A new survey of North American meeting planners shows how COVID has changed planners’ priorities.
The just-released fourth edition of a study by Development Counsellors International (DCI) looks at how planners are getting back to business in 2022. Fully 97 percent of the more than 330 respondents said that the global pandemic has been a major factor as meetings and events resume. In terms of the site selection process, planners cited health infrastructure, mask mandates and other pandemic-related protocols as important considerations when considering a meeting destination.
Additional takeaways from the DCI study on planner’s concerns, needs and habits as they look to the future:
•73 percent of respondents cited contract cancellation policies as their most pressing concern.
•62 percent of DCI respondents cited the cost of hotel rooms and meeting space as their most important site selection factor, followed by ease of airlift.
•36 percent of respondents said their responsibility as planners was to implement safety and security measures at meetings, significantly up from 4 percent when the same question was asked in 2018.
•Younger, less experienced planners were more enthusiastic about virtual meetings and events.
•Social media has become increasingly important to the planners surveyed by DCI. LinkedIn was the most-favored platform, followed by Facebook, with Instagram coming up in popularity.
•IMEX America was the most attended industry event, with 56 percent of respondents attending within the past three years.
•News and magazine articles were the top ways that DCI survey respondents formed their perceptions of destinations.
•London, Singapore, San Diego, Cancun, Puerto Rico, Cape Town and Dubai were the most popular worldwide meeting destinations cited by respondents.
For more survey results, download a complete copy of DCI’s Winning Strategies In Destination Marketing: A View From Meeting Planners.