Digital Edge was fