Posted tagged ‘Mark Cooper’

IACC Meeting Room of The Future™ Publishes Second Research

October 27, 2016

IACC Meeting Room of The Future™ Publishes Second Research
Visionary Global Initiative Will Transform Meetings
 
Chicago, Illinois, – As part of a ongoing dynamic initiative from IACC, a second set of research has been conducted and reported following the survey of global venue operators, suppliers and industry experts. IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ aims to transform the meeting experience through a global collaboration of leaders in conference space design, audiovisual technology, hospitality, academia and conference management.  The first research, which surveyed meeting planners was published in April 2016, with this next research focusing on the views of venue operators and suppliers, which draws parallels with the first research. The results were unveiled at IMEX Americas in Las Vegas this week. The project combines innovation and entrepreneurialism with the expertise of meeting industry professionals and planners.

Over 65 venues plus suppliers across four continents were surveyed. Venues included a large number of IACC certified properties, where the majority or all of their business is derived from meetings and conferences.

Delivering a more Profound Meetings Experience
A key finding from this latest research was that venue operators and suppliers are aware of the changing expectations of meeting delegates and the majority of venue operators see it as their role to provide a great meetings experience, providing new options to the meeting planner. Power has shifted to the participants such that venues and hosts have to deliver impactful and engaging experiences. Gamification, Design Thinking and Matchmaking at conferences, are all good examples of experiences satisfying this important trend.

The report highlights the need for venues to provide more networking and social spaces outside of the meeting room and food and beverage service at lunchtime, needs to facilitate delegates being able to meet people, eat and check in with the office and home during this period.

Physical Meeting Spaces and Design
The report states that fundamentally there are elements of meeting venues that are critical for successful meetings and these have largely remained constant over the past several years and are projected to remain important in the years to come,including high quality broadband, strong acoustics and good lighting.

Conference and meeting venue operators are addressing their client’s needs by offering meeting rooms that are designed to foster creativity, ice-breakers and themed food and beverage. A significant percentage of operators are also offering outdoor meeting rooms or spaces as well as other physical spaces and activities that promote team building.

Meeting planners do cite a continued trend towards more unique and flexible meeting spaces. When asked how strongly they agree with the statement “Access to collaborative meeting space will become more important in the next two to five years” (on a scale of 1 -strongly disagree to 10 -strongly agree), meeting planners provided an average rating of “8” indicating the need for more creative, less traditional options.

Jessie States from MPI cited “Attendees can no longer bear being stuck in a room listening (or not) to talking heads and mindless speeches. And meeting professionals are being much more strategic about the where, why and how of bringing people together. Meetings are for ‘meeting’ not for ‘attending’. They are for ‘participating’ not for ‘observing’. Venues must provide spaces that encourage engagement, boost learning and enhance experiences that foster conversations and growth.”

Both operators and suppliers report cost of investment as the greatest barrier to investing in new furniture/equipment for more flexible, creative spaces.

Mark Cooper, IACC CEO comments, “Venue operators whose properties are focused on delivering meetings, are not surprised and are in agreement with meeting planners on the major changes and trends affecting meetings today and those which are likely to in the next two to five years. However, there are also differences between the two groups identified in this research, which raise important questions. For instance, are venues investing in new technologies but ignoring the need to invest in Internet infrastructure, including bandwidth?”

Meetings Technology
57% of venue operators indicated that they did not currently offer collaborative technologies (products which allow greater participation between delegates and presenter, such as Microsoft’s SurfaceHub, or Barco’s ClickShare and other related technologies) in any of their meeting rooms. 32% indicated they did offer collaborative technologies but considered this offering a premium with an additional charge to the client. Venue suppliers also view collaborative technology as a premium product offering to clients. 63% indicated they provide the technology, but at a cost to the client.

These extra costs are creating barriers to greater collaborative technology use from clients. Meeting planners expect the access to interactive technology to become more important than the current top priority when considering venues, being the flexibility of meeting room spaces.

