IACC (formerly the International Association of Conference Centers) released the results of its annual “Meeting Room of the Future” on May 23. The paper reveals that, as the global meetings industry continues to develop at a rapid pace, venues must continue to adapt to meet planners’ and delegates’ expectations on food and beverage and internet infrastructure.
The report was conducted to gain insights from global venue operators, industry experts and suppliers, with the goal of understanding how they are responding to the changing expectations and needs of meeting planners, as identified in the 2017 survey of buyers. It brings together insights from more than 50 venues across four continents, as well as suppliers, including global meeting space designers, architects, technology companies, furniture manufacturers and nutrition experts.
IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper summed up the findings of the report:
“As the industry evolves and expands, just as meeting planners must continually evaluate all elements of the meeting experience, operators and suppliers must also ensure they are meeting and anticipating the changing needs of planners. The survey was designed to highlight these growing needs; we looked specifically at experience creation, meeting room space and design, technology and internet capabilities as well as culinary trends.
“The report shows that high quality internet will be the most important meeting element in the coming years, and that the success of meetings today depends on the quality of a meeting venue’s internet infrastructure. Some of those surveyed reported to have created ‘internet disaster recovery plans’ in the event of internet outages mid-event, a sure sign that venues and planners understand the important role that internet plays in meeting collaboration and connectivity.
“More operators are offering continuous refreshment breaks this year than previous years, however the report’s findings suggest that, while meeting planners agree that the format of breaks and meal times needs to evolve in the future, planners were divided on whether the trend should move towards short, more frequent breaks or longer breaks and meal times to allow in-depth networking.”
Other members of the organization also had things to say about the report.
“Our industry experts provide compelling insight into meeting trends,” says Ellen Sinclair of Benchmark, a global hospitality company, and chair of the project group. “Their insights will help us understand the elements that shape collaborative and productive face-to-face meetings.”
Alex Cabanas, CEO of Benchmark, a global hospitality company, and IACC president, agrees and adds, ““Venue operators and suppliers are critical to the delivery of a meaningful and memorable meeting experience. They are the true partner to the planner, focused on the goals of the meeting. Hearing their voice in this research has been enlightening.”
The “IACC Meeting Room of the Future” is an initiative led by IACC, with the goal of sharing the association’s vision on what meeting spaces will look and function like in the future. The initiative brings together research, trends and innovations with the single goal of predicting, creating and shaping the future of meeting environments. The full report, “A Survey of Meeting Venue Operators and Suppliers,” is available on the group’s website.
Founded in 1981, the IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally. The association brings together the brightest, most innovative minds from around the globe and 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 and agree to a code of ethics. IACC includes 300 members from the U.S., Canada, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Mongolia, Thailand, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Germany, England, Wales and Scotland. For more info, visit iacconline.org.