We know from the Decision to Attend Study that meeting attendees are acting a lot more like leisure travelers these days. The study examined the reasons individuals chose to attend or not attend conventions and exhibitions. Survey participants were from 10 different organizations, representing a wide variety of professions and industries. The findings support a remarkable:
82% of meeting attendees factor in the destination/location of the meeting into their decision to attend, and 30% report the destination is the single factor determining their attendance.
This is a high call to meeting professionals; it’s time to fully integrate the destination into your meeting offerings! Not only do you need to make attendees aware of what there is to do and see while they are attending the meeting; you can also set your meeting apart from the rest by integrating destination resources and intelligence directly into your meeting program and content.
Of course, meeting attendees want to enjoy, explore and learn about the destination, but they don’t have to wait until the end of the meeting day to do it. Smart meeting planners are integrating local assets and intellectual capital right into their meeting programming for an authentic and unique experience in each destination they place their event.
You can leverage the local business, academic and entrepreneurial communities to find engaging speakers, rich content support, or off site educational tours. Finding out who is like minded in the city or who may have assets that line up with your meeting’s goals and objectives isn’t a quick internet search; it requires in-depth conversation and analysis with someone who intimately understands the city’s offerings.
We think this great video is the perfect learning tool. Follow Deborah Sexton, President and CEO of PCMA, as she lets us inside the planning process Convening Leaders 2017 used to most fully embrace the community assets of Austin.
And if this wets your appetite to learn even more, join Steve Genovesi, Senior VP of Sales and Services for the Austin CVB, for our March webinar. Steve is going to share with us how to prepare for the conversation with your host city to best support your attendees excitement and your meeting design concept.