IACC External Meetings Demand Report 2022

The outdoors creates a comfortable environment. If your meeting participants feel at ease, they may feel more confident in offering comments or opinions and provide more useful input (R., 2019). In recent years, meeting technology has advanced to the point that it is now possible to move a part of your meeting outside using portable lighting, video equipment, and a Wi-Fi connection (Baum, 2021).

The rising importance of technology

Technology is changing the way people connect at all levels, from social to meeting environments. Because some technological advancements bring both possibilities and risks to the business, how the sector interprets and addresses these concerns will be essential (Kan, 2021). Before, content in meetings was often provided using flip charts or conventional chalkboards with the assistance of paper handouts; however, information is now delivered via elegant PowerPoint presentations. Technology that did not even exist a few years ago is shaping the way conferences, meetings, and events are held today. For example, organisers can add a whole layer of networking and connectivity before and during the meeting by utilising social media tools, and the meeting can be extended through participant online communities long after the actual event is over. Many facilities have also integrated wireless networks into their current systems, offering event participants, exhibitors, and meeting planners a completely new set of capabilities. With enough bandwidth, any access point can manage all machines that require a network connection, such as cell phones, laptops, tablets, badge and card readers, and web conferencing. Furthermore, many venues are spending a lot of money to outfit their conference rooms with cutting-edge technology that allows their clients to choose between face-to-face meetings and hybrid meetings. Meanwhile, meeting planners are turning to customised websites to broadcast program information, conference materials, travel information, and to integrate online registration software (Aksentyeva et al., 2020).

Experience Economy

Nowadays, more people prioritise experiences over tangible products. Goods and services are no longer enough. The experience economy has grown exponentially, with companies using services as a stage for the memorable experience they’re selling. For instance, more and more people are choosing to eschew traditional taxis in favour of ride-sharing services that allow them to meet new people. Studies have shown that spending our money on experiences makes us happier. They bring more lasting joy, often because they can be shared with others, as well as offering shareability on social media. Experiences are a way to build community and deepen relationships (Longo, 2019). In the influential 1998 article Welcome to the Experience Economy, American consultants Joseph Pine and James Gilmore argued that a marketable experience occurs "when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event". These experiences were, "inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual or even spiritual level"(Lewis, 2018). " So, by creating the desired experience of the individual on a personal level, a long-established relationship will be made.

Loyal customers

There is a great importance of maintaining loyal customers as a company. Maintaining loyal customers has a positive influence on the demand for an organisation ’s product or services. When a customer is loyal to a company, they are not quickly influenced by cost or accessibility. They would prefer to pay more for a higher



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