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What Makes a Destination a Top Meeting Planner Pick?

A recent study looked at which North American destinations are most popular with meeting professionals, and why.

Which North American cities ranked tops with meeting profesionals? You guessed it: Chicago, Orlando, and Washington, D.C., headed the STR 2017 Destination Meeting Assessment Program list as the most popular destinations for their meetings and events.

 Meeting planners surveyed for STR’s DestinationMAP said it was a dead heat between the Windy City and "The Theme Park Capital of the World" when it came to their top choice for North American meeting destinations, with 67 percent each voting for Chicago and Orlando. Washington, D.C., was a close third at 66 percent, followed by San Diego and Las Vegas. 

The top two markets were particularly popular with those who plan large meetings, which for the DestinationMAP study was defined as more than 1,000 attendees, according Chris Klauda, STR’s director of destination research.

Among the key considerations planners look for include a safe environment and a clean and attractive location, he added. On the flip side, almost all respondents said that unsanitary, unsafe locales are grounds to dismiss a destination from their “possibles” list. They also said ease of access and value considerations were important.

Other key findings include:

• When it comes to convention centers, planners value adequate seating, reasonable rental rates, helpful staffers, and enough nearby hotel rooms to accommodate their group—something that’s especially important for those with larger groups. 

• Bad publicity isn’t all that bad, with most planners rating it just a moderate concern.

• Over the past 10 years, the average daily rate for group bookings of 10 rooms or more have outpaced transient booking ADR by a factor of three.

To purchase the 2017 DestinationMAP, contact [email protected]

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