Breaking Down Convene’s Meetings Market Survey: What It Means for Venues



To get to the heart of how the needs of planners and organizers are changing, we dug into PCMA Convene’s recently released 28th Annual Meetings Market Survey.

Here is what the research means for venues:

Takeaway #1: Belt-Tightening Still on the Horizon

Of no surprise, most event planners and organizers face the continued challenge of belt-tightening across expenses. Specifically:

  • 63 percent are being asked to reduce F&B expenses
  • 47 percent are asked to trim AV costs

What is unstated, but still likely in the crosshairs of belt-tightening, is the pressure for organizers and planners to reduce both the cost of time and travel associated with conducting in-person venue site visits.

As venues think about ways to support organizers and planners in their belt-tightening, all involved would be well-suited to tapping online options that reduce the number—or even eliminate entirely—in-person site visits.

New tools like AllSeated’s virtual walkthroughs and immersive 3D floorplan tours, help reduce the expenses associated with in-person site visits and enable organizers and planners to save or shift dollars to other areas of the event budget.

Takeaway #2: Digital Venue Marketing Tools Play a Role

When it comes to site selection, Convene’s research found a majority of respondents prefer to do things the old-fashioned way: 45 percent said in-person site visits are their first preference.

However, the research also revealed digital venue marketing tools like online searches are preferred by 24 percent of survey respondents.

So how can meeting venues best connect with those who prefer online searches and other digital marketing tools to guide site selection choices? The answer? A robust venue marketing toolkit that appeals to a diverse set of needs.

For example:

  • Floorplans: Whether 2D, 3D or an immersive photorealistic view, floorplans that can be accessed online or viewed during in-person visits help organizers visualize how their event will unfold in the space.

Just make sure that the floorplans can be viewed on different devices, such as a computer, tablet, smartphone, and even Virtual Reality headsets to accommodate any planner or organizer’s needs.

  • Images: Just like floorplans, eye-catching images on a venue’s website or a gallery of images shown digitally during a site visit go a long way to creating interest in the venue.
  • Video: Aside from boosting the digital presence, videos bring to life what is possible within a space – which is incredibly meaningful and powerful no matter whether the organizer or planner is viewing online or side-by-side with the venue planner.

Takeaway #3: The Planning Window Widens

Good news for venues: the average booking window for large meetings is 2.3 years and for small meetings, it’s 10 months.

Aside from adding a little breathing room for all involved, this slight increase in the planning window means venues have more time to get and stay on organizers and planners’ minds.

Whether that’s through an active social media presence, some of the digital marketing tools described above, or other means, venues who use this long time to their advantage have a better opportunity to continually fill their calendar with potential bookings.

Budgets and technology will continue to reshape meetings and events—for organizers and planners as well as venues. Research illustrates that venues who embrace and offer cost-saving solutions for site surveys, incorporate digital tools into their marketing plan and take advantage of the longer planning window are key to meeting organizers and planners’ evolving needs and expectations.

Contact us to learn more about how AllSeated innovative event planning platform prepares your venue for the future!