IACC today released the inaugural Latin America edition of its ‘Meeting Room of the Future’ white paper, created in collaboration with IBTM Americas. The paper reveals that the number one priority for event planners in the LATAM region is delivering against the audience’s increasing expectation for tailored experiences, driven by new technologies fusing with the event sector and a move towards more creative delegate engagement.
92% of respondents in the region report that their current role involves more ‘experience creation’ for delegates versus five years ago – compared to only 80% of respondents to the global survey in 2017. One respondent stated, “Five years ago, the objectives were very simple, today I work to ensure that each event has something new to offer. Achieving customer expectations has been a challenge”.
As budgets tighten and focus on value for money increases, LATAM respondents reported that they are more driven than they were five years ago by ensuring attendee satisfaction levels, and also predict that the focus on experience creation will continue to be at the heart of meetings development due, in part, to the desire from delegates for new ways to learn, decreasing attention spans and as a way to generate a memorable event to positively impact future sales.
Technology continues to play a key role in creating content rich experiences: “Meetings today need to be dynamic. Attendees no longer come simply to listen. They want interactive activities, networking opportunities and venues that are technologically advanced,” stated another respondent.
Whilst across the globe respondents agree that interaction and engagement are key to creating successful events, it’s clear that in LATAM, not all technologies are perceived as offering real benefits. Audience polling and Q&A technologies were not considered as being effective and not improving communication in LATAM versus global respondents (44% in LATAM vs 91% globally), with 11% of respondents who have used a conference app reporting that it hindered communication rather than improved it.
Discussing the findings, David Hidalgo Ayala, Show Director IBTM Americas, commented: “Experiences and interaction are at the very core of what we do and interestingly, despite the ever-increasing use of technology in events, personal relationships and face-to-face meetings still take priority. As new technologies are embraced, in LATAM especially event planners are more committed to and capable of delivering truly memorable and unique experiences for attendees.
“Looking to the future, it’s clear that event planners must stay on the cutting edge of industry innovations if they are to create more flexible, interactive, personal and collaborative events. Many changes are coming in terms of food, amenities, facilities and of course, technology, but it’s essential that we don’t lose sight of the fact that, especially in our industry, human relationships are at the centre of everything."
IACC’s CEO, Mark Cooper, commented: “It is clear from our Latin America report that experience creation is at the heart of delivering successful meetings in this region. This is largely driven by advancements in technology and also in the way the younger generations are influencing the consumption of information as they look for a more personal experience. In order to continue to build a successful future, it’s essential that event planners and venues continue to embrace the changes ahead.”
A full copy of Meeting Room of the Future - Latin America is available for download here. The report will form part of IACC’s third annual global Meeting Room of the Future report, due to be released later this September, which this year has also been bolstered with an Australia Asia Pacific edition. Together, the reports deliver insights from 500 global conference and meeting buyers to identify new trends and illustrate how previous trends have evolved in the past year. IACC produces the Meeting Room of the Future reports with assistance from their research partner, Development Counsellors International (DCI).
The IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ initiative aims is to identify new and emerging trends across technology, education, meeting and networking spaces and food & beverage within the meeting and conference global industry, as well as predicting the landscape of the industry over the next three to five years. IACC’s other global trends reports can be downloaded here.