interactive installation allows visitors to trigger one of 12 routines, such as “Alexa, turn on the holiday lights.”
  • Mr. Peanut is embracing "nutstalgia" by offering consumers a chance to win Planters holiday gift boxes that include branded swag, classic board games, a Bluetooth cassette boombox, and a classic movie made available on DVD and as a download.
Hormel Foods Corporation via Marketing Dive

Related Reading:

Here's Why Advent Calendars Are a Marketing Godsend for Brands This Holiday Season (Adweek)

How Big Retail Chains Are Using Social Marketing This Holiday (AdAge)

Mail-Averse Millennials Embrace Christmas Cards — and Now Spend More on Them Than Boomers Do (The Washington Post)

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