Did you know that members of the International Association of Conference Centers (www.iacconline.org), St. Louis, Mo., must meet dozens of criteria in various categories in order for their facilities to be accepted? It may help a planner to know just what those criteria are. Here is a small sampling:

  • A minimum of 60 percent of the meeting space must be dedicated, single-purpose conference space.

  • Conference centers must offer and promote a package plan (complete meeting package, or CMP) that includes conference rooms, guest rooms, three meals, continuous refreshment service, conference services, and basic audiovisual equipment.

  • At least 60 percent of all meeting space must use ergonomically designed chairs.

  • Conference rooms must be climate-controlled; conference rooms built after 1993 should have individual climate controls.

  • Wall surfaces of rooms must be suitable for tacking or other mounting of flip chart — type sheets.

  • Dining and conference facilities must be separated, with at least one dining area available specifically for the convenience of conference groups.

  • On-site standard AV must be included as part of the conference package, typically: overhead projectors, flip charts, 35mm slide projectors, microphones, and video playback equipment.

  • Guest rooms must include adequate work station(s) for the occupant(s), adequate reading/work lighting, and comfortable seating.