(St. Louis, MO) – June 2012 – For the third consecutive year, the International Association of Conference Centers of the Americas conducted a series of customer roundtables designed to gather direct feedback from customers and potential customers of IACC conference centres. The primary purpose of the on-going marketing project is to strengthen and expand the IACC Meeting Concept which continues to differentiate IACC members from traditional hotels and meeting venues.
According to Peter Stockmann, President, IACC-Americas (and CEO, 3P Business Solutions), “With this third series of face-to-face customer roundtables, we sought to compare the results from the previous two years and keep our priorities in check. The focus is to make sure we are aware of the customer’s wants and needs and to ensure that we continue to provide an exceptional meeting experience.”
As in previous years, the market research program took place at IACC-member properties in the United States and Canada. The information gathered at the roundtables continues to provide IACC with important data that will allow the association to make sure the mission statement (“to be the thought leader on the meeting experience”) remains relevant.
Based on a highly-interactive format developed by former IACC President Neil Pompan (President of Pompan Hospitality Global) the roundtables were created to:
• Strengthen and expand awareness of the conference centre concept
• Get direct feedback from customers to ensure that the IACC Quality Standards
are current, relevant and on target.
• Generate usable market intelligence to share with member properties
• Generate quantifiable data that point to market trends.
Highest ranked items in the 2012 survey include:
10.0 Financial Set-up fees included in the Complete Meeting Package (CMP)
9.9 F&B Customize a menu to accommodate special dietary requirements
9.8 Financial CMP — A single package price – No nickel and diming
9.8 Meeting Room Individual Meeting Room Climate control
9.8 Technology Skilled on-site AV/IT technicians to handle every need
9.7 F&B Continuous Refreshment Break Service
9.7 Financial Meeting room rental expenses included in CMP
9.7 Meeting Room Ergonomic Chairs
9.6 Meeting Room Acoustically rated walls that guarantee no sound distractions
9.6 Technology At Least One (1) LCD projector
Participants in the surveys were provided a deck of 57 cards, each of which had one component of an “ideal meeting,” in eight general areas: Business Services; F&B; Financial; Guest Room; Meeting Room; Meeting Amenities; Technology; and Other. Groups evaluated and ranked all 57 components in terms of their importance to the ideal meeting. The facilitator then displayed a spreadsheet with the collective ranking of all components which fueled a discussion of priorities and what are the essential elements of the ideal meeting environment.
In previous years, the highest ranked items in the categories of Food and Beverage, Meeting Room, and Technology. In the most recent surveys, the highest ranked items came from the Financial category for the first time, followed by Food & Beverage and Meeting Room Design.
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