Meeting planners are most concerned about declining budgets, increased workload, and the responsiveness of suppliers when it comes to their business events, according to a study of more than 200 North American meeting professionals with global meeting planning responsibilities that was conducted by Development Counsellors International. Other key findings from A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing:
• The three leading sources of information influencing meeting planner perceptions of potential sites are destination marketing organizations/convention and visitors bureaus (according to 67 percent of those polled), business/personal travel (63 percent) and dialogue with industry peers (60 percent).
• When evaluating destinations, 54 percent of respondents rely primarily on convention bureaus for information. More than half of planners (51 percent) indicated that speaking to or emailing convention bureau staff is by far the most common form of interaction, and 55 percent of respondents selected email as their preferred method of communication with convention bureau representatives.
• Meeting face-to-face, whether at trade shows, receptions or educational workshops, rated as the most effective means of influencing meeting planners who might be considering a new destination.
• Sixty-eight percent of planners surveyed prefer multidestination educational workshops rather than single-destination ones.
• A majority of respondents (88 percent) consider educational trips as either important or very important in influencing their perception of destinations.
• When asked to select the most favorable location for an international meeting, London, Paris, Dublin, Barcelona and Amsterdam received top marks for cities, while Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain were the top countries.
• When it came to preferred international convention bureaus, London's topped the list, followed by the DMOs that represent Monaco, Barcelona, Dublin and Vienna.
• When asked to report on the least favorable locations for international business events, the Middle East, Mexico, Russia, Paris and Istanbul/Turkey were cited most frequently.
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