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IACC survey reveals latest set of generational preferences of meeting planners

A recent survey conducted by the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI), has revealed the generational preferences of meeting planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region.
Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC commented: “This is the first survey of its kind produced by IACC in the Australia Asia Pacific region and is the third survey following similar surveys in the Americas and Europe. 

There are some important differences highlighted in terms of preferences and priorities expressed across the generations. These findings will prepare meetings industry suppliers and allow them to tailor their offering to accommodate the individual needs of each generation of planners.”  

Key findings from this survey include the following results:
• The significant number of Generation Y participants for this survey (28%), compared to last year’s European survey (11%) and 2013’s Americas survey (12%), highlights the growing influence of Generation Y Meeting Planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region and potentially globally.
• Generation Y planners prefer attending venue promotional events rather than trade shows, the preferred choice of Generation X.
• Both Generation X and Generation Y dislike phone calls, which suggests that telesales is not the way to promote venues to buyers any longer.
• Digital information is No.1 for providing planners with information they need to consider a venue for their meeting and those who have creative and effective ways of presenting the best virtual experience will please buyers.
• Generation Y buyers place a greater deal of importance on technology capabilities of a venue than any other generation, with Baby Boomers placing location at the top of the list.Generation X place a greater importance on the food and beverage offering than their younger and older counterparts. Having an experiencial learning aspect (teambuilding) is important for Generation Y or Generation Z participants, whereas Baby Boomer attendees appear to have a preference for good quality service.
• 72% of planners consider the age of the attendees when sourcing a venue.
• Baby Boomer appear more cost conscious than the younger generations when selecting a conference venue.
• 91% expect to do business in International English when placing a meeting overseas, an increase over the European study in 2013 (85%).
• 75% of those surveyed said they prefer to use a venue which provided a meetings focused environment and dedicated staff. Generation Y expressed the greatest desire for meeting space that fostered collaboration and learning.

The age groups of the participants were split into five categories: Generation X: age 33-46 (45%), Generation Y or Millennial: age 18-32 (28%), Baby Boomer: age 47-65 (25%), Generation Z: under 18 years (1%) and Mature: +66 years (1%).  

IACC is the only global professional association that represents small to medium sized venues focused on meetings, training courses and conferences. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of quality standards. The organisation serves its members by being the global thought-leader in the meetings industry and currently has 355 members in 21 countries in the Americas, Europe and Australasia.

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