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Convention bureau assistance "game changer" for US planners, survey finds

Convention bureaus need to offer more direct financial help to attract US buyers, according to a new survey

Convention bureaus need to offer more direct financial help and sponsorship opportunities to attract US buyers, according to a new survey.

The Destination Marketing Insights from Meeting Executives survey of 398 primarily US-based conference organisers found that subvention and incentive programmes are the biggest game changers when it comes to destination appeal, with planners looking for financial support to offset the effects of escalating costs and additional fees.

The survey found US planners have been engaging more frequently with convention bureaus in the last year, with 43.4 per cent of respondents saying their levels of engagement has increased somewhat over the last 12 months.

And in the next 24 months, almost half of respondents expected their business relationship activities with convention bureaus to slightly or significantly increase, as executives look to convention bureaus to help drive better results from meetings in response to increased costs.

72 per cent of respondents said that subvention and incentive programmes would enhance the appeal of a potential meeting destination for businesses, with 48 per cent citing social media support as a factor.

Buyers also want to engage face-to-face to understand the destination value proposition, with 37.8 per cent of planners surveyed saying that site inspections and fam trips are the most effective destination marketing engagement tactic.

Cold calls do not engage or make a positive impression with buyers, with 32.7 per cent of respondents citing telephone calls as the least effective marketing ploy.

Destination infrastructure continues to be the most important element when choosing a destination, with accommodation and air access the two top priorities for planners.

You can view the full results of the survey, conducted by Fulcrum Marketing, here:

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