Flexible meeting spaces and location - and not so much rates - are dominant factors in selecting a hotel for a meeting location, according to a new survey by Destinations Hotels.
The company's second annual State of the Meetings Industry report covers insight by association meeting planners, as well as corporate, independent and government planners on key topics, including budget, lead time, location, technology, food, team building and environmental sustainability.
The survey results indicate that rate is no longer the clear-cut feature to determine which hotel to pick for a meeting. While not an overwhelming factor, 43.4 percent of the survey participants say location is the top priority, suggesting a steady switch towards increased interest in what the destination has to offer. Meeting planners also expect the location to be successfully complemented by high-level quality of the overall experience.
Planners also are seeking out meeting spaces, as well as public areas, that can be used creatively in different ways for varied functions, from sit-down gatherings and ice breakers to brainstorming sessions. Also, lead time to book a meeting in 2014 is expected to grow to between two and six months.
Also, 26 percent of the survey participants forecast expenditures to be greater in 2014, an expected increase from the 20 percent who forecasted the same for 2013 funds. Fifty-five percent expect budgets to remain the same. Details: www.destinationmeetings.com.