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Sharing ideas that matter - IACC Americas reinvents its Annual Meeting

IACC-Americas Connect is First of Innovative Multi-Venue Conferences That Are Shorter, More Affordable and Designed to Drive Meaningful Change  

In its 35th year, the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) is reinventing its annual meeting with an array of new learning formats and a theme of “Sharing Ideas That Matter.”  Renamed IACC-Americas Connect, the former IACC Americas Annual Meeting will be held in New York City from April 19-20, 2016.  The event will feature multiple venues, top speakers, a shorter timeframe and a wide choice of lodging accommodations in the city.

Networking events and highly focused workshops have been designed to attract new attendees, share global meetings experiences and address issues facing the industry.  The event will be held at different New York City locations, including Convene Midtown East, Pier 60 and locations around Chelsea Market.  

IACC-Americas Connect is the first of a new breed of IACC conferences purpose-designed to drive real and meaningful change in the meetings industry, according to IACC CEO Mark Cooper. “IACC’s mission is to connect people, sharing meaningful ideas and enabling positive change,” Cooper says. “We have created an event that is educational, affordable and focused on the most innovative and effective trends in the industry.” IACC tested this model with great success at its European-members event in Milan, Italy, this past October.  

“New York is the perfect place to launch this revolutionary project,” Cooper asserts. A goal of the event is to offer different venue experiences, as these are one of the most important take-aways for our members who attend. We are delighted to include Convene Midtown East in our venue line up."  

IACC Members have indicated a preference for shorter, more impactful conferences with good accessibility, affordable registration and dynamic collaborative learning opportunities. To make the conference effective and affordable, the time has been shortened to two days and IACC members can attend for one day or for the entire event.   

In another break from tradition, members can stay at the accommodation of their choice. “There is no obligation to stay at recommended hotels.” TJ Fimmano, IACC-Americas president says. “New York offers a wide choice of accommodations and price points.” Pre-conference tours and culinary experiences in the Big Apple will also be part of the line-up.   

IACC expects many delegates to combine IACC-Americas Connect with business meetings and client contacts, adding further value to their conference investment. “We want our members to make the most from their attendance next year, including coming together and exploring ways to shape the industry and deliver innovative meetings experiences,” says Jason MacEachen, chair of the planning committee, noting that IACC created this new paradigm to encourage junior managers to attend.  

The introduction of new exciting meeting environments and embracing the changing way people want to meet is one of the main themes, which April's event will carry. “Our members come together to address challenges and create opportunities in a very open way. The mantra, 'Together we are Stronger' describes IACC's members perfectly!” Cooper points out. “Today’s conferences should not only deliver education but also encourage exchanges that produce real workable solutions.”  

IACC will also continue its successful partnership with host-city universities. Working with NYU School of Professional Studies, Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, IACC will give scholarships that enable students to attend as well as contribute to the Conference Planning Committee.  

“If you are passionate about meetings and want to be surrounded by the best in the meetings business, don’t miss this event!"  says Alex Cabañas, recently-elected president of IACC and the CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International. “IACC-Americas Connect will break the mold this year introducing new concepts and innovations while remaining true to the benefits of networking and education which have been a part of IACC since inception. The industry is changing at a rapid pace – you must ask yourself, are you changing fast enough to stay relevant? At IACC, we are, so come join us!”

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