IACC survey reveals latest set of generational preferences of meeting planners

A recent survey conducted by the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI), has revealed new generational preferences of meeting planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region, with implications globally.

“This is the first survey of its kind produced by IACC in the Australia Asia Pacific region and is the third survey following similar research in the Americas and Europe,” says Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC. “There were important differences highlighted in the research in terms of preferences and priorities expressed by planners across the generations. These findings will help prepare meeting industry suppliers and enable them to tailor their products and services to accommodate the individual needs of each generation of planners.”

The age groups of the research participants were split into five categories: Generation X: age 33-46 (45 per cent), Generation Y or the Millennials: age 18-32 (28 per cent), Baby Boomers: age 47-65 (25 per cent), Mature: +66 years (one per cent), and finally, Generation Z: under 18 years (one per cent).

Key findings from this survey include the following results:

  • The significant number of Generation Y participants for this survey (28 per cent), compared to last year’s European survey (11 per cent) and 2013’s Americas survey (12 per cent) highlights the growing influence of Generation Y meeting planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region and potentially globally.
  • Generation Y planners prefer attending venue promotional events rather than trade shows, which is the preferred choice of Generation X.
  • Both Generation X and Generation Y dislike phone calls, which suggests that telesales is not the way to promote venues to buyers any longer.
  • Digital information is the number one choice for providing planners with what they need to consider a venue for their meeting. Those who have creative and effective ways of presenting the best virtual experience will influence buyers.
  • Generation Y buyers place a greater sense of importance on the technology capabilities of a venue than any other generation, with Baby Boomers placing location at the top of the list. Generation X places a greater importance on the food and beverage offering than their younger and older counterparts. Having an experiential learning aspect (teambuilding) is important for Generation Y and Generation Z participants, whereas Baby Boomer attendees appear to have a preference for high quality service.
  • 72 per cent of planners consider the age of the attendees when sourcing a venue.
  • Baby Boomers appear more cost conscious than the younger generations when selecting a conference venue.
  • 91 per cent expect to do business in international English when placing a meeting overseas, an increase over the European study in 2013 (85 per cent).
  • 75 per cent of those surveyed said they prefer to use a venue which provided a meetings-focused environment and dedicated staff. Generation Y expressed the greatest desire for meeting space that fostered collaboration and learning.

To download the IACC APAC Survey 2015, please visit IACC’s website.

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