IACC Venue Members Trends and a New World Order

Short for time? Scroll to the bottom to discover the key takeaways.

In episode eight of New In Events, a podcast by IBTM, hosts Mike Fletcher and Paul Cook delve into the trends currently impacting venues and events professionals. 

A few days after our recorded conversation with IACC’s European Director, Gail Tomlinson-Short, the global association for small to medium-sized meeting venues released the findings from its 2024 Meeting Room of the Future Report.

The report, which combines research and insights from 170 venue operators worldwide echoed many of the trends talked about by Gail - both from her IACC perspective and her role as Business Development Director at Warwick Conferences in the UK. 

The 2024 Meeting Room of the Future Report found that venues are having to adjust to accommodate the behavioural differences of the next generation. Some incorporate breaks and personal time into their events, while others opt for smaller group settings to encourage one-to-one engagement. In addition, over 70% of venues now encourage connection to the natural world via outdoor meeting space.

Moreover, venues continue to prioritise sustainability. Many have implemented schemes to cut food waste (83%) and eliminate single-use plastics (88%). Additionally, three-quarters of venues now hold environmental or sustainability certification.

Food and beverage preferences also continue to evolve, with just under half of venues noting a decrease in alcohol consumption. Additionally, venues are dealing with a rise in complex and specific dietary requests.


Also included in the report was the finding that AI adoption across the industry remains relatively low and is mostly confined to a few specific areas (namely marketing, data analysis and revenue management). However, a significant proportion of venues (35%) are considering expanding their use of AI to include menu planning, food waste management, guest services and food ordering.

Naturally, AI was also one of three areas of focus covered by IBTM’s World Trends Report 2024.

Alistair Turner, the report’s author dropped by the podcast booth at IBTM World last year to discuss how AI, the economy and four billion global voters heading to the ballot box will shape 2024.

In episode eight, we hear what Alistair had to say before Paul Cook and I discuss what’s happened since his assessment, including the calling of a General Election in the UK, the culmination of the world’s longest-running and largest elections in India, and what it all has to do with events.

“The events industry stands for honest and authentic information being passed in a face-to-face, person-to-person way. To me, that means we have a major influence - if we lean into it - on the conversations that are going to define a lifetime in 2024.” - Alistair Turner.

Our trends episode of New In Events, a podcast by IBTM is available to download now and the series so far can be found on Spotify here.

Don’t forget to ‘pass the pod’ via social media and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from so you don’t miss a single episode.


Key takeaways from Episode Eight of New in Events 

  • The three A’s of AI and what they mean for event planners - Accessibility, Augmentation, and Automation.
  • Countries with a combined population of four billion will vote this year. But in a world of deep fakes and AI can we trust what leaders and politicians tell us if we haven’t experienced it in a live environment?
  • 75% of venues consider hybrid event streaming as essential while 87% prioritise technology that allows for remote meeting access.
  • 88% of venues have programs to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics.
  • 83% of venues have formal plans to manage food waste
  • 78% of venues have environmental or sustainable certification
  • 84% of venues anticipate investment in Internet and Broadband in the next 12 months


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