It was evident from this research, that venue operators are increasingly looking to hire staff with IT backgrounds on the basis that is it easier to teach an IT specialist needed AV skills than it is to teach an AV specialist required IT skills.

Communications & Connections
Currently 89% of venues surveyed provide meeting delegate internet access free of charge, but 55% of those require a log in. 11% of venues still require delegates to pay for Wi-Fi, which indicates the balance has finally tipped and Internet access is being considered vital core offering needed by all and not an add-on.

In the first research published earlier this year, on the topic of paid versus free Wi-Fi, one meeting planner commented, “Access to strong, fast, secure broadband should be a given at all meetings and should be provided free by the venue. It still boggles me that some venues charge a premium for using Wi-Fi. When this becomes the norm we’ll be able to use other technologies without barriers.”

The program’s ambitious long term 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 predict, create and shape the meeting spaces of the future.  “As the only global association representing the top 1% of smaller meeting and conference venues in 27 countries, IACC is ideally positioned to evaluate trends in meeting environments,” affirms IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper.

A full copy of the report and infographic can be downloaded from the IACC website here.

Current contributors and research partners include Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Microsoft, Development Councilors International, SICO, Corbin Ball Associates, Sli-do, Warwick Conferences, Summit Conference Centres, MGSM Executive Hotel & Conference Centre and PSAV.

IACC Meeting Room of The Future

February 9, 2016

IACC Meeting Room of The Future
Visionary Global Initiative Will Transform Meetings

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 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 venue furnishings.  “As the only global organisation representing smaller meetings and 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, behaviours, 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 published globally and at IACC-America’s Connect annual conference this April.

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

 

IACC-Europe Names Chefs as “Copper Skillet Champions”

March 4, 2015

IACC-Europe Names Chefs as “Copper Skillet Champions”

(LONDON, UK) – March 2015 – The 11th annual IACC Copper Skillet competition first introduced in 2004, held it’s European finals recently. Eight chefs from IACC member properties throughout Europe including UK, France, Sweden and Denmark gathered to compete at the Comwell Køge Strand, Copenhagen. For the first time in the history of the Copper Skillet competition, IACC also introduced a new Junior Chef category where IACC conference centre chefs under the age of 26 were invited to compete in the cook-off. The two winners now go forward to compete in the final at the IACC annual conference in Ft Lauderdale, Florida next month.

The competition saw 84 chefs in country finals, 12 in the IACC Chapter finals and the final 6 going forward to the last stage.

Chef Jeremie Duchemin from Dolce Chantilly Hotel and Conference Centre, took the IACC-Europe Senior Chef Category Copper Skillet for his winning dish in the cook-off. International Judges named Jeremie the winner for his dish of marinated poultry and gambas, stir-fried vegetables with Thai broth.

Trine Thybo Rasmussen at the Koldingfjord Hotel and Conference Centre took the IACC-Europe Junior Chef Category Copper Skillet for her winning dish in the cook-off. Industry expert judges named Trine the winner for her dish of breaded chicken Ballantine, fried black prawns in lemon, roasted pickled red onions, roasted leek, sautéed mushrooms, served with two kinds of potatoes, fondant and mash with herbs and gravy.

In both competitions, the chefs were presented with basic pantry items along with a “mystery basket” of proteins. They were given 30 minutes to prepare, create, and present their creations to local area judges and were watched by Meeting Planners and fellow IACC members.

Chef Duchemin and Chef Tybo Rasmussan will go on to compete with other chefs from IACC chapters around the world at the International Copper Skillet Competition at the 34th IACC-Americas annual conference at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale.

“The now popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centres around the world and to honour their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference centre experience”. Said Mark Cooper, IACC’s CEO “The passion and national pride each of the finalists brought into this European final was evident from the emotions of our winning chefs at the end of the competition. I was incredibly proud of each of the 8 finalists and look forward to seeing Chef Duchemin and Chef Tybo Rasmussan represent Europe in the global final next month”.

<strong>The 34th IACC-Americas Annual Conference is scheduled for April 14-17, 2015 at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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