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Creative spaces offering memorable experiences ‘critical to successful in-person meetings’

80 per cent of meeting planners agree that their current role involves more ‘experience creation’ for attendees compared to pre-pandemic.

That’s according to the latest Meeting Room of the Future report from IACC, in which planners say that it is crucial to create an event which is seen as having real value from attending in-person as opposed to attending virtually.

In response to this Mark Cooper, IACC CEO said: “Planners must take a step back and ask themselves whether it can be done over zoom, if so, it clearly has no place in the room.”

In addition, the report details the lasting impacts of the Covid pandemic for planners, with 41% per cent of respondents stating that they are continuing to look for venues with larger spaces to allow their delegates to spread out and 33% per cent saying that access to outdoor spaces is key.

Susan Liston, SVP, Aramark Destinations said: “Our teams are no longer just conference specialists, they have pivoted to become “architects” of the meeting experience and can provide the best value to our clients when they proactively recommend a way for attendees to connect to the local destination and be truly collaborative. Our IACC venues are seeing more requests for flexible space, including outdoor space and terraces and the ability to transform traditional ballroom space into flexible seating or networking spaces.” 

The report also revealed that meeting planners continue to look for venues with strong technological capabilities, such as virtual streaming and participation, internet access, AV and cyber security. It also suggested that sustainability and social responsibility will continue to grow in importance, ensuring the meeting room of the future is a positive force for the future.

Robyn Domber, Senior Vice President, Research at Development Counsellors International said: “Having partnered with IACC on this study in 2017, 2019 and now in 2023, it’s abundantly clear that the meetings industry has undergone some profound transformations. The way we live, work and meet has changed and so have, in turn, the spaces and technologies required for business events and conferences.”

Nancy Lindemer, Director of Sales & Marketing for Rizzo Center and IACC president commented: “This report is such a great jumping off tool for strengthening the relationship between IACC certified venue leaders and their meeting planners to create events that truly exceed the norm.  Creating memories through experiences is important and together IACC’s global network of exceptional facilities can bring people together to do extraordinary things “.

“I would like to thank our industry partners Aramark Destinations, Development Counsellors International, the Events Industry Council, Encore, Flik Hospitality Group & Rapport, MPI and Pyramid Global Hospitality who continue to support our work and provide key insights and intelligence so we can deliver this research.”

IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future initiative reports on insights from meeting professionals, IACC venues and industry experts from across the world, representing Africa, the Australia-Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the Americas. 

To download the full report, visit the IACC Meeting Room of the Future website. 

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay


Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien