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According to IACC’s inaugural APAC edition of its “Meeting Room of the Future” report, experience creation is the top priority for event planners in Asia Pacific. The report, released Dec. 14, reveals that 66 percent of the region’s meeting planners claim delegates now seek more engagement, personalization and interactive technologies at business events.

The trend is being driven by incoming generations that look for greater integration of new technologies and mobile connectives in business events, networks, collaborations, simulations and shorter, creative sessions. The increasing appetite for memorable experiences means that planners are required to do more with less while maintaining tight budgets. The report, created in partnership with Biz Events Asia, showed that more planners are open to share their roles and responsibilities with venues and other third parties. Respondents have been willing to outsource the off-site activity arrangements for delegates (59 percent) and outsource local services (56 percent). ROI has remained steady over the past five years in the region illustrating high priority in this market and other elements critical to creating memorable experiences for delegates.

Mark Cooper CEO IACCMark Cooper (pictured left), CEO of IACC, says, “To have a dedicated Asia Pacific survey to sit alongside our global report has been insightful in helping us understand regional differences in terms of delivery of meetings and what planners feel will change in the coming years. Understanding these differences will better equip planners, venues and all those who serve this market to grow their business.”

Meeting planners in the region, in the following order, consider the importance of venue elements which foster the greatest delegate productivity, collaboration, and generate the greatest ROI: interactive technology, venue flexibility, varied food and beverage offering, and event location and accessibility in meeting environments. In terms of meeting room designs, respondents reported that flexibility in rooms such as the ability to move furniture, and the presence of alternative spaces for networking are the leading differences in the meeting spaces they need today versus five years ago. In line with the 2017 global IACC study, access to interactive technology and meeting space flexibility are among the most important venue elements and will continue to be as important over the next five years. APAC planners are looking to incorporate more interactive technology that promotes delegate interaction and engagement. Although popular tools to generate engagement as per the global study (91 percent), audience polling and Q&A have not proven as popular among Asia Pacific planners (63 percent).

The report showcases the need for reliable and high-quality internet infrastructure, as 50 percent of respondents indicate that they would not consider a venue unless guaranteed internet capacity supports the needs of their event, such as video streaming. The 61 percent of respondents report that affordable or free, high-speed Wi-Fi will be the most critical need for meetings in the next five years, versus 72 percent in the global study. As a result, more venues look to include internet costs in the venue, charge or offer this as a complementary service.

Food and beverage offerings have a powerful impact on delegate experience creation. More Asia Pacific planners report they are presented with dietary restrictions or custom dietary requests, in comparison the global study, with the highest number of dietary requests being vegetarian options at events.

In terms of meeting room design, respondents reported that flexibility in rooms such as the ability to move furniture, and the presence of alternative spaces for networking are the leading differences in the meeting spaces they need today versus five years ago.

The report forms part of IACC’s third annual global “Meeting Room of the Future” report, which this year has also been bolstered with its first ever Latin America edition. Together, the reports deliver insights from 500 global conference and meeting buyers to identify new trends and illustrate how previous trends have evolved in the past year. IACC produces the “Meeting Room of the Future” reports with assistance from their research partner, Development Counselors International. For the full Asia Pacific report, visit www.iacconline.org/docs/IACC_Asia_Aus_Future_Meetings_2019.pdf. 

Founded in 1981, IACC is dedicated to representing the best meeting venues globally and is, by definition, the future of the meetings industry realized. 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 among 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 over 300 member conference venues from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Wales, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States. For more info, visit www.iacconline.org.

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