by Matt Alderton | June 19, 2017
Emerging technology and younger generations continue to influence the meetings industry, according to IACC, which today published phase one of its second annual "Meeting Room of the Future" white paper. Based on insights from 180 global meeting buyers, it concluded that "memorable individual experiences, interactive presentation, and personal development" are the critical factors driving meetings in 2017, stemming in large part from Millennials' preferences.

"It is clear from our latest report that the format and content of our meetings is being influenced by tech-savvy younger generations who are looking for a more individual approached to meetings," said IACC CEO Mark Cooper. "Delegates want a more memorable experience directly relevant to them and their own personal development with a degree of flexibility in terms of the way they interact with the meeting and the content they take away."

According to IACC, meeting delegates of all ages want "more time for creative thinking, networking, and collaboration" -- and more unique spaces in which to do the aforementioned activities, including outdoor spaces, which are becoming more popular among groups.

"In a technology-laden world where our heads are down looking at screens more often than up looking at faces, memorable and inspiring face-to-face meetings are required to get attendees attention and participation," said IACC President Alex Cabañas, CEO of Benchmark, A Global Hospitality Company.

While attendees are focused on personalization and technology, meeting sponsors are focused on results.

"Unsurprisingly, businesses remain focused on budget and demonstrating return on investment and therefore organizers are assessing the success of meetings through broader metrics than previously -- for example, whether the meeting impacted their bottom line and met business objectives. As an industry, we need to be conscious of this and look at how we can best demonstrate our value," Cooper continued. "The industry is evolving and expanding apace and it's essential that venues and meeting planners stay ahead of the curve and look at how they can best harness these trends to meet the ever-changing needs of meeting planners and their delegates."

IACC will publish the second half of its "Meeting Room of the Future" white paper in October at IMEX America. 

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