IACC, the association that represents the global conference center segment, is set to more than double its number of European facilities within the next four months if a deal to add the supplier members of two conference center groups comes to fruition, according to IACC CEO Mark Cooper.

Attending IMEX America, taking place from October 16-18, 2018, in Las Vegas, Cooper said IACC is in separate negotiations with the two European conference center organizations.

“In Europe we expect to see phenomenal growth,” he said. “We could see almost a doubling of our partners and membership in Europe in the next four months.

“We’re at 90 venues in Europe and have a good chance of doubling that through [adding] the two organizations, one with 68 facilities and one with 59,” Cooper added.

Cooper said the IACC also recently added two MITIN Conference Centers facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but sees Latin America—where it currently has no members—as a further growth opportunity.

IACC also expects to see a 10 percent growth in member facilities in the Americas within the year.

Meeting Room of the Future MPI Partnership Enters Final Year

IACC is entering the second year of a partnership with MPI, with which it has worked to develop “The Meeting Room of the Future,” a laboratory of sorts it offers at MPI WEC that allows planners to explore a physical space that shows off the latest innovations in meeting room components and technology.

MPI provided a $35,000 grant to the association to develop and display the multi-room space, which Cooper described as being “very Smithsonian-esque” in its features.

Attending a media lunch at IMEX America, MPI COO Darren Temple voiced his support of forging a continuation of the partnership as it nears the completion of its term.

New IACC Meeting Planner App and F&B Tool

IACC is also preparing to unveil two tools for meeting planners.

Cooper said that the association’s goal in providing the resources is to further familiarize meeting planners with the association and its dedication to serving their needs.

The association is developing a guide to dietary management for meeting delegates detailing how to accommodate nutritional needs such as food allergies and religion-based dietary requirements.

IACC expects to launch the guide in November 2018 and may launch a dietary management certification program for meeting planners in the near future.

IACC is also gearing up to launch an app that will allow meeting planners to test broadband speeds at facilities and measure whether they meet the minimum requirements of their meetings.

The app is agnostic in that it shows no preference as to whether a facility is an IACC member, and will also not link back to the association in any way to convert the user to consider IACC facilities if it determines that a venue’s speeds do not meet the minimum requirements of the user.

Improving the Meeting Design for Planners

Cooper said that the theme of IACC over the next year will be “radical transformation.”

The radical transformation theme could apply to the anticipated rapid growth of the association as well as emphasize the need for meeting planners to change the way they think about meetings.

“In terms of meeting design, there’s still not a lot of thought around designing around objectives and adopting modern meeting architecture,” he said. “Boards often stifle creativity, and when we do our outreach we aim to give planners the confidence to [ask for change].”

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