IACC report reveals evolving trends in the events sector



# tags: Trends , Venues , Events , IACC , Meetings Industry , Technology , Sustainability

The use of artificial intelligence and adapting to the needs of Generation Z are some of the trends for events, according to the IACC report.

The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) has released the results of the Meeting Room of the Future Report 2024, which combines the research and knowledge of 170 meeting space operators around the world to offer a comprehensive analysis of the sector and predict future trends.

IACC explains that, according to the report, the adoption of artificial intelligence throughout the sector remains relatively low and is mainly confined to a few specific areas (such as marketing, data analysis and revenue management). However, around 35 per cent of the venues are considering expanding their use of artificial intelligence to menu planning, food waste management, guest services and food ordering.

Meeting Room of the Future also finds that venues are adapting to accommodate the behavioural differences of Generation Z: while some are incorporating more breaks and personal time into their events, others are opting for smaller groups to promote greater individual involvement. In addition, more than 70 per cent of event spaces now encourage connecting with nature.

Food and drink preferences are also continuing to evolve. Just under half of venues report a decrease in alcohol consumption and, on the other hand, venues are dealing with an increase in requests for complex and specific diets.

Sustainability continues to be a priority for venues; many have implemented programmes to reduce food waste (83%) and to eliminate single-use plastics (88%). In addition, three-quarters of venues now have an environmental or sustainability certification.

‘This year's study reaffirms how face-to-face meetings are evolving and how venues are adapting to the type of experiences expected by business event organisers for their attendees. Social responsibility is at the centre of many of these trends and the report clearly shows that venues are keeping pace with the development of their facilities and services,’ says Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC, in a press release.

Nancy Lindemer, global president of the IACC, considers that ‘the conclusions of the IACC's annual Meeting Room of the Future report continue to be a beacon for the small meetings sector’. ‘The importance of creating experiences and networking and the need to combine nature and technology are the guideposts for how our clients want to meet - and the expectations that we, as an industry, must be prepared to fulfil,’ she adds.

She adds that ‘the changes in the food and drink sector over the years demand flexibility and inclusion. Meeting the diverse needs of all guests in a way that is sustainable and thoughtful, while being economical and, above all, delicious, is a challenge that IACC properties are creatively meeting.’

The report, which concludes that as attendees' behaviours and preferences continue to evolve, so must meeting spaces, can be consulted here.

The Meeting Room of the Future Report 2024 was presented by IACC, together with Development Counsellors International, a strategic research partner.