Is the Web Replacing Site Inspections?

Is the Web Replacing Site Inspections?

August 07, 2006

Here's one major effect of the Web on the meetings business these days: Fully 62.5 percent of respondents to MiMegasite.com's latest poll said they would choose a property for a meeting based on information, specs, and photos found on the Internet--without conducting an in-person site inspection. To break it down further. . .

. . .the percentage of respondents who said they would do it under most circumstances was 28.6 percent, while the percentage of those who said they would do it only if they were short on time was 34.1 percent. The remaining 37.5 percent of respondents said that they would not book a property under any circumstances without first conducting an in-person visit.

As the sophistication of Web sites continues to advance, many properties now offer 360-degree views of guest rooms, meeting space, banquet space, and other areas, allowing planners to get a solid idea of a property's feasibility for their meetings. And when it comes to judging the service staff at a property--which obviously cannot be done over the Web--many planners rely on word-of-mouth anecdotes and recommendations if they are not going to conduct an in-person site visit. From where are planners increasingly getting those recommendations? The Web, naturally.