The number of conference centers across the U.S. is on the rise. This overabundance is challenging many meeting planners as they seek the best facility to achieve their organizations’ goals and expectations. Lending a helping hand and navigating through the menagerie of options is the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). IACC is a not-for-profit, facilities-based organization whose members represent the most productive meeting facilities around the world.
IACC insists each member venue meets a rigorous set of 31 standards before it can join the organization. These stringent requirements are focused on six distinct areas.
• Priority of Business: All IACC conference centers must be designed to maximize the productivity of small to mid-sized meetings with an average attendance of 25 to 75 people.
• Conference Room Design: Meeting spaces must be outfitted with features such as ergonomic chairs, non-glare tables and appropriate lighting.
• Conference and Business Services: Each facility must offer a single point of contact for each group to assist in meeting the goals of the conference as well as an on-site business center for basic business needs.
• Food and Beverage: IACC facilities provide flexible dining options ready to meet the need of each conference group, including continuous refreshments available outside the meeting room.
• Conference Technology: Each venue must maintain a comprehensive inventory of audiovisual equipment, conference technologies and skilled technicians to support each conference.
• Guest Rooms: All guest rooms in an IACC facility are business-friendly, offering desks, Internet connectivity and appropriate seating to use these services.
While these high standards earn the appreciation of meeting planners, they limit IACC membership to only the best facilities around the world. IACC has five chapters – Australia, Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom and North America. Currently more than 300 conference centers are IACC members.
Members include commercial conference centers, corporate training centers and college and university conference centers. Typically one person at the facility serves as the principal IACC contact. However, every venue employee can take advantage of membership benefits. In addition to facility memberships, IACC offers Affinity Partner memberships for those who supply products and services to conference centers.
IACC members receive numerous benefits for their diligent efforts to meet the organization’s stringent criteria. Each member is included in the organization’s Global Membership Directory, which is distributed to 14,000 conference planners each year. Members also receive a complimentary home page on the IACC Web site that allows planners to directly contact facilities of interest with RFPs.
Education and networking are important components of IACC membership. Along with educational workshops offered throughout the year, each chapter hosts an annual conference with educational and networking opportunities. The organization is also close to implementing a certificate program in conference planning and services as well as conference sales.
IACC has a full-time staff devoted to serving the needs of IACC members and applicants as well as meeting professionals who are seeking venues. For more information, contact IACC:
243 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63141
Phone: (314) 993-8575