Conducted by DCI, "Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing" is the first study of its kind to be released in the United States, which analyzes the perceptions of North American meeting planners with global meeting planning responsibilities.
London, Barcelona, Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong were among the favorite international meetings destinations, while Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York were viewed as the favorite North American destinations for meetings.
"Competition among meeting locations is fierce. It’s more important than ever for destination marketing organizations to understand their audiences,” said DCI Senior Vice President and Partner, Karyl Leigh Barnes. "Our objective was to determine best practices in our industry by going directly to the meeting industry’s ‘customer’.”
The study surveyed 187 North American meeting planners and measured key sources of influence, preferred industry conferences, sources of industry news, most effective marketing techniques, importance of educational/familiarization trips, ways in which meeting planners interact with destination marketing organizations, best countries for international meetings and best North American locations for meetings. The survey also shed light on which individuals make the ultimate decision on where to host a meeting.
Key Findings Include:
- The three leading sources of information influencing meeting planner
perceptions of international meeting destinations are meeting with destination
representatives (58%), dialogue with industry peers (55%), and
business/personal travel (53%).
- When evaluating meeting destinations, respondents rely primarily on
convention bureaus for information (57%). Meeting planners indicated that
speaking to, or emailing, convention bureau staff was by far the most
common form of interaction (61%). A majority of respondents (67%)
selected e-mail as the preferred method for convention bureau
representatives to share information on their destination.
- Meeting face-to-face, whether at trade shows (17%), receptions or
educational workshops (9%), rated as the most effective means of influencing
meeting planners who may be considering a destination that is new to them.
- Meeting planners prefer multi-destination educational workshops rather than
single-destination educational workshops (64% vs. 36%).
- While the a large portion of meeting planners did not attend any industry
conferences in the past three years (30%), IMEX America 2011 was the
choice among those who attended an industry conference with 25% having
attended the conference.
- Meetings & Conventions magazine is the most frequently read industry
publication (56%) followed by Successful Meetings (42%).
- Online advertising deemed to be the most effective form of advertising by
73% of the respondents surveyed. However, 69% of respondents preferred
reading printed versions of travel industry publications.
- Only 2% of respondents indicated that social media is currently influential in
shaping their perceptions of international destinations.
- A majority of respondents (72%) consider educational trips/familiarization
trips as either important or very important. The North American summer
season is by far considered the best time to participate in educational trips.
Group trips are preferred over individual trips (62% vs. 38%).
- When asked to select the most favorable location for an international
meeting, London (20.2%), Barcelona (10.1%), Paris (10.1%), Singapore
(7.3%) and Hong Kong (6.2%) rated most favorably. As a nation, Italy
(8.4%) prevailed followed by the United Kingdom (7.3%) and Spain (6.7%).
- When it came to preferred international convention bureaus, London topped
the list (14.8%), followed by Singapore, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Vienna.
- Within North America, Chicago (20.8%), San Diego (18.5%) and San
Francisco (18%) topped the list of preferred meeting locations, while San
Diego, Orlando, Chicago and Las Vegas prevailed as the leading destination
- For associations, the Board of Directors is most often named as the final
decision maker on a meeting location (48.1%), while 28% of corporate
meeting planners indicated that CEOs most frequently made the ultimate
decision on meeting locations.
For a complimentary copy of “Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing: A View from Meeting Planners,” or an executive summary, please visit: www.aboutdci.com/2012-winning-strategies.