8 Takeaways from the 2019 IACC Meeting Room of the Future Report
What does it take for venues to succeed, now and in the future?
That’s a tough question to answer, especially as event technology continues to evolve and the demand for experiences rises within the industry.
Thankfully, there are numerous valuable findings in the 2019 IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ report, a comprehensive study of how venues are or should be staying on top of trends in meeting space design, technology, food service and more.
Sandy Hammer, our co-founder, and CMO who also served as a volunteer for the study said, “to stay viable and relevant to meeting buyers, in this rapidly shifting environment it is critical venues have insights to shape their decision-making and planning.”
So here you go! A list of eight takeaways from the global trends study. (For more details, download a copy of the full report.)
1. Influence from younger generations is rising…
IACC found that younger generations increasingly influence and drive the need for experience enhancement at conferences, meetings, and events.
Eighty percent of respondents report younger generations to place more emphasis on the overall experience of an event, second only to their interest in integrating new technologies.
2. …and so is the demand for unique experiences.
Eighty-five percent of meeting planners reported their current role involves more experience creation. Thirty-eight percent indicated the demand for creating unique attendee experiences is increasing substantially.
3. Ethical and sustainable practices matter…
As seen in the report, there is growing evidence planners are concerned about the overall environmental and social footprint of their meetings and events, and reducing the impact going forward.
Forty-four percent of meeting buyers surveyed cited food waste as their biggest sustainability gripe and 62 percent of respondents indicated they would in the future consider how prospective venues manage their unused food.
4. …as do fundamental physical elements.
Networking space and flexible layouts remain important physical elements.
According to survey respondents, open, flexible, and well-equipped with technology are three of the five top physical characteristics of an ideal venue.
Survey respondents also indicated access to collaborative meeting space and technology would become even more important in the next five years.
5. Guaranteed WiFi is increasingly top-of-mind…
Nearly 44 percent of meeting planners indicated they wouldn’t even consider shortlisting a venue that didn’t have the guaranteed internet capacity to support their event needs.
An even larger majority, 56 percent, indicated affordably (or free) high-speed, wireless internet will be the most critical technology needed for meetings in the next five years.
6. …along with cybersecurity.
As event apps, social media and live streaming have been regularly adopted, just over a quarter of survey respondents indicated data security as the most critical technology needed in the next five years.
7. Food and beverage is key to meeting design and experience creation.
The 2019 study showed an uptick in the importance of food and beverage to the overall meeting design and experience.
The report also found 89 percent of respondents said they’d like to see healthier food and beverage offerings during events – which remains somewhat of a challenge for planners given there also are requests to accommodate allergies, personal eating plans or preferences.
But venues are stepping up to the challenge. Eighty-eight percent of planners generally agree they have confidence venues can accommodate communicated dietary requirements.
8. Virtual venue site inspections are growing.
Twenty-two percent of survey respondents report that they are already or would be willing to replace in-person site visits with virtual tours – a number likely to continue to increase due to the environmental benefits plus the significant savings in time and money.