IACC CEO Mark Cooper announces the launch of IACC MultiPOD meetings. An IACC MultiPOD meeting is one meeting, with in-person groupings of participants in two or more different locations. The concept merges in-person and virtual, with one gold-star standard framework with venue brilliance at the heart of it.
The launch follows months of research to develop a framework and pledge of excellence to stage geographically diverse meetings, interconnected through strong technology platforms and collaborative venue solutions.
IACC is passionate about driving change within the business events industry and is the first to combine a technology solution with a pledge from venues that commits to their suitability and collaborative cross-venue abilities stage meetings at the same time, anywhere in the world.
Mark Cooper, IACC CEO (pictured left) explains, “This has been designed to cater for the way meetings need to happen in the current climate and is underpinned by our commitment to venue excellence. Given global restrictions on travel and limits on the number of people who can gather in person, many business events will take place regionally in smaller groups. However, that does not diminish the desire for in-person live experiences and to foster cross-fertilization of ideas across countries and continents.”
The concept came about after IACC identified three critical features of a multi-located meeting; venue capabilities, strong technology and production delivery, and collaboration between all parties. IACC MultiPOD addresses all through its design, pledge and training offered.
Sean Anderson (pictured right), IACC’s global president and SVP of Sodexo Conferencing, says, “Our immediate focus is on keeping our colleagues, guests and families safe and healthy. At the same time, IACC venues around the world are banding together to help lead the industry’s recovery—and beyond. Personal contact and the closeness of face to face are powerful communication and connection tools. By creating our PODs, venues will embrace all necessary elements of physical meetings, and provide the necessary infrastructure for best-in-class hybrid solutions. By avoiding physical barriers and infusing the power of digital, we are able to help increase attendance, improve engagement and offer a more inclusive environment.”
There are multiple benefits for meeting planners, including potential for lower costs as a result of reduced distance travel; opportunities for live networking, as well as online networking with people further afield; avoiding the complexities of health measures for larger group gatherings; an easy multiple venue sourcing process supported by IACC and peace of mind from using IACC endorsed hybrid technology providers.
IACC partnered with meetings architect, Mike van der Vijver (pictured right) of Mindmeeting, to design a benefits statement for harnessing the power of meetings and conferences taking place in two or more locations. The content, connections and collaboration were all key to an impactful event for attendees and the venues play a very important part. Each IACC venue commits to not only having in place MultiPOD knowledgeable staff, but also to collaborate with the other venue teams, AV and production teams, making it easier for meeting professionals to manage the event.
Cooper adds, “IACC is a global community of expert venues that has always had a strong DNA for sharing ideas that matter. So, collaborating with their colleagues at the venues hosting the other PODs was a concept they can easily embrace. It may be as simple as co-ordinating the same food and drink offer across all venues, to provide continuity shared experiences for attendees, or sharing important planning-related information in advance to save the meeting organizer time. It can also go much deeper if desired.”
Partnering with PSAV and Electro-Media Design (EMD), IACC has developed a specification document and venue pledge which must be committed to by any of the 400 IACC certified venues in 25 countries wishing to host a POD meeting. IACC, in conjunction with EMD, offers venues training and consultancy to ensure they are prepared for both MultiPOD and hybrid meeting hosting. PSAV offers a full range of production, platform and collaboration tools, adapted to each brief.
Matt Harvey (pictured left), VP virtual & hybrid events at PSAV/Encore adds, “I am delighted PSAV/Encore is able to partner with IACC on this important initiative that gets the meetings industry moving again in an easy, safe and effective way. We look forward to supporting many MultiPOD meetings with IACC as we drive the recovery of this great industry.”
Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realised. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe. IACC elevates the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive of the best-in-class meeting venues internationally. IACC membership is a symbol of meeting excellence and exceptional connections amongst the best in the meeting industry. This exclusiveness makes IACC’s members part of an elite group representing the most innovative, forward-thinking and results-driven meeting venues globally. All members meet a set of stringent Quality Standards, entitled Committed to Brilliance and agree to a Code of Ethics. IACC includes over 400 member conference venues from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Brazil, Canada and the United States. For more info, visit www.iacconline.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.