Staffing issues put break on venue recovery, IACC report finds

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generic conference room or lecture theatre Photo Credit: Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

The need to fill vacancies and train staff in new skills is putting a break on the recovery of international meeting venues, a new report has found.


The latest quarterly Meeting Room of the Future barometer, by IACC, is a mixed bag of positivity and caution as meeting venue repair the damage of Covid-19.


IACC is the UK-based international association representing the ‘top one per cent of small to medium-sized conference and meeting venues’ in the world.


Issues such as rehiring and reskilling the venue workforce continue to cause venues to place limits on business before reaching usual capacity, according to the barometer.


This latest report also highlights several other key findings including streamlining the sales process for smaller events and automating sales through online bookings.


Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC, said: "The start of 2022 has shown some excellent progress in recovery however, there are still some key areas where venues need support, particularly in staffing. IACC will support its members and community over the next year, by providing important personal and professional development opportunities as the industry continues to repair the skills and knowledge shortfall that exist."


Susan Liston, SVP growth at Aramark Destinations, said: “We find buyer confidence has been increasing over the past 12 months but hasn’t reached 2019 spending levels in the corporate, education, and other non-affinity segments. Lead times are consistently shorter for small to mid-size meetings with more emphasis on regionality in the selection of a location or venue. With the increased price of airfare, car rental, and fuel, planners are looking to “hub” locations near their attendees to reduce both travel time and cost. Hybrid technology is especially relevant for small sessions or board meetings but we’re finding more attendees want to connect in-person and enjoy networking."


The report concludes by saying that many respected economists predict a mild recession by the end of 2023 and explores what this may mean for its members.


"The challenges of managing supply chain disruptions, wild pricing swings and job vacancies experienced today, may well shift to the more predictable, yet still damaging effects a recession has on business events and business travel" it says. "IACC members around the globe will have one eye on delivering services and repairing financial wounds in 2022, and the other on watching for first signs of a slowing economy on their buyers’ booking meetings."


To download the full report visit the IACC Meeting Room of the Future website. The next quarterly IACC Meeting Room of the future Barometer will be released in November 2022.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

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.


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