A dynamic new initiative from the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) is set 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 are be unveiled at IACC-America’s Connect annual conference in New York City this April. The IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ project combines innovation and entrepreneurialism with the expertise of meeting industry professionals and planners.
The program’s ambitious 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.
The initiative brings together the brightest minds and companies in the industry, to create both a physical and virtual meeting environment. Contributors include leading universities in the US, Europe and Australia, several meetings and technology companies and leading designers of office furnishings. “As the only global association representing smaller meeting and conference venues, IACC is singularly-positioned to spearhead this initiative,” affirms IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper.
Effective research is at the core of the initiative. 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, behaviors, companies, politics and ultimately economies,” Cooper notes. 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 while showcasing the most innovative and useful aspects of tomorrow’s meeting room. Access to sufficient bandwidth is clearly a critical issue and one that demands thoughtful study and careful investment in equipment and training. As the industry becomes even more global, conference venues must offer first-rate teleconference services. The rapidly expanding number of new mobile devices used by planners and attendees demands powerful, high-speed connectivity that can host any number of devices and any group or number of groups. “Connectivity affects every aspect of the meeting experience,” Mark Cooper asserts. “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 released globally and at the IACC-America’s Connect annual conference this April.