MultiPOD Meetings from IACC Offer a New Twist for Hybrid Events

IACC MultiPOD MeetingsThe International Association of Conference Centers MultiPOD meetings format is designed to offer groups a way to stage live, cross-venue meetings for small groups of participants in two or more locations, or PODs.

It’s not a one-way communication like a webinar, where meeting organizers broadcast from one location to many. Instead, each POD is a meeting in its own right, with each POD connected to the others so groups can communicate with each other while still being able to interact with other in-person attendees at their location. According to IACC, MultiPOD meetings are particularly well-suited for groups in separate locales that want to work together to jointly produce a result.

IACC Venue MultiPOD Advantages

The PODs can be located anywhere in the U.S. or abroad at any of IACC’s 400 certified meetings-focused venues in 25 countries that is participating in the MultiPOD initiative. These venues also have pledged to embrace inter-venue collaboration, including on technology, and are equipped to help planners create engaging formats using expert moderators/facilitators. They also offer the dedicated meeting space with optimal acoustic and light levels, comprehensive technology packages, and high-bandwidth internet needed to make a MultiPOD event successful, as well as expert AV and technology support staff to assist as needed. Interested planners can search for appropriate IACC venues at  IACCmeetings.com/venues.

According to IACC, the MultiPOD advantages include reduced travel time and costs, and opportunities for networking that makes it easy for attendees to interact and co-create both in-person and with groups in other PODs. The format also can reduce speaker costs, and allow planners to sidestep pandemic health and safety protocols that may limit the number of attendees allowed at an in-person event or make larger meetings more complex logistically to carry out. The reduced travel needs also can make the meeting more sustainable, and smaller groups also can lead to reduced food waste.

If you want to experience a MultiPOD meeting in action, IACC will be using the format for its IACC Americas Connect event on July 20. The organization’s MultiPOD technology platform will connect four PODs: in-person PODs in Delaware, Chicago and Dallas, and one that is strictly virtual.

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