The meetings industry is evolving, as is the role destination organizations or convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) can play in providing services to help meeting planners achieve their goals. Destination Analysts and Miles Partnership, along with Destinations International, set out to understand more about this evolution through a first of its kind research initiative, involving surveys and interviews with association planners, corporate planners, SMERF planners and third party planners, along with surveys and interviews with destination convention services and sales teams.
Here are a few highlights from the interviews with meeting planners regarding their metrics for a successful meeting and the importance of destination attributes.
What’s Most Important When Measuring the Success of a Meeting or Event?
- Attendee satisfaction
- Attendee registration numbers
- Client satisfaction, when a 3rd party planner was involved
- Achieving meeting goals
- Staying within budget
What Are the Most Important Factors When Determining Where to Hold a Meeting or Event?
- Geographic location
- Quality of the hotels
- Meeting facilities
- Hotel rates
- Overall cost
While these factors may seem straightforward, we also heard from planners throughout this project, that the challenges of staying within budget and negotiating costs are only made more complex by the shifting on-line booking options and the impact of the sharing economy.
Clearly there is an ongoing need for reliable and accessible information on destination attributes and services available any time a meeting professional sets out to execute a successful and cost effective meeting or event.
We were delighted to find that over 80% of the planners surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that the CVB is the most expert resource for destination intelligence, and they were relied upon heavily by planners as a “one stop shop” for information, hotel selection assistance and site inspections.
In terms of survey results, there was also an important realization that exists around planner knowledge of CVB services. There are many services CVBs provide that profoundly positively impact the factors listed above as most important to measuring the success of an event, but there was not an awareness by meeting planners that CVBs routinely provide these services, or even more importantly how meeting professionals can best leverage them.
This study aims to shine a light on where there is opportunity for destination organizations and meeting professionals to work together to mutually benefit the meeting and its host community. We hope by sharing just a few of our findings you are intrigued to learn more about the survey results, and would like to take a deeper dive into how planners and CVBs can partner together for the success of meetings and events in any destination.
If so, please join us for our August webinar as we review the initial survey results and resulting action items for planners and destination organizations.