When the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) said it wanted to be the thought leader on the Meetings Experience, they took their commitment seriously. In this first blog to The Venue Pages audience, IACC is pleased to introduce readers and explain exactly why over 400 members in 14 countries look to IACC for fresh inspiration and knowledge to help them create innovative meeting experiences.
IACC’s Emerging Trends Committee released its first comprehensive Guide to Social Media for the hospitality industry at the association’s 31st annual conference in Houston, Texas.
The Emerging Trends Committee represents the perspective of the incoming generation on issues that may have an impact on IACC and/or the conference centre industry. As Co-Chair of the Committee, Sarah Vining, newly named IACC Board Associate, and Marketing Manager at The National Conference Centre in Leesburg, VA, co-authored the Guide with Co-Chair David Haas, outgoing Board Associate.
According to Vining, the goal of the Guide to Social Media was to help conference centres and other meeting venues “successfully launch a brand’s social media strategy.” The Guide features a detailed look at 23 social media platforms
In addition to easy-to-follow Descriptions, Target Markets, Objectives, and Best Practices for each channel, these platforms include currently popular platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn as well as emerging platforms such as Foodspotting and Pinterest.
Vining noted, “Beyond traditional advertising and public relations efforts, social media is another media outlet marketing teams should be utilising to reach clients and guests. To win group business, guests and planners both expect conference centres and hotels to be reachable via social media channels.”
For readers, the entire IACC Guide to Social Media is available to download on the IACC website by visiting http://bit.ly/IACCsocialmedia and further details on how to become a member of IACC can be found at www.iacconline.org .
IACC looks after the commercial interests of its members by developing and maintaining excellent communication channels with all stakeholders involved in hosting corporate and association meetings both domestically and internationally. IACC aims to unlock the expertise of its members to help provide a stage for successful future meetings. There is no shortage of good meeting facilities in the world today, but IACC believes that its members are some of the most passionate examples of venues and associated organisations in the meetings industry! There is no better example of this than what one member in Holland recently did to create a truly exceptional meeting experience. Kapellerput Conference Hotel built a stunning Tree House-style meeting environment in the woods adjacent to the main conference centre. Clients – old and new – now queue up to run their meetings in the ‘KABAN’ as it is truly an inspiring environment for meetings.
Corporate and Association Meeting Planners have grown to trust IACC venues over the 30 years of its existence. Mark Cooper, IACC Vice President for Europe comments “through IACC, I have been able to promote venues at some of the world’s largest trade shows such as EIBTM and IMEX and I quickly realized that meeting planners would trust a IACC-member venue based upon a previous experience at an IACC venue somewhere else in the world. IACC is a brand like no other; it provides individual and small groups an identity which sits alongside and compliments their own brand”.
Just as many in our industry realise that the typical conference delegate will think differently by being around other like-minded people in a new environment, IACC realises that it is equally important for its members to meet and learn from each other. IACC members are typically the most experienced practitioners and most knowledgeable experts worldwide and ideas are exchanged at the many national, regional and international events IACC venues hosts annually.
The association not only helps members with guides like this Social Media Guide to help them communicate with clients, but also uses social media to support the exchange of ideas and communication between members. The IACC LinkedIn discussion board is usually active with some kind of debate or ideas exchange between members!
IACC’s Mission Statement sums up what it aims to achieve for members: “The International Association of Conference Centres is the thought leader on the meeting experience. IACC represents its members by defining and promoting the IACC Meeting Concept and providing learning opportunities”. IACC would love to welcome new members in the Middle East and Africa over the coming years. Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference centre industry and to giving members the tools necessary to provide an exceptional meeting experience. Active members meet a set of Quality Standards and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org.
“There are meetings and then there are IACC meetings.”