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Sustainability a top priority in ‘Meeting Room of the Future’ report

Ethical operations and sustainable practices will be one of the most important areas of focus for venues by 2024, according to IACC’s annual Meeting Room of the Future report 2019.

The report was released at MPI’s World Education Congress, 18 June. 44% of respondents believe that ethical operations and sustainable practices will be one of the most important elements for venues by the year 2024.

A major concern raised by meeting planners was the amount of food waste that meetings and events generate, and how it is disposed of. 62% of respondents said that they will look at how a venue manages its food waste before booking.

The report also revealed a dramatic increase (up 8% from 2017 to 85% in 2019) in the number of meetings which are integrating new technology, such as audience participation apps, projection mapping and screen-sharing.

It also points to an increasing focus on experience creation. The rise in demand for experience-led meetings is being attributed to an influx of new generations, both attending events and also planning them. Younger generations are providing a driving force for change to meeting formats, breakout sessions and teambuilding activities.

Cyber security is another key topic – and an area of some concern - for meeting planners, with 27% of respondents stating that cyber security will become a greater priority in the next three to five years. 76% of meeting planners reported that they are concerned about cyber security when implementing new technologies into their events.

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC commented: “IACC is dedicated to setting the agenda for the meetings and events industry when it comes to giving venue operators insights and understanding into how they need to continue to adapt to deliver an outstanding experience for event planners.

“This year’s report reveals some interesting new trends and shows that trends that have emerged in recent years are continuing to grow. We are seeing more critical analysis of venues and practices before booking events and, especially, a real focus on sustainability and ethical operations.

“These are areas we expect to continue to develop over the coming years. I am interested to see how venues and companies address the concerns of meeting planners over the next year and what changes we will see in the 2020 report.”

IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future report brings together insights from over 250 meeting planners from five different continents to gain insights from global venue operators, industry experts and suppliers, with the goal of understanding how they are responding to the changing expectations and needs of meeting planners, as identified in the 2019 survey of buyers. 

To download the full report please visit the IACC Meeting Room of the Future website.