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EDPA

Business Events Study Covers Pandemic and Virtual Meetings

 Meetings, conferences and events are back, and DCI’s newest edition of “Winning Strategies In Destination Marketing: A View From Meeting Planners” offers insight to destination marketing organizations and convention bureaus on how to land the next big booking. The fourth edition of this groundbreaking research, started in 2012, comes as many in the events industry continue to reel from the effects of the pandemic.
DCI went right to the source and asked more than 300 U.S. and Canadian meeting planners about their concerns, needs and habits as they look to the future of business events travel.
“The meetings industry has hit potholes in the road before, but COVID-19 was a sinkhole that swallowed all of us. As we dig out and rebuild, the strategies that destinations relied on before to win new business won’t cut it,” says Daniella Middleton, DCI’s senior vice president of tourism. “We have to avoid guessing and instead find solutions to the challenges facing us now, in 2022 and beyond. This new study provides the insight to do just that.”
The results will help destinations and CVBs looking to attract new business and events by creating an informed strategy based on the key results, including:
  • 73% of respondents reported they are most concerned about cancellation policies before any other pandemic issue.
  • Respondents reported that they rely most on destination management companies (DMCs), beating out CVBs and DMOs for the first time.
  • News and magazine articles are the top way that respondents form their perceptions of cities, states and countries.
  • As a tool for both marketing and communication, LinkedIn is the most-favored platform, followed by Facebook, but Instagram is making large leaps.
  • The importance placed on educational trips, or FAM trips, dropped slightly from 2018, though they remain important despite the pandemic.
  • Among preferred meetings and events destinations worldwide are London, Singapore, San Diego, Cancun, Puerto Rico and a tie between Cape Town and Dubai.
  • Among least favored destinations for international business events are China and India, while Florida and Texas rank low in the U.S. for domestic business events.
The findings are invaluable to destinations as they rebuild meetings and conventions, hammered by cancellations since March 2020. The report makes it clear, however, that meeting planners are hard at work, and not just crossing their fingers hoping for the best.
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