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November 1, 2016

Stats and Trends: How Technology Affects Event Planning


In this week’s stats and trends news in the events industry, the GBTA Foundation has a new study on the role technology has to play in event planning.

The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Lanyon, released the study on the most valued and desired features when it comes to site sourcing technology in a Lanyon Live breakout session. 

A majority of planners (57 percent) use events or meeting management technology or software when planning events and nearly all who do (96 percent) find value in using technology to manage their meetings and events. Additionally, almost six in ten (58 percent) of those who do not currently use it see the potential for technology to improve their processes and programs.

Location (27 percent) and cost (26 percent) are the top factors for choosing a property to host a meeting or event. Currently only two in five planners (43 percent) have access to technology that automatically populates city specs including everything from proximity of the venue to other hotels, restaurants and airports along with hotel rates to food and beverage pricing or even a city’s crime rates. Half of the planners who use this type of technology find it very valuable to make more informed decisions as would 45 percent of those who don’t have access to it. Some planners even said this feature would top their wish list if they created their own meeting and event planning product.

Another valuable tool when selecting a city and event site would be a Yelp-style site for meeting planners. This formalized approach to consulting industry experts would only work with a few important caveats however, planners say. The site would need to be limited to experienced planners, populated with up-to-date information and shielded from supplier’s eyes to be seen as a credible and useful resource.

Once the city is chosen, RFPs are often sent to a number of venues to collect additional information before making a decision. Four in five (81 percent) planners currently use technology that allows them to send a single RFP to multiple properties and allows properties to respond directly to the RFP within the platform for easy comparisons – both highly valued features. Seven in ten (70 percent) planners use technology to compare property details side by side and nearly all (88 percent) find this feature very valuable.

Planners would also like the ability to track each venue’s pricing from the initial bid to final negotiated price, which becomes very helpful when companies place an emphasis on budget tracking and cost savings.

This study used both a qualitative and quantitative approach. The qualitative side is based off of nine one-on-one in-depth interviews conducted with individuals with significant event-planning responsibilities. These took place in both April and August of 2016. The quantitative side consisted of a survey completed by 94 North American individuals with mid- (25-500 attendee) to large-scale (500+ attendee) event-planning responsibilities who were at least “somewhat involved” in planning or overseeing of meetings and events at their company and “involved” or “very involved” in the site sourcing process. This survey was fielded between May 18 and June 2, 2016.

Source: GBTA

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