by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 01, 2005

Only 11 percent
say C-level
executives offer
names of hotels.

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Humans being an opinionated group, it’s not surprising everyone in the office wants to chime in on where the next meeting should be held. But who actually influences the site-selection decision? A recent online poll of 131 planners found that meeting planners really are steering the way.
    In determining the destinations to be considered for a meeting, results show meeting/travel planners (37 percent) are the most influential, followed by the president, chief executive officer, chief financial officer or chief operating officer (24 percent). Board members/bylaws were cited by 8 percent of the respondents. Only 2 percent of those surveyed said a procurement officer has the most say.
chart    Who comes up with the list of hotels to be considered? Seventy-eight percent said the meeting/travel planner is involved here. Only 11 percent reported that C-level executives contribute to the list, and 20 percent said third-party planners help compile it.
    While presidents, CEOs, CFOs and COOs usually sign off on the final decision regarding which hotel to use (cited by 40 percent vs. 35 percent for meeting/travel planners), the results show C-level executives offer little guidance on which properties receive requests for proposal. Meeting/travel planners (65 percent) have the most say in the RFP process, followed
by third-party planners (11 percent); the president, CEO, CFO or COO (10 percent), and administrative assistants (4 percent).
chart    Who’s responsible for making the site-selection decision? Just 24 percent of survey respondents said top management is very involved from start to finish, while 70 percent reported that meeting managers are very involved in this process. Executives are more likely to be somewhat involved in site selection: 37 percent said these higher-ups make suggestions, and 25 percent says execs just like to be updated on the site-selection progress.