Friday, December 28, 2012

Assessing Conference Center Technology Infrastructure

Technology is an ever-changing environment, and it is often difficult for facilities to determine how and where to spend effectively to keep up with those changes. The IACC has developed the Design for Great Technology, which provides an assessment tool for facilities to use to understand where in the technology spectrum they currently fall, and provides benchmarks for basic, medium and high levels of technology in specific areas. This course will introduce participants to the Design for Great Technology, discuss the concepts addressed and provide a practical example of how the assessment tool may be used to determine opportunity areas and items of concern to be addressed during the planning of refurbishments and upgrades to the property.

Make sure you register for this session with 
Eric Bracht, Sr. Consultant, Operations, Electro-Media Design Ltd. Participants will gain... 
  • Knowledge of the Design for Great Technology
  • Understanding of how to use the assessment tool
  • Explanation of the concepts and terms used
Tweet about this session or other sessions you're interested in attending with the hashtag #IACC13. Register for IACC 2013 in Chicago today to experience inspiring conference education this March. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Play in the Sandbox Before Building Your Castle

Leverage the Learning Studio Model to Inform Future Meeting Space Design
When we were kids, the sandbox was a place for experimentation and where new ideas came to life. Spaces in meeting facilities should be no different. For more than five years, Herman Miller has partnered with learning institutions through its Learning Spaces Research Program (LSRP) to explore new approaches to learning space design. This will be an interactive session where you will gain new insights from our research while having the opportunity to play in our specially designed Learning Studio sandbox as well.

Here's what you'll learn from Derrell Jackson, Strategic Education Consultant for Herman Miller Education:
  • Connections between academic and corporate learning/meeting spaces.
  • How space can support different learning and instructing styles.
  • Experiment with new space designs

If you strive to provide planners with the best meeting experience with proven results, you won't want to miss this session with Herman Miller Education. Register today for the IACC Annual Conference in March. Discounted rates will end 12/31/12. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Future of Meetings: The Case for Face-to-Face

Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and Maritz Institute

Mary Beth McEuen, vice president and executive director of the Maritz Institute, explains her research on the continuing importance of face-to-face meetings as an important companion to digital communications. She presented her research findings during the recent Cornell Hospitality Research Summit 2012, and also explained why face-to-face remains important in the digital age in a Cornell Hospitality Industry Perspectives paper written with Christine Duffy.

An excerpt:

With the advent of virtual-meeting technology, the issue of how to format group meetings and events has become remarkably complex. Meetings can be completely virtual, completely face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two. Leading companies are using all three formats. The challenge for meeting planners is to decide which format is most effective for important business outcomes. Rather than rely on personal preferences or currently popular approaches, the decision regarding meeting type is a strategic one that should rest on specific, scientific criteria. This paper examines those science-based decision criteria to help executives determine when face-to-face is the most effective approach to large-group meetings or events. This decision is important because face-to-face meetings require the greatest investment of all meeting types, and thus carry the greatest expectations for a strong return on investment. Face-to-face is most likely to be the best approach in the following three business situations:
  1. To capture attention, particularly when you want to initiate something new or different;
  2. To inspire a positive emotional climate, as a way to catalyze collaboration, innovation, and performance; and
  3. To build human networks and relationships, realizing that information can increasingly be shared virtually whereas the greater value is in people networks and relationships.
The research presented in this paper provides a discerning approach to determining when an investment in large-group face-to-face meetings and events will have the greatest impact.

To download more, please go to "The Future of Meetings: The Case for Face-to-Face,"


From Products to Property: How Third-Party Certification Can Advance Sustainability

Government and corporate travelers continue their efforts to “green” their official travel, but individual consumers are also expressing more interest in staying in accommodations that reflect their personal environmental values. While certification to a comprehensive sustainability standard represents a significant property-wide achievement, not every property is ready to go “all in.” One of the more straightforward initiatives to put into place, and one that is a keystone of a property-wide sustainability program, is to start with purchasing. Purchasers currently use third-party certification for everything from electrical safety to water quality and the use of credible certifications can likewise simplify green procurement. Using effective products with reduced human and environmental hazards can reduce risk to guests and employees while improving efficiency and helping the property to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Many also represent cost-savings and may have other intangible benefits, such as improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.
This session "From Products to Property:  How Third-Party Certification Can Advance Sustainability" at IACC's annual conference in March will explore the range of third-party certification options and sustainability considerations for commodity products such as sanitary paper, housekeeping cleaners, ware washing products, laundry care products, paints and food.

