by Michael J. Shapiro | September 05, 2018
Delivering tailored meetings experiences is the top priority for planners in Latin America, according to newly published research from IACC, formerly known as the International Association of Conference Centres. The organization released the inaugural Latin America edition of its "Meeting Room of the Future" white paper today in collaboration with IBTM Americas, currently taking place in Mexico City.
 
More than nine out of 10 respondents in the region (92 percent) said their current role involves more "experience creation" for attendees than it did five years ago, compared to 80 percent of respondents who indicated the same in last year's global survey conducted by IACC.
 
Survey respondents indicated that, due to tighter budgets and the quest for value, they're more focused now on attendee satisfaction levels than they were five years ago. While Latin American planners also acknowledged the importance of technology in creating content-rich experiences, they were overall not as enthusiastic about specific tech tools as their counterparts in other regions. Just 44 percent of Latin American respondents considered audience polling and Q&A tech as being effective and improving communication, for example, vs. 91 percent of respondents globally. What's more, 11 percent of respondents in the region who have used a conference app said it hindered communication rather than improved it.
 
Another highlight of the paper concerns the demand for more collaborative meeting space, particularly those in the open air. "Access to outdoor spaces to run elements of the meeting, either breakouts, networking, team activities or dining, are more important in Latin American events," observed IACC CEO Mark Cooper.
 
"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," noted IBTM Americas show director David Hidalgo Ayala. "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 center of everything." 
 
The white paper, produced by IACC with assistance from research partner Development Counsellors International, can be downloaded for free. The findings will be part of IACC's third annual global "Meeting Room of the Future" report, which will be released later this month. This year's report will also include an Australia-Asia Pacific edition for the first time.