Survey reveals generational motivations of meeting planners

meetings MICEA recent survey conducted by the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), in partnership with Development Counsellors International (DCI), has revealed new generational preferences of meeting planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region, with implications globally.

Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC, commented: “This is the first survey of its kind produced by IACC in the Australia Asia Pacific region and is the third survey following similar research in the Americas and Europe. There were important differences highlighted in the research in terms of preferences and priorities expressed by planners across the generations.” Cooper continued with, “These findings will help prepare meeting industry suppliers and enable them to tailor their products and services to accommodate the individual needs of each generation of planners.”

The age groups of the research participants were split into five categories: Generation X: age 33-46 (45%), Generation Y or the Millennials: age 18-32 (28%), Baby Boomers: age 47-65 (25%), Mature: +66 years (1%), and finally, Generation Z: under 18 years (1%).

Key findings from this survey include the following results:

  • The significant number of Generation Y participants for this survey (28%) — compared to last year’s European survey (11%) and 2013’s Americas survey (12%) — highlights the growing influence of Generation Y Meeting Planners in the Australia Asia Pacific region and potentially globally.
  • Generation Y planners prefer attending venue promotional events rather than trade shows, which is the preferred choice of Generation X.
  • Both Generation X and Generation Y dislike phone calls, which suggests that telesales is not the way to promote venues to buyers any longer.
  • Digital information is the #1 choice for providing planners with what they need to consider a venue for their meeting. Those who have creative and effective ways of presenting the best virtual experience will influence buyers.
  • Generation Y buyers place a greater sense of importance on the technology capabilities of a venue than any other generation, with Baby Boomers placing location at the top of the list. Generation X places a greater importance on the food and beverage offering than their younger and older counterparts. Having an experiencial learning aspect (team-building) is important for Generation Y and Generation Z participants, whereas Baby Boomer attendees appear to have a preference for high quality service.
  • 72% of planners consider the age of the attendees when sourcing a venue.
  • Baby Boomers appear more cost conscious than the younger generations when selecting a conference venue.
  • 91% expect to do business in international English when placing a meeting overseas, an increase over the European study in 2013 (85%).
  • 75% of those surveyed said they prefer to use a venue which provided a meetings-focused environment and dedicated staff. Generation Y expressed the greatest desire for meeting space that fostered collaboration and learning.

IACC is the only global professional association that represents small to medium sized venues focused on meetings, training courses and conferences. All members conform to a comprehensive global set of quality standards. The organization serves its members by being the global thought-leader in the meetings industry and currently has 355 members in 21 countries in the Americas, Europe and Australasia.

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To download the IACC APAC Survey 2015, please visit IACC’s website.

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