Survey data says complimentary Wi-Fi top planner perk when selecting a meeting facility

Most meeting planners expecting same volume of meetings in 2013 as in 2012

E-proDirect, a trusted expert and 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 and 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.”

“It is not only our passion but it’s our responsibility to our hotel clients as well as our community of planners to keep meeting trends and preferences in the forefront,” states Chris Wezel, E-proDirect’s Chief Visionary Officer. “In addition to generating group room opportunities, research is one of the most valuable tools we offer our clients. In order to show value to our over 600 marketing clients and over 80,000 professional meeting planners in our network, we strive to continuously look for ways to bring planners and suppliers together in a harmonious way.”

Click here to request a free complete detailed copy of the survey results.

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