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Association launches research project to 'transform meetings'

'Visionary' initiative from International Association of Conference Centres aims to transform meeting experience

Pictured: IACC CEO Mark Cooper

A new project from the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) will aim to transform the meeting experience through a global collaboration of leaders in conference room design, audiovisual technology, hospitality, academia and conference management.  

The IACC Meeting Room of the Future project and initial global survey results are to be unveiled at IACC-America's Connect annual conference in New York in April.

The project’s aim is to predict and showcase current trends and what solutions need to be sought for tomorrow's meeting rooms. 

"As the only global organisation representing smaller meetings and venues, IACC is singularly-positioned to spearhead this initiative," said IACC CEO Mark Cooper. He added that collaboration, productivity and inspiration will be at the heart of the concept, with the plan to build on this annually. 

Contributors include leading universities in the US, Europe and Australia, several meetings and technology companies and leading designers of venue furnishings.

IACC is surveying a broad spectrum of the industry to identify and understand needs, track current trends and innovations and determine the kinds of learning environments that foster collaboration, ideas exchange and relationship building. 

“These environments profoundly influence people, behaviours, companies, politics and ultimately economies,” said Cooper. 

IACC will engage with planners, meeting hosts, delegates, operators and suppliers, and is partnering with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) on a survey involving 1000 of the association’s members.

The project will address the most challenging issues facing the meetings industry today, with access to sufficient bandwidth already outlined as a critical issue. 

“Connectivity affects every aspect of the meeting experience,” said Cooper. “Super high-speed Wi-Fi is essential throughout the facility as part of security and privacy, critical communications within the meeting experience and with colleagues beyond, sustainability and guest services.”

The results of the IACC Meeting Room of the Future survey will be published globally and at IACC-America’s Connect annual conference in April.

Current contributors and research partners include Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Microsoft, Dianne, Corbin Ball Associates, Sli-do, Benchmark Hospitality International, MGSM Executive Hotel & Conference Centre and PSAV. 

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