Latin American Planners Spice Up Experiences, Survey Says

meeting room of the future
Photo Credit: IACC

Meeting planners in Latin America are increasingly driven to meet their attendees’ expectation for tailored experiences and engagement. That’s among the key findings of the first Latin American edition of IACC’s “Meeting Room of the Future” survey, which was done in concert with IBTM Americas.

Ninety-two percent of the nearly 500 respondents to the survey said “experience creation” was big and getting bigger—compared to 80 percent of respondents to a global survey taken last year.

“Five years ago, the objectives were simple,” stated one respondent. “Today I work to ensure that each event has something new to offer. Achieving customer satisfaction has been a challenge.”

There were other noteworthy differences between the global and regional findings, including:

Health and wellness: Latin American respondents said their companies were more focused on health and well-being.

F&B: Respondents felt strongly that having continuous refreshments versus set times was increasingly popular. “The traditional plated meal is going away,” said one respondent.

Meeting room types: Respondents favored flat-floored rooms offering flexible layouts, or rooms set in a homelike, lounge style. Auditoriums and rooms with no natural light were not favored.

Technology: Responses were mixes. “Meetings today need to be dynamic. Attendees no longer come simply to listen. They want interactive activities, networking opportunities and venues that are technologically advanced,” said another respondent. Yet overall responses yielded only 44 percent saying that audience polling and Q&A technologies were effective (versus 91 percent globally).

David Hidalgo Ayala, show director for IBTM Americas, commented, “Despite the ever-increasing use of technology in events, personal relationships and face-to-face meetings still take priority…It’s clear that event planners must stay on the cutting edge of industry innovation if they are to create more flexible, interactive, personal and collaborative events. Many changes are coming in terms of food, amenities, facilities and, of course, technology, but it’s essential that we don’t lose sight of the fact that, especially in our industry, human relationships are at the center of everything.”