by Allen J. Sheinman | April 03, 2018
Likely due to their singular focus on the task, third-party professionals planned the most meetings from spring 2016 through spring 2017, substantially more than association and corporate planners, according to a new study from STR, the Hendersonville, Tenn.-based research firm that tracks supply and demand data for multiple market sectors, including the global hotel industry.
 
The study found that frequency of gatherings planned in a year vary widely across respondents, with a median of four meetings planned per year. Third-party planners took first place, with 42 percent reporting they organized seven or more meetings, compared to 27 percent of corporate and 20 percent of association planners.
 
When it comes to size of meetings, third parties again took the top spot on the large end, with 30 percent of independents planning gatherings of more than 1,000 attendees, followed by association (28 percent) and corporate planners (24 percent). At the extreme end (5,000-plus attendees), association planners (9 percent) nosed out third-party (8 percent) and corporate planners (4 percent).
 
In the smaller-meetings category (100-299 attendees), corporate planners placed first with 43 percent, followed by association (35 percent) and third-party planners (33 percent).
 
These findings appear in the new STR DestinationMAP survey, conducted every two years. This year's results were based on completed surveys from 865 meeting professionals who have planned gatherings of 100+ attendees and considered at least three of 40 major North American meeting markets in their site-selection process.