Regional meetings are widely expected to lead the recovery of the meetings industry. According to research from Northstar Meetings Group, nearly 30 percent of event planners expect to hold more regional and local events over the next 12-18 months. In preparation, IACC, formerly known as the International Association of Conference Centres, has launched a new MultiPOD meeting solution.
The offering allows groups to hold one simultaneous meeting, with in-person attendees gathered at two or more IACC-certified venues. Each location or 'pod' is designed as a proper meeting in its own right, but is connected digitally to the other meeting pods to encourage collaboration.
IACC has more than 400 certified meeting venues in 25 countries. To host a MultiPOD meeting, IACC venues must pledge to embrace intervenue collaboration and interweaving technologies. The IACC MultiPOD Meeting Venue Pledge, which covers meeting space requirements and technological considerations, was designed in partnership with audiovisual production companies PSAV and Electro-Media Design.
"This has been designed to cater for the way meetings need to happen in the current climate and is underpinned by our commitment to venue excellence," said IACC CEO Mark Cooper. "Given global restrictions on travel and limits on the number of people who can gather in person, many business events will take place regionally in smaller groups. However, that does not diminish the desire for in-person live experiences and to foster cross-fertilization of ideas across countries and continents."
IACC plans to use the MultiPOD meeting solution for its 2021 IACC Americas Connect conference. The event, which will be held on March, 16, 2021, will use technology to connect pod meetings in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Toronto.