Register today to receive the discounted rate for individuals or a group of 3 or more. IACC's annual conference has discounted rates until 12/31/12 so register before the new year!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

360 Degree Approach to Enhancing the IACC Meeting Experience

The Complete Meeting Experience Package (CMEP)
In these times of economic uncertainty, one thing does remain certain – those organizations providing the greatest value for their clients will succeed and those which are choosing to stay the course and conduct business as usual will struggle. 
Join the facilitator John Potterton as he leads us in an impactful, memorable learning experience designed to generate new ideas and creative solutions to your current business issues. Come prepared to do some walking, observing, writing, discussing and innovative thinking with your industry colleagues. 
What attendees will gain through this session: 
  • Identify the top three business challenges you are facing today
  • Develop new strategies to move your organization forward
  • Create a vision for what you expect your customers will say about your organization in the future
Witness and experience the positive impact of learning in a non-traditional, innovative manner. Register for this session at the IACC 2013 Conference today! Don't miss the discounted rate. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Implementing Menu Change: How to Make Healthy Menus a Reality

Healthy, brain-friendly menus contribute to outstanding meeting experiences, but making all the changes can be complex: facility capabilities, budgets, food sourcing, attendee preferences and other challenges can make a simple change very difficult to accomplish. Ms. Sullivan and Executive Chef Craig Mason combine their expertise to give you a rare view from inside the brain to inside the kitchen. This participative session will explore many tips and strategies to give you what you need so you can offer your clients menus that delight and energize their attendees.
What you'll learn:
  • Identify foods that aid in energizing attendees for great engagement.
  • Recognize the common barriers to menu change and gain a comprehensive view of the many factors involved.
  • Gain tools and strategies to move beyond these barriers to implement the changes required to offer delicious, healthy foods at your venue.
Don't miss this session. Register for the IACC conference in Chicago, IL today! Discounted registration ends December 31, 2012.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Competitive Advantage

Written by Sasha Sook, Sales and Marketing Manager at Summit Executive Centre and a member of the Emerging Trends Committee with IACC.

I’ve always believed no matter what you do you should be the best at it.  As a Sales Manager at Summit Executive Centre I work with meeting planners to ensure they have the proper learning environment.  Everyday I see people from various industries coming from all over the world to grow and prosper in their field.  This inspires me to continue to learn.  With the advancement of technology and ideas being shared at a rapid rate innovation comes into fruition on a daily basis.  To stay current and relevant in your position you must continue to learn.  The way I learn best is to combine different methods of studying.
Read online and print magazines, newspapers and blogs but not just ones that pertain to your industry.  One way to receive articles you’re interested in learning about is to use Google Alerts.  They’ll send you articles written regarding a subject or word.  There are many social opportunities to network and gain valuable education through your local associations.  IACC, MPI, ASTD, Women in Hospitality, PCMA, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, and Concierge Preferred are a few that I am actively involved in.
Becoming certified in your profession can gain you recognition, give you a competitive advantage, peer acceptance, personal achievement and possibly a salary increase.  There are professional certifications in every industry.  I’ve been accepted to become a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and I will be taking my test in January.  Many people have asked me about getting certified, as well as tips on studying.  I think repetition is the best way to retain information.  For the CMP there are four recommended books, I read them all and completed the chapter questions.  It’s a proven fact that if you write something down you’re more likely to retain it.  PCMA and MPI periodically offer study groups that have great success, but since they are not offering those this test period I emailed a few people who have recently taken the test to get their insight.  PCMA also offers an online study course. 

There are many ways people are learning, for example, Webinars, Videoconferences, Reading and the traditional face to face meetings.  A lot of Conference Centers are adopting more unique methods with soft-set room setups or offering graphic facilitation for their groups.
Find a way of learning that best suits you whether it is social or personal and dive in.  You’ll be surprised what you can learn and how much you’ll enjoy it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

IACC Takes Centre Stage at Europe's EIBTM Trade Show

IACC travelled to Barcelona and took centre stage at this years EIBTM Trade Show, promoting the IACC Meetings Experience to global meeting planners and industry professionals alike.  EIBTM is one of the only global industry trade shows to welcome exhibitors and planners from every corner of the globe including a number of North American Meeting Planners as well as professionals and media representatives from every continent.

The IACC stand was staffed by member volunteers from Spain, UK and Netherlands and the stand formed an important hub for a number of other IACC members attending and taking space on other destination stands and corporate stands (but still sporting their IACC logo proudly on their own stands - see below).

Over the three days of EIBTM 2012, it was great to spend time with current members, interested prospective members from as far afield as Columbia and Russia and to talk with industry press about IACC's goal to promote Conference Centres and the Meetings Experience.

With over 5,000 hosted buyers attending this year, EIBTM remains the key European show in the meetings industry calendar and IACC hopes the relationships built will help further strategic alliances with other industry associations and assist in developing membership in new regions!

Rob Davison, speaker at IACC's recent European Conference delivered the Annual Global Meeting Trends Watch Report for 2012, which makes very interesting reading for IACC members interested in what is happening in the meetings industry globally as well as nationally. View the EIBTM Trends Watch 2012.

After the show, the IACC team were able to forward meetings leads for members in Germany, UK, Spain and Florida this year.

The only unwelcome visitor this year was the rain, 'which fell mainly on the plain', as well as everywhere else in Barcelona for three days!