November 21, 2012

Meeting planners prefer to contact hotels directly for RFP submission

A recent survey of 1,100 US meeting planners from all market segments looked at trends, preferences, and overall insight into what’s on the minds of meeting planners for 2013.

E‐proDirect, a trusted expert & leader in email marketing solutions for the meetings and convention segments of the hospitality industry, recently conducted a survey to determine meeting planner trends, preferences, and overall insight into what’s on the minds of Meeting Planners for 2013.

The survey of more than 1,100 Meeting Planners from all market segments was conducted in September 2012 and included several topics that will affect meeting suppliers and their marketing strategies in 2013.

A few response highlights:

- Results show that while online event management software is being used by 14.4% of respondents, contacting a hotel directly is still the preferred method of submitting an RFP for 70.1% of the planners surveyed.

- Group booking windows are also beginning to extend. For example, 52.8% of respondents, including a majority of Corporate Meeting Planners are averaging a 3‐6 month lead time for selecting a hotel or meeting facility for their events and nearly 42.2% have an average lead time of 7‐12 months.

- 61.8% of those surveyed also stated that the projected number of meetings planned for 2013 would stay the same while 26.6% will increase the number of meetings in 2013 as compared to 2012.

- With the continued growth of technology being used in meetings, when asked what the top concessions influencing planners when selecting a meeting facility, it was no surprise that 81.4% stated they would give stronger consideration to Hotels that were offering free WiFi in guest rooms, common areas, as well as meeting rooms. 82.4% were looking for complimentary meeting room rental and 74.3% want a discount on Food & beverage.

- With the unprecedented growth of social networks that offer several new communication outlets, Email was still the preferred method of communication for 92.9% of planners and 41.6% prefer a direct phone call.

Tracy Fairman, the company’s CEO states “we could not have been more pleased with the number of planners that participated in the survey.” We are confident that the results will show tremendous value and help our clients strategically align their marketing efforts in 2013.”

Get the complete survey at E‐proDirect