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IACC Blog

IACC Americas Knowledge Exchange Sees Record Attendance in Basking Ridge

group of people stand in large entryway

The 43rd edition of the IACC Americas annual conference took place at Verizon’s The Ridge Hotel in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, April 18-20, 2024. 220 IACC members and industry friends attended to engage with the IACC community. We welcomed new members and saw record first-time attendees experiencing the value of investing in creative innovation and leadership.

The IACC community welcomed new members, with record first-time attendees experiencing the value of investing in creative innovation and leadership. A record number of attendees arrived in New Jersey for the pre-conference food and beverage regional study tour and the first-time attendees’ event. 

IACC Americas President Neil Gardner spoke of the importance of investing in venue leadership to create the high-performing teams we need at our meeting venues.

The tone for the event was set by opening keynote speaker Quinn Conyers, who tackled the art of using luxury language in leadership roles.

A number of industry giants delivered a variety of workshops and intimate discussion groups, including Jessie States of MPI, John Brich of Searchwide Global, Tracy Stuckrath of Thrive Meetings, Charlie Garrison of Garrison Bros Bourbon, Mary Flors of Master Connection Associates and Elle Ingalls.

panelists sitting on chairs at conference

Greg Stafford, General Manager at Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, commented on the event: “The energy around the knowledge exchange was fantastic. I have been impressed by the high-quality suppliers bringing new products to help us deliver better meeting experiences.”

This IACC event directly involved students from New York University who served as volunteers and ran a breakout session. 

Attendee Ron Naples, Adjunct Associate Professor of Hospitality at New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, commented after the event, “Thank you for the opportunity to attend the conference. It was amazing; our eight students took away so much more than time in a classroom ever could. I suspect that they have built a network and now have a new excitement about the conference center industry.”

group of college aged students facing away from the camera showing matching shirt backs while standing on balcony

All attendees were presented with an exceptional mystery culinary tour of leading local suppliers and premises, each with a unique story to tell. They also experienced a New Jersey destination-rich awards evening of recognition and Jazz!

IACC CEO Mark Cooper remarked, “This week’s Knowledge Exchange arrives at a pivotal juncture, as our members are actively bolstering their leadership teams for both the present and the future. IACC serves as a vital conduit for these leaders to expand their skill sets, cultivate their professional connections, and glean insights from their colleagues.”

IACC Americas President Neil Gardner presented Nancy Lindemer Morgan of Rizzo Hotel and Conference Center with the IACC Americas Distinguished Service Award for her long and profound contributions. Read about it here.

Mehdi Ahmadi of Sodexo Live! and Tim Luepke of Meeting Professionals International were awarded the 2024 Award of Excellence in recognition of their contributions to IACC’s education and research programs.

JB Duke and Washington Duke Inn put on an evening of regional culinary delights, and the jazz band set the scene for an evening of celebration! Mike Taylor, General Manager of the Ridge Hotel and his team delivered a perfect venue experience over three days. 

“Great energy, engagement, networking, and learning; what a great way to refocus and recharge at the IACC Knowledge Festival last week in New Jersey!”
– Neil Gardner, IACC Americas President

Save the date for IACC Americas Knowledge Exchange 2025

March 31 – April 2, 2025
College Station, Texas
Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

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