IACC identifies top meeting package trends for 2016

The International Association of Conference Centres has released its Top Meeting Package Trends for 2016, which looks at popular components in per person packages provided by its member venues.  

“Meeting Planners not only prefer easy-to-manage delegate packages for their meetings, they also expect delegate packages to be creative and fit their specific meeting objective,” said the IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper. “Venues that specialise in meetings also understand that planners need to be able to buy in transparent and easy-to-budget ways.”  He added: “We are seeing some very innovative meeting packages available at IACC member venues in 22 countries across the globe.”

Below are the prominent trends identified:

1) 95 per cent of venues have offered non-traditional meeting packages for over 5 years

IACC member venues surveyed stated that they have been offering flexible and creative delegate meeting packages for more than five years. As a result, they have developed packages which meet the specific needs and requirements of planners and delegates. 

2) Innovative packages developed by venues and clients

Two-thirds of delegate packages are developed by management at IACC-member venues. A third of those surveyed reported that their planner clients had a direct hand in developing a package that was tailored to them and their needs.

3) 55 per cent reported that meeting planners want to tailor a package specifically to meet their needs

Offering inclusive delegate packages provides differentiation, but being able to tailor a package to the individual client is a step further. With 55 per cent reporting their clients prefer flexible packaging, this is no longer a rare approach, with 56 per cent of responders citing that packages were becoming more customised.

4) 65% reported that planners are starting to request ‘extras’

A significant number of members surveyed reported that clients are starting to ask for packages beyond the normal meeting room, F&B and tech inclusions. Additional expectations include teambuilding, local tours, coaching and facilitation. Although many IACC venues offer free WiFi, high bandwidth WiFi to support collaborative technologies was an offer on the rise. The survey also indicated that the inclusion of collaborative technologies such as audience participation and meeting apps had potential to be included in package pricing. 

5) The ‘extras’ included in customised packages

Food & beverage enhancements lead the list of extras, with 76 per cent of those surveyed reporting they tailor packages with non-standard F&B items.  Indoor teambuilding and meeting room configurations were in second place at 70 per cent and outdoor teambuilding in fourth.  Also included in the list of extras were AV, WiFi and culinary teambuilding activities.

6) Delegate packages make good business sense for third parties

35 per cent percent of the venues surveyed reported that third party booking agents could consider all components of the delegate package as part of their commercial terms with the venue.

7) Tailored meeting packages are here to stay

Though tailored meeting packages have only come into play among IACC venues since the economic downturn, those surveyed believe that it is a concept that is here to stay.

The IACC represents small to medium sized venues focused on meetings, training courses and conferences. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of criteria and standards. The association serves its members by being a global thought-leader in the meetings industry and currently has 378 members in 21 countries in the Americas, Europe and Australia Asia Pacific.

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