This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

IACC reveals the Top 10 Meeting Tech Trends for 2015

Useful tips for meeting planners contribute towards healthier conferences 

Following extensive research among the 355 members of the International Association of Conference Centres, the association released its Top 10 Meeting Tech Trends for 2015, which are influencing meeting planners and venue operators across the globe.
Mark Cooper, IACC’s CEO, commented, “Meeting Planners are seeing their role influenced more and more by technology, not just for the meeting itself, but in researching and booking venues, how planners interact onsite and how they communicate following the meeting.”  Cooper continued with, “The balance between technology and in-person relationships is an interesting one, with a need to attain a balance of the two in order to plan and deliver successful meeting outcomes.”


1. Look out, here comes Gen Y, The Millennials! - More fluent in technology, this new generation is addicted to social media, is even more environmentally conscious than their predecessors--the Gen Xers, and has high expectations of connectivity, interactivity, and the ability to influence and engage in dialogue.  They know how to seek out free Wi-Fi, and as they enter the workplace and start attending meetings, they expect Wi-Fi to always be free and fast!

2. Think Socialising rather than Networking - Socialising at work used to be frowned upon, taking on somewhat negative connotations.  But increasingly, socialising is seen as relationship-building and for meetings, conference venues encourage relaxed socialising by providing multi-use spaces for conferees to gather together.  It turns out that conferees actually do talk business in these welcoming environments!

3. Switch up the Mood! - Meeting rooms have seen radical makeovers in terms of design, colour and creative seating options of late. New developments in technology have allowed venues and organisers to instantly change the look and feel of a meeting room with user controllable LED mood lighting, high-tech furniture groupings and more.

4. Geofence Your Conference - Important advances in GPS-based app technology enable planners and venues to now personalise a conferee’s welcome and offer other location-based alert notifications upon arrival.  For example, a badge is printed when the delegate enters the geofence (think venue), with notification sent via the app to the badge printing location. Providing useful location information and navigation assistance, the geofence can notify attendees where they are on a map and give guidance on where they wish to go.

5. Conference Networking and Information Exchange - Developments in app-based two-way communication means that with user permission, one’s smart phone can easily transmit contact information, social media profiles, specific meeting room access information, meal tracking, food preferences, and much more. Communication between attendees can be enhanced with notifications, pictures and other information about who is nearby.   Consider the value of automated demonstrations (videos, etc.) for exhibitor products that meeting groups can offer their sponsors as a marketing enhancement.  Instant and targeted contact is king today; new technologies and applications that help foster participant engagement and social interaction will grow in popularity and usage. 

6. The Sky’s the Limit...For Now! - We have seen a dramatic rise in the use of drones in extreme sports -- and now conference organisers are using this affordable technology to capture creative event photos and map out the venue for GPS integrated conferences.  What will “tomorrow’s” technology bring to outpace the functionality of drones!

7. The Days of the Cable are Numbered - Just when venues think their under-counter box of chargers is current and complete, technology moves on and we get closer to a single standard for wireless charging technology, after years of competing standards. Currently pushing for a single standard, QI Consortium boasts wireless charging points in 3,000 hotels.  With large scale furniture makers such as IKEA installing standardised wireless charging into tables and desks they sell, the writing is on the wall for meeting venues to incorporate wireless charging points into bar tops, meeting room tables and guestrooms.  They better do so this year, as 2015 is sizing up to be the year the hospitality industry finally took standardising wireless charging technology and its availability seriously!

8. Meet your Virtual Colleague - There are times when its just not possible to get everybody in the same place at the same time.  Conference venues understand this and are making the virtual attendee experience much better.  How?  Venues are developing meeting rooms with multiple ceiling-mounted microphones, high-bandwidth connectivity and advanced software solutions to provide seamless integration into the meeting for virtual attendees, faculty and guest speakers.  Additionally, there is an increase in clients wanting to capture video to send to another physical location, where a second group of participants are gathered.

9. Conference Venues Welcome Streetview Technology - The trend toward part-time meeting planners who are NOT full-time professional planners but may be an executive assistant, marketing coordinator, human resource professional or department head, is on  the increase.  Today's meeting planner, therefore, expects and requires more from their venue partners, in terms of evaluating venues’ capabilities to support their meeting or event.  When a planner cannot conduct an in-person venue inspection, technology is fast evolving using the Google Street View concept to provide valuable virtual venue tours, multiple room images showing different meeting layouts and even property video footage. 

10. Buying Your Meeting Online - More and more clients are using the web as their primary tool for making purchasing decisions. One IACC venue recently reported 70% of all new business comes via online search activities and they expect that number to grow.  The venues that will be the most successful in capturing this business will have websites that serve not only as marketing brochures but as the primary tool for their clients to plan, book, purchase, and engage with them for their next meeting.

