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April 20, 2016

IACC: Inside the Meeting Room of the Future




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The newly-rebranded IACC has announced The IACC Meeting Room of the Future, which aims to transform the meeting experience through a global collaboration of leaders in conference room design, audiovisual technology, hospitality, academia and conference management.  The project and initial global survey results were unveiled at IACC-America's Connect annual conference in New York City this week.

Current contributors and research partners include Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Microsoft, Development Councilors International, Showgizmo, Corbin Ball Associates, Sli-do, Warwick Conferences, MGSM Executive Hotel & Conference Centre and PSAV

The report highlights that the meetings industry is transitioning at a rapid pace. As the meetings industry landscape continues to evolve and expand, meeting planners must continually evaluate all elements of the meeting experience in order to ensure they are providing the most relevant environments to foster collaboration, ideas exchange and relationship building among attendees.

As meeting planners look to the future, it’s clear that their decision making process is largely based on their observations on changes within the industry over the past several years:

* 75 percent of responding meeting planners report that their current role involves more “experience creation” versus two to five years ago.
* Over 77 percent of respondents report that access to interactive technologies such as tools to encourage audience participation, collaborative communication platforms and others, are more important now versus the last several years.
* 47 percent report the importance of flexible meeting space now versus in the past. 

Using these indicators as a road map for future trends, meeting planners predict an increased emphasis on, and need for, select venue elements.

Currently, the flexibility of meeting space is the most important venue element when evaluating meeting space followed by access to interactive technology as well as networking spaces adjacent to the meeting/event space. Access to interactive technology however, is projected to surpass flexible space in the upcoming years.

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Physical Meeting Spaces and Design

The report states that fundamentally, there are elements of meeting venues that are critical for successful meetings and these have largely remained constant over the past several years and are projected to remain important in the years to come, including high quality broadband, strong acoustics and good lighting.

However, meeting planners do cite a continued trend towards more unique, and flexible, meeting spaces. When asked how strongly they agree with the statement “Access to collaborative meeting space will become more important in the next two to five years” (on a scale of 1 -strongly disagree to 10 -strongly agree), meeting planners provided an average rating of “8” indicating the need for more creative, less traditional options.

Communications & Connections

While meeting planners have numerous wish list items for their ideal meeting venue, there is no mistaking the critical importance and dominance of technology when selecting a venue. Responding meeting planners report that an increasing percentage of budgets are devoted to securing and implementing new technologies such as event apps, beacon technology to track traffic and attendance and video conferencing capabilities and the reliance on technology is only expected to increase in the next several years.

Now and well into the future, meeting planners will expect venues to have enough bandwidth to accommodate all of their and their delegates' technological needs.

The program's long-term goal is to predict and showcase a clear vision of what is new for today and what solutions need to be sought for tomorrow's meeting rooms, to deliver what clients want and need for maximum productivity. Collaboration, productivity and inspiration will be at the heart of the 2016 concept, with the plan to build on this annually. 

Source: IACC


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