Meeting planners across the country often consider hotels to be terrific venues for their clients’ meetings. Whether they are helping to plan a company’s annual board meeting or are planning a large corporation’s annual retreat, hotels offer a wide range of benefits to meeting organizers and attendees. Even with the rise of disruptive technologies like Zoom and Skype, in-person hotel meetings are great ways for executives, officers, employees, and clients to network and talk about trends in their particular sector.
To better understand what meeting planners are looking for in hotel bookings, EproDirect has released its latest Meeting Planners Preferences Survey. The survey polled a wide range of meeting planners to better understand how they select hotel venues for their clients. Whether you are trying to host more corporate meetings at your hotel or are simply interested in how meeting planners select hotel venues for their clients, we encourage you to submit a request for the survey.
Some highlights from the survey
This Meeting Planners Preferences Survey is based on responses from 392 meeting planners from across the United States. The survey was delivered through an online questionnaire between October 1 and October 31, 2019. It was predominantly focused on gathering insights from meeting planners on how they select their hotel venues. Specifically, the survey questioned meeting planners on what sources they typically use for research, their communication preferences, their booking patterns, and what tips the scale when deciding between two different meeting spaces.
- One of the clearest insights from the survey centers on meeting planners’ preferred communication channels. 90.2% of meeting planners like to receive hotel information, updates, or special offers through email. Sending this information via email is simply more convenient for the vast majority of meeting planners. They can easily respond to this information, whether they need to request more information or proceed with the next steps. Hotels looking to host more corporate events should certainly invest in their email marketing and communications strategies. Doing so will increase the odds that hotels will get the attention of meeting planners and host more events.
- However, meeting planners don’t just rely on email. In terms of social networks, 66% of planners like to be engaged in LinkedIn. That said, there is a caveat here. Only 3% of the survey respondents want to be contacted or solicited through LinkedIn. For hotels and other venues, this represents a fine line. On one hand, high-quality and original LinkedIn content can help raise your brand profile among meeting planners. But being overly “salesy” and pushy can damage all of the goodwill that you’ve built through organic content.
- All of this naturally leads to the question of what type of content that hotels should send to meeting planners. According to the survey, meeting planners favor things like floor diagrams, measurements, and capacity charts. Meeting planners are embracing the granular details here. They want to envision what their event will actually look like and are expecting hotels to provide digital tools to make this job easier.
- Finally, in terms of booking behaviors, a plurality of meeting planners (30%) have a lead time of around 11 to 15 months. The average is around 15 months when these planners are planning international meetings. You and your colleagues should consider these time frames when working with prospective meeting planners. Ensure that you are giving your meeting planners enough time to consider your venue and to make all necessary preparations. Doing this will make your prospective meeting planner happier and will increase your odds of closing the sale.
Getting inside the minds of meeting planners
This survey can go a long way in helping you better market to meeting planners. Whether you predominantly contact meeting planners through email or are looking for a way to better sell meeting planners on your hotel, we encourage you to download the survey for more information. It can go a long way in helping you better pitch to meeting planners and, in the end, host more events.
To access the survey, click here. On this page, you can easily request access to the complete survey findings.