Submit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Latest appointments

James McCulloch Thomson
New Chef on the Menu at Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa - Aberfoyle, Scotland
Macdonald Hotels has announced that renowned chef, James McCulloch Thomson, is joining Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel & Spa in Aberfoyle as executive head chef.
Read more
Franck Kermarrec
Millennium Hotels and Resorts appoints new Global Chief Marketing Officer
Millennium Hotels and Resorts has announced that Mr Franck Kermarrec has been appointed Global Chief Marketing Officer. Kermarrec joins Millennium Hotels and Resorts from Hertz International, where he was leading their business and commercial strategy.
Read more
Hicran Ozbuk
Istanbul CVB’s GM elected as the Chairperson of ICCA Mediterranean Chapter
General Manager of Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hicran Ozbuk has been named as the chairperson of ICCA Mediterranean Chapter for 2 years’ term.
Read more
Jade Boulter
Jade Boulter appointed General Manager of Holiday Inn Sutton hotel
Jade Boulter has been appointed General Manager of Holiday Inn Sutton hotel. A young and ambitious hotelier, Boulter will lead the 78-strong team at the 119-bed Sutton hotel, welcoming guests from across the region
Read more

FAM Trips

FAM group at Robinsons hotel

Sana Hotels have Lisbon covered

Hotel Republic, the UK representatives of SANA Hotels, gave an invited group a memorable taste of Portugal’s capital. Michelle Chenery reports
Read more
FAM group at Robinsons hotel

Great fun and food at Robinson Club Resorts

Michelle Chenery reports on a Fam Trip to Austria with Hotel Republic
Read more
Fast lap cars at Spa

A week’s incentive - in three days

Michelle Chenery visits Liege and Spa in Wallonia
Read more
Leeds Castle

Micest Event at Leeds Castle

ANTOR and ITCM hosted a fun gathering
Read more
Portaventura

PortAventura – a world class and versatile events option

Michelle Chenery reports on a Fam Trip to see much more than a theme park
Read more
Madeira

Madeira offers exciting accommodation, views, cuisine and transport

Michelle Chenery reports on a trip to Portugal’s pearl of the Atlantic, hosted by Uniqueworld and the DMC, Abreu
Read more

ITCM slept here

Carlton Towers

Carlton Towers turns dream into reality

Lauren Stiles enjoys an incentive weekend at the home of Lord and Lady Gerald
Read more
Marriott Heathrow/Windsor Hotel

A venue that adds so much to every event

Alexander James reports on a stay at Marriott Heathrow/Windsor Hotel
Read more
The Arden Hotel

Enjoy Henry VIII luxury at Leeds Castle in Kent

Roger St Pierre is almost lost for words
Read more
Chilston Park

A Kent stately home at your service

Roger St Pierre marvels at Chilston Park
Read more
Najeti Hôtel Du Golf

French golf venue in easy reach

Roger St Pierre reports on Najeti Hôtel Du Golf
Read more
Inspira Santa Marta Hotel

One of the world’s best for sustainability

Michelle Chenery reports on Lisbon’s Inspira Santa Marta Hotel
Read more

ITCM Visits

Northcote

Great cuisine, exciting activity and team-building at Northcote

Michelle Chenery dines, drives and goes shooting in Lancashire
Read more
Luxembourg

Country of castles and commitment

Sydney Paulden was entranced on a visit to Unexpected Luxembourg
Read more
Chillon Castle view

Prime Lake Geneva destinations

Michelle Chenery visits Lausanne and Montreux
After a short flight with Swiss Air, we landed at Geneva airport to be met by Philips Excursions transfers services.
Read more
 Barceló Sants hotel

Barceló Sants - out of this world meeting options

Briony Key goes where no ITCM reporter has gone before
The chance to go to Barcelona brought back memories of back packing around Europe, so I jumped at the opportunity to see how .....
Read more
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel

Thinking Paris? Think Pullman

Briony Key reports on a visit to the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Sleek and chic, standing on the Left Bank of the Seine, the Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel is stylish and very well situated.
Read more

Destination reports

Cloth Hall Court

Work hard and play hard in Leeds

Roger St Pierre reviews how much this great city has to offer
Read more
Lisbon

How well do you know Lisbon?

Michelle Chenery reports on the city’s multi-faceted MICE facilities
It is easy to see why ICCA has rated Lisbon as one of the world’s Top Ten Destinations for international meetings and congresses.
Read more
Seoul floating islands

Seoul should be on your shortlist

Sydney Paulden reports on a visit to a fascinating and friendly city
It seems as if Korea has until now been somewhat overshadowed by the aggressive international marketing of some of its Far Eastern neighbours.
Read more
Sweden

Gothenburg has Europe’s largest integrated venue

Jan Erik reports on how Sweden’s second largest city has become a major player in the MICE market.
You might be forgiven for knowing very little about Gothenburg.
Read more
Hyatt Zilara, Jamaica

A new view of Jamaica

Michelle Chenery reports on an unexpected itinerary along Montego Bay’s Elegant Corridor
The Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva quality service starts as soon as you arrive at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay.
Read more