A new survey of meeting planners looks at some of the generational differences that are influencing how they choose event locations and what that may mean for venues.
Millennial meeting planners are most likely to choose event venues based on cost, whereas older generations are more likely to choose meeting locations based on the customer service they receive.
This is according to results of a new survey of roughly 800 meeting planners (17 percent of whom included association planners) by event management platform Cvent, which looked at how generational differences are influencing venue-sourcing decisions.
For example, the survey also found that millennials were 37 percent less likely to source directly through a venue compared to older generations, and 25 percent of millennials are more likely than other generations to report that negotiations are the most difficult part of sourcing a venue. Millennials are also more likely to turn to social media and blogs for reviews and ratings when evaluating a potential venue.
“As the next generation of meeting planners rises in the workplace, hotels and event venues need to better understand their behaviors to close more group business,” Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing at Cvent, said in a statement. “It is clear from the survey findings that both the influx of millennial planners and advances in event planning processes and technologies are changing how hotels compete for lucrative group business.”
In addition to generational differences in venue sourcing, the survey looked at other key influencers affecting location choice, such as discounts and flexibility. More than 40 percent of planners said that a 10 percent discount would convince them to switch from a first- to second-choice venue. Meanwhile, about two-thirds of respondents said they like to keep their options open when searching for event venues.
Only 1 percent of meeting planners reported that they consistently choose the same venue for their events, while most (63 percent) said they always consider a number of venues.
In terms of what venues and sites can do to help ease the decision-making process, 42 percent of planners reported venues should keep thoroughness in mind when submitting a bid, while 32 percent reported speed was important to keep in mind.
What is the biggest influencer in your venue selection process? Please share in the comments.