venues are enjoying a post-pandemic boom, according to the head of an industry trade
body, but staffing issues presented an ongoing challenge.
Mark Cooper, CEO of
IACC, the International Association of Conference
Centres, said most of his members were fully booked through the first
quarter of 2023.
He said IACC
members were enjoying a ‘moment’ as organisations booked smaller, more frequent
meetings but inflation was clouding the medium-term outlook.
“Lead times are
still very short compared to how things were before the pandemic and there is some
uncertainty around the second and third quarter of 2023.”
Speaking to AMI at
IBTM World, the meetings industry trade show in Barcelona, Cooper said staffing
was still a major challenge for conference centres.
“It’s not necessarily
about the numbers anymore, but about ensuring the people who are coming into
the industry have the right knowledge for the job,” he said. “The skillset has evolved in the last two
years, so that’s a leadership challenge we are helping our members with right
IACC has recently extended
its partnership with venue booking agency Swedish Meetings, effectively adding
another 80 venues to its list of accredited members.
things, the collaboration, which takes IACC’s membership to around 200, will
give the Swedish venues access to IACC’s international market intelligence.
Michael Schüller, Swedish Meetings CEO, said: "We
see our partnership with IACC as an important platform to be able to highlight
Sweden as one of the most sustainable meeting destinations in the world.
Through IACC, we open a window for international conference guests to come here
and meet in a sustainable way.”
Cooper added: "This partnership is extremely exciting and will lead to
significant growth for IACC in Sweden and Europe in general. There is a
natural affinity between our and Swedish Meetings' members, with a shared
commitment to quality, knowledge sharing and the pursuit of a more sustainable
meetings industry. We look forward to working with our new members to
deliver real value and demonstrate the broad benefits of membership.”
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.