Making a positive impact through adopting strong social practices and running ethical meeting venue operations will be the key area of focus for venues and planners by 2025, international venue assciation IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future 2020 report has revealed.
The report was conducted ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic and focuses on the 12 months leading up to February 2020. It also includes forward predictions from IACC and survey responses on how the meetings landscape and attendee behaviours may change in a post-Covid market.
The report reveals that 74% of meeting venue operators see corporate social responsibility and ethical operations as a ‘top priority’ in the next 12 months. Forward predications suggest that the industry will have a “greater understanding of the value and importance of social contributions”.
The report also cites the growing number of millennials joining the global workforce as a “major change”. Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce and, as such, are shaping behaviours and professional settings. New trends emerging as a result include comfortable lounge-like furniture, frequent refreshment breaks and networking spaces. Despite this, only 41% of venues said they do anything to specifically address the behaviours and needs of millennials, and while millennials make up on average 40% of the workforce for the operators surveyed, only an average of 18% of them are in leadership positions.
The report identified that venues have not fully embraced virtual reality, however this is changing rapidly with 76% of venues offering virtual tours or planning to offer them within the next 12 months. IACC predicts that virtual reality and virtual site tours will be embraced by many more venues in the next 12 months as they look for alternative ways of marketing their spaces.
The IACC survey also revealed that experience creation is still high on the agenda, with 69% of venues saying they offer enhanced experiences on a budget. As the meetings industry begins its recovery following the pandemic, it is expected that more planners will look to host elements of meetings and events outdoors.
Dietary requirements have continued to remain the number one priority in food and beverage for venue operators in 2020. Of those surveyed, 95% said there had been an increase in the number of requests to accommodate dietary requirements.
CEO of IACC, Mark Cooper, said: “As an industry we are all going through an unfathomable and uncertain time. The effect that Covid-19 has had on the meetings industry has been severe and we may see a dramatic change in the way we meet in future. I firmly believe that IACC venues being smaller group venues, with large meeting spaces and large open plan social areas, will be well placed to welcome returning meetings, training courses and smaller conferences in the coming months.”
“IACC is committed to educating our industry and providing facts and figures which will help businesses adapt and ensure their offerings are future-proof.”
To download the full report, visit the IACC Meeting Room of the Future website.