Cvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT) recently surveyed more than 800 meeting planners to understand the generational differences between meeting planners’ sourcing behaviors as millennials rise in the meetings industry. The study found that millennials value the venue’s cost as most influential, while members of older generations value the venue’s customer service department when sourcing their next meeting location.
Millennial meeting planners are generally flexible when sourcing a venue to host their next event. The survey results uncovered that venue cost was the top reason why planners often switch locations. A 3-5 percent discount would convince up to 17 percent of millennials to choose their second choice over their first. Other top reasons millennial meeting planners switch venues included:
- Customer service (22 percent)
- Size and adequacy of space (20 percent)
- Availability of dates (12 percent)
- Bad experience with booking (10 percent)
Millennials prefer a transactional experience
Venue sourcing is often a multi-day process that involves various touch-points and interactions between the venue and planner. Millennials were 37 percent less likely to source directly through a venue when compared to their older generation industry peers, indicating that the new generation of meeting planners value the convenience and simplicity of an event management platform during the process.
This new digital generation prefers to source directly at scale. 25 percent of millennial planners are more likely than older generations to report that negotiations are the most difficult part of sourcing a venue, indicating an aversion to one-on-one interactions and a preference for a transactional experience, while Generation X and Baby boomers showed a much higher willingness to negotiate.
Millennials are social media dependent
Millennial meeting planners were 50 percent more likely to say social media and blogs are highly influential when it comes to evaluating a venue compared to older generations. These millennial planners rely on online reviews, ratings and opinions, compared to traditional media.
About the survey
Cvent surveyed a total of 842 meeting planners in three days. Among those polled, 71 percent sourced meetings on behalf of their company, 17 percent were association planners and 11 percent were third-party planners. Generation X planners (35-52 year olds) represented the largest demographic of event planners with 43 percent of the surveyed audience. Millennial or Generation Y planners (18-34 year olds) were the second largest segment, comprising of 41 percent of respondents. The Baby boomer generation represented 53-64 year olds surveyed. The 2015 Planner Sourcing Report was designed to provide venues with the insights needed to close more group business. The executive summary can be downloaded here.
Cvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT) is a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with more than 14,000 customers worldwide. Cvent offers software solutions to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys. Cvent provides hoteliers with an integrated platform, enabling properties to increase group business demand through targeted advertising and improve conversion through proprietary demand management and business intelligence solutions. Cvent solutions optimize the entire event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage hundreds of thousands of meetings and events.
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