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IACC reports record first-time attendee numbers at its Europe Knowledge Festival in Lisbon

This IACC 2018 Europe Knowledge Festival, which took place at Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon from 5-7 October, recorded its highest number of first-time attendees to date (over 40%), with attendees from 58 IACC venue members, suppliers and industry partners.

The educational conference was attended by over 130 delegates from IACC certified conference and meeting venues from counties throughout Europe (UK, Sweden, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal), Americas and Australia that represent the top 1% of small to mid-size venues. The strongest contingent was from Sweden closely followed by UK.

First time attendees, both IACC members and non-members, included Lane End Conference Centre (UK), Steningevik (Sweden), Stayen Hotel (Belgium) and EEF Venues - Woodland Grange (UK). Returning attendees included The Lensbury (UK), Warwick Conferences (UK), Sigtunahöjden Hotel & Conference (Sweden), Chateauform (Europe) and Kapellerput Conference Hotel (the Netherlands).

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC said: “We were delighted by attendance at this year’s event and particularly to have such a strong new contingency, including from Denmark, which is a developing market for IACC. It has been fantastic hearing first-hand the positive feedback received from our members and attendees and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event, in Brussels, where we’ll to continue to inspire our members and the wider industry with a packed schedule of networking and top educational sessions.”

First-time attendee, Marlene Sylvester-Hvid, Director, Danske Konferencecentre Denmark, said: “We’ve heard great things about the IACC Europe Knowledge Festival and used the opportunity to attend this year in Lisbon as part of the decision-making process as to whether to become an IACC member. I, as well as our partners in attendance, found the event inspiring, a great source of innovative content and information and a fantastic networking opportunity.”

Commenting on his attendance, Rik Hüsken, Owner & General Manager, Kapellerput Conference Hotel in the Netherlands, said: “For me, attending the IACC Europe Knowledge Festival has been a great opportunity to meet with MICE professionals and industry peers from different countries, while exchanging insights and knowledge on industry trends. My main takeaways this year were on digital story-telling, meeting design and the huge importance of customer service. For anyone considering it, I’d definitely recommend joining next year’s IACC Knowledge Festival in Brussels.”

The event also staged ceremonies for the 2018 IACC Europe Future Leaders Award for those demonstrating innovative ideas and initiatives implemented in the workplace, presented to Niclas Jansson, Junior Chef, Sigtunahöjden Hotel & Conference; the 2018 IACC Europe Innovation Award for those proving innovation and creativity in the IACC community was presented to Svenska Moten, for their Meeting School initiative.

Svenska Moten, The Meeting School, said: “The Meeting School is more than an agency selling spaces for member venues; it is a great concept as the supplier holds the client by the hand, guiding them through every aspect of their customer journey, as every industry professional should. It is a great tool to propel innovation and to quickly bring new ‘kids on the block’ on stream.”

IACC pinnacle member recognition, the Global Distinguished Service Award, was presented to Louise Silberman, MD, Summit Conference Centre, Chicago (USA).

Other announcements presented by IACC at the conference included the launch of a new online tool for meeting and event organisers to measure venue internet infrastructure competency during their site inspection, which was launched at IMEX America in Las Vegas (16-18 October 2018), as well as the announcement of IACC’s Guide to Dietary Management report, set to be published in 2018 and IACC’s first live showcase of the Meeting Room of the Future at MPI’s World Education Congress in Toronto (June 2019). More details will be announced in due course.