2016 Site Selection Trends

Recently, Successful Meetings sent a survey out to our readership asking them about the site selection process for their meetings. Of the respondents, 47 percent were corporate planners, 32 percent worked for associations, and 21 percent were independent or third party planners. Of that pool, 61 percent reported that the personal site selection visit was their most common source of information when choosing a destination. Here's what else they had to say.

Most important factors in the site selection process

Hotel F&B costs and quality: 46%
Quality of accommodations: 45%
Room rate:  41%
Quality of service: 30%
Promotability of destination: 22%
Airfare costs: 20%
Destination safety: 15%
Amount of airlift or accessibility: 15%
Past personal experience: 14%
Dining & nightlife options: 14%
Cultural appeal: 9%
Golf & other sporting options: 4%

Most common sources of site selection information

Personal site selection visit: 61%
Hotels: 45%
DMOs, CVBs, Tourist Boards: 42%
Other Planners: 25%
Industry publications: 23%
Online site selection portals : 22%
Group fam trip with other planners: 17%
Meeting Industry Associations: 16%
Site selection companies: 12%
DMCs: 7%

Most important information to find online during the site selection process (rated on a scale of 1 to 10)

Hot dates: 8.86
Testimonials or group case studies: 8.71
Event calendars for specific destinations: 8.31
General information request form: 7.65
Online RFP: 7.64
Facility videos: 7.29
Amenities information: 6.21
F&B information: 5.27
Direct contacts at hotels and venues: 5.26
Facility photos: 4.54
Meeting services information: 4.28
Destination information: 3.99

Most important features for an online RFP

Real-time availability and group rates: 76%
Ability to attach specs:  73%
A profile area to highlight special needs: 71%
Ability to detail goals of the meeting/event: 66%
Real-time booking for groups: 64%
Ability to submit via mobile: 22%

How soon do planners expect a reply from an online RFP?

Next day: 35%
Two days: 30%
Three to five days: 23%
Same day: 12%

Level of planner satisfaction with online site selection technology

Ease of use:  58%
Ability to see all options at a destination: 56%
Relevance of information asked for on forms: 55%
Accuracy of how properties are depicted: 53%
Ability to connect with a live person: 50%: 
Promptness of response: 49%
Ability to customize forms to match your meeting: 45%