DCI survey: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing
New York. Development Counsellors International (DCI) presents the findings of a survey of meeting planners entitled, "A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing". The survey reveals what places are perceived to be the best locations for meetings while also profiling best practices for securing those meetings.
Conducted by DCI, "Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing" analyzes the perceptions of North American meeting planners with global meeting planning responsibilities. "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 meeting planners who plan meetings outside of North American 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.
- Only 2% of respondents indicated that social media is currently influential in shaping their perceptions of international destinations.
- 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 marketing organizations.
The entire study can be downloaded here as a PDF.