IACC External Meetings Demand Report 2022

4.4 Final topics After conducting more in-depth research about the newly arising topics from the interviews and surveys, and the already acquired data from desk research, the final trends and factors believed to positively affect demand have been identified:

Flexible meeting spaces

The ability to use the space of a meeting room in diverse ways is of great added value. An interviewee mentioned the convenience of having diverse ways of organising the tables according to the type of meeting taking place. Choosing the right layout is critical as it can influence the meeting participants' perception of the entire event. The layout will help by promoting better learning, encouraging collaboration, providing a successful experience, and enabling proper interaction for brainstorming or team-building exercises (EventMB Studio team, 2017). Since collaboration comes in many forms, the spaces that facilitate it should be diverse as well. Having a variety of options allows employees to choose what is best suited for them. This results in satisfied, more engaged employees and clients for the venues (WeWork, 2021). Movable architectural walls are an excellent example of furniture that meets these requirements. Employees of the venue can install and rearrange them without requiring major renovation. They can do so at late notice (Usiak, 2020). Folding tables are a versatile option for furniture which needs to adapt into a variety of different spaces. The ability to adjust the size of the table to meet the needs is a useful advantage, and its adaptability means that venues will likely keep it for the long term. When space is limited, the ability to fold the table away can be extremely useful, allowing the venue to make the most of the available space when the furniture is no longer needed. Folding tables are available in a variety of designs and styles, as well as different shapes and sizes. There are many different materials used for different looks and feels, ranging from metal and plastic to wood finishes such as maple and oak (Benefits of Folding Tables!, 2019). When there are no possibilities of meeting outside, it can be useful to consider plants. By adding warmth and colour to the venue space, it is a nice way to welcome guests. Plants facilitate the purification of the air and the release of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, if employees spend a lot of time indoors, plants and natural lighting are great ways to bring the outside elements in and make them feel satisfied. It is critical for stimulating creativity and assisting employees in performing at a high level (Shelly, n.d.).

Outdoor Meetings

In several interviews, the clients expressed an interest in holding meetings outside. Partly due to COVID-19, individuals are seeking safer alternatives to connect in person. Being in nature stimulates meeting attendees' senses, resulting in more productive meetings (Outdoor Meetings: The Future of Business Meetups, 2021). Sitting at a desk for extended periods of time can be harmful for our health. Even the lighting in most offices may make meeting participants feel drained and unproductive (Doyle, n.d.). The isolated atmosphere created by COVID-19 has enhanced the need to get outside, although most people find it difficult to do so while working 9-5 jobs. A third of Americans believe their employment and work commitments restrict them from spending more time in nature (APM Research Lab Staff, 2019). Connecting meeting participants with nature provides them with the best of both worlds, still meeting but doing it outdoors.



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