The International Association of Conference Centers has updated its minimum technology requirements for member facilities. The association’s Technology Task Force published a new reference document, “Design for Great Technology,” which outlines what it considers basic-, medium-, and high-level conference center technology, according to the size of a particular meeting room. The new basic-level technology requirements are now incorporated in the association’s “Universal Criteria” for membership and will be a part of member audits beginning in 2009.
The board of directors approved 10 new technology requirements, including high-speed Internet access for all guest rooms and meeting rooms, as well as these rules for conference rooms over 1,000 square feet in area:
- zoned lighting and controls that permit dimming,
- at least one retractable projection screen,
- at least one built-in, remote-input computer/video–image display system,
- built-in voice reinforcement sound systems,
- at least one microphone input point, and
- at least one set of in-room, sound-system controls.
“We anticipate these new criteria will affect less than 25 percent of members,” says Steve Smith, IACC’s director of quality services and staff liaison to the Technology Task Force. “Although these new standards were not previously spelled out in the Universal Criteria, the great majority of our members have already met the basic-level technology requirements.”
Members that are found to be below the minimum technology standards will be given time to update their infrastructure, says Smith. The Task Force has not yet determined the grace period for members to meet the new criteria.
“Meeting planners looking for venues go to IACC facilities expecting them to be up to par in technology as well as other areas critical to hosting productive meetings,” said Kevin Rupp, chair of IACC’s Technology Task Force and general manager for Benchmark Hospitality International at The Council House and Wingspread, Racine, Wis. “This information goes a long way in making sure that happens and continues to happen.”