uring the Meeting Professionals
International’s World Education
Congress this summer, the
International Association of
Conference Centers (IACC) held an
educational session entitled “Visioneering
Meeting Room Future” to update
attendees on its annual Meeting Rooms of
the Future report.
This year’s report found that meeting planners especially liked
flexibility of meeting space, networking spaces adjacent to the
meeting event, delegates discovering the locality and regional culture
of the event’s location, food and beverage offerings and access to
authentic local area experiences.
And what’s especially appreciated, according to attendees at the
MPI session, is to have experiential elements added to the initial bud-
geting process, providing a more transparent, all-inclusive transaction.
Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC and the session’s presenter, said
some of the key areas discussed were trends in food and beverage,
technology and the delegates’ experience during meetings. He added that it was apparent that planners are experiencing a growing
expectation to incorporate communication-based technologies
into their events, but there’s clearly some uncertainty as to which
makes a difference and provides the best value.
Properties and conference centers in the Western U.S. and Mexico are trending in several all-inclusive themes and aspects.
After Benchmark Hospitality International and Gemstone Hotels
& Resorts merged last year, the “new” Benchmark has been using
all-inclusive elements at its hotels, resorts and conference centers,
which now total 70, “making the whole budget thing for meeting
planners a whole lot easier,” said Andrew Finn, vice president of
group sales at the firm’s The Woodlands, Texas, headquarters.
Especially from a meals standpoint, Finn said allocating for F&B
in the preliminary budget can save up to 22 percent in banquet
TURTLE BAY, OAHU
BY ROBERT CARLSEN
From F&B to adventure, all-inclusive
meetings are hitting on all the trends