April 03, 2015
On March 4, Successful Meetings sent a survey to our readership asking them their opinions on international meetings. We closed the survey with 93 readers having responded. Of that number 57 percent were corporate planners, 27 percent were independent or third party planners, and 16 percent worked for associations. Here's what they had to say.

1. Compared to 2014, the number of programs using destinations outside of the United States in 2015 will:    

Increase: 24%    
Stay the same: 61%    
Decrease: 15%    


2. Compared to 2014, budgets for programs held at destinations outside of the United States in 2015 will:    

Increase: 28%
Stay the same: 57%
Decrease: 15%


3. Types of programs organizations have plans to host at destinations outside of the United States in the next 3 years:

Conferences: 64%
Incentive Travel: 38%
Management/Board Meetings: 36%
Sales Meetings: 33%
Training Meetings: 33%
Marketing Events: 31%
Trade Shows: 30%
Conventions: 30%
Exhibitions: 27%


4. The most challenging aspects of planning programs outside of the United States:


Overall costs: 48%
Travel time required: 48%
Communications/language barriers: 43%
Security concerns: 36%
Understanding local customs: 27%
Air access: 23%
Fluctuating exchange rates: 18%
Passport requirements: 18%
Service levels: 15%
Lack of non-smoking hotel rooms: 5%


5. Planners' opinions on the effect the terror threat posed by ISIS has had on the willingness of key stakeholders to consider destinations outside of the United States as sites for meetings and events:


They are cautious, but still willing to go international: 45%
It has not effected on their willingness to go international: 28%
It has made some unwilling to go international: 19%
It has made all unwilling to go international: 8%


6. Planners' opinions on the effect the Ebola threat posed has had on the willingness of your key stakeholders to consider destinations outside of the United States as sites for meetings and events:


They are cautious, but still willing to go international: 47%
It has not effected on their willingness to go international: 33%
It has made some unwilling to go international: 16%
It has made all unwilling to go international: 4%


7. Regional ratings as possible sites for a meeting outside of the United States (1 being not likely and 4 being most likely):

North America (Canada, Mexico): 3.21
Caribbean: 2.94
Europe: 2.76
Central and South America: 2.49
Australia and South Pacific: 2.38
Asia: 2.14
Middle East: 1.57    
Africa: 1.49


8. Ratings of important factors when selecting an international destination (1 being not important and 4 being very important):

Security/safety: 3.60
Location: 3.49    
Quality of accommodations : 3.47
Appeal of destination: 3.37
Quality, attentiveness of staff: 3.36
Air access: 3.28
Accommodations costs: 3.24
Reputation: 3.21
Air costs: 3.17
Ease of acquiring entrance/exit requirements 3.12
Size of meeting facilities: 3.08
Catering costs: 3.08    
Climate: 2.92
Strong membership/employee/client base in the region: 2.82
Favorable exchange rate vs. U.S. dollar: 2.77
Size of city: 2.64
Cultural attractions: 2.61