What Event Planners Want - Analysis of Event Planner Selection Criteria

By Thomas Hazinski Managing Director, HVS Facililties Consulting | September 16, 2018

This article was co-authored by Anthony Davis

Co-authored by Anthony Davis, Associate, HVS Convention, Sports, & Entertainment

While there is no substitute for getting to know your clients and exploring their needs, time limitations and constraints on sales processes do not always allow this to happen. Your sales pitch in response to a lead or an RFP often requires assumptions about the basis on which an event planner will choose a destination.

HVS surveys of event planners provides some insight into the criteria that event planners use when making decisions about where to locate their events. Based on the responses of 4,700 event planners from across the world, HVS identified the most important criteria event planners use when choosing their destination. Analysis of our survey data shows that the selection criteria of event planners depends in large part on the type of event they are planning.

HVS compiled results from 17 surveys that were taken by event planners over the last six years, with 4,719 responses. HVS surveys were distributed electronically to event planners who are current or prospective clients of convention and visitor bureaus and convention centers in 17 different cities. Respondents represent a broad cross section of industry participant that plan group meeting events. All surveys asked event planners to name the five most important criteria they use when selecting a destination. Respondents selected from a list of criteria that included:

  •  Destination Characteristics and Appeal (e.g. availability of restaurants, destination allure)
  •  Availability of Events Space (exhibit, ballroom, meetings space, etc.)
  •  Hotel quality and availability
  •  Price of facility rentals and services
  •  Price of hotel rooms
  •  The availability of air and highway transportation access
  •  Geographic location
  •  Cleanliness
  •  Adequacy of technology services
  •  Safety
  •  Sustainable practices

The following table ranks all selection criteria offered to event planners on the HVS survey by the number of total event planners that selected that criteria. It also shows the percentage of event planner that selected each criterion. The darker shaded cells indicate a higher level of importance and lighter shaded cells indicate a low level of importance.

Most event planners focus primarily on the bread and butter issues of availability of event space and hotel rooms and their price. The appropriateness of available event space and affordability are "threshold criteria" that a destination must provide to be considered. But, these considerations are not ones that typically distinguish destinations because most event venues and hotels can meet these criteria. Most cities have an adequate supply of event space and hotel rooms for the types and sizes of events that they can reasonably attract. Since the meetings industry is populated by many small events and few large events, most cities have capacity to accommodate a high percentage of all available events.

Event Planner Selection Criteria by Event Type Ranked by Percentage of Total Responses
/ SLIDES
Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Tim Peter
Tony Heung
Dennis Rizzo
Dianna Vaughan
Chris Charbonnet
Bruce Seigel
Sara Djubek
Eileen McDargh
Lisa Cain
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.