6 Ways to Win with Meeting Planners

#hotels #meetings #conferences #planners

A recent article by HotelNewsNow.com reveals survey results from STR regarding meeting planners’ top considerations. We’ve highlighted the details below:

  1. Make it Familiar: If you want more meetings booked at your property, bring in meeting planners just for the experience. A whopping 92% of planners called previous experience “very important” and 57% held their largest meeting at a site they had used before.

  2. Keep It Cost-Effective: Consider room rates, travel, and food prices when building conference and meeting packages for planners. Half of the most important considerations were cost-related.

    1. A good hotel at the top with 87% rating it “very important” with $189 as average room rate.

    2. Travel costs to the location, 81% rating it “very important.”

    3. Food and lodging tied with travel costs at 81% also rating it “very important.”

  3. Beef Up Bandwidth: Manage your bandwidth to attract planners. Decent Wi-Fi was listed “very important” by 82% and a full 94% listed wireless Internet access as a must-have for their largest meeting.

  4. Plan Ahead: Be prepared to provide information to planners over 2 years in advance. The largest meetings were planned 24 to 28 months before events.

  5. “Clean Up Your Act”: Planners and attendee opinions really count when choosing a venue, consider the top 4 sources they use to book:

    1. Previous experience, 92%

    2. Attendee feedback, 84%

    3. Property location and image, 81%

    4. Colleague recommendations, 66%

  6. Bottom Line: Know your numbers and make packages that create a win:win for both your property and planners. Incentives are “very likely to influence selection of a site,” including complimentary hotel rooms, meeting space, and transportation.

According to STR, there are more attendees, yet fewer events; expect less events with larger groups. According to the survey, event loyalty will increase and meeting planners will book less based on finding a deal and more based on experience and relationships.

Read the complete article here.

How are you updating your conference planning for meetings and events in 2014?