Destination Counsellors International recently surveyed meeting planners to get a better pulse on the factors influencing their decisions around choosing meeting locations.
When it comes to choosing an international meeting location, meeting planners are relying on destination marketing organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), industry peers, and travel experiences.
This finding comes from a newly released study from Destination Counsellors International (DCI), itself a destination marketing firm, which also found that introductions to new suppliers and destinations at industry tradeshows, knowledge of suppliers within a destination, and referrals from colleagues were the leading influencers in the sourcing process.
A follow-up to a 2012 study, “A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing,” it surveyed 212 meeting professionals to get a glimpse of some of the latest challenges and trends that are affecting the industry. For example:
- Meeting planners prefer to communicate with destination marketers and CVBs via email as opposed to the phone.
- Planners also reported that advertising, destination e-newsletters, and online webinars were the least effective ways to market a destination.
- Nearly 90 percent of respondents rated educational trips as important or very important in terms of influence perceptions of a destination.
- More than half of meeting planners reported that cost was the top criteria when it came to influencing a final decision on a location.
That last finding resonates with another recent study on generational differences in venue sourcing that found cost is a leading factor among millenials when it comes to choosing a meeting location. Meanwhile, the Cvent study found that older generations are more likely to choose meeting locations based on the customer service they receive.
Millennials were also found to differ in how they evaluate potential meeting locations as they are more likely than older generations to turn to social media and blogs for reviews and ratings when evaluating a potential venue.
Forty-two percent of all meeting planners surveyed by Cvent, however, reported that venues should keep thoroughness in mind when submitting a bid in order to help ease the decision-making process. And 32 percent reported speed was important to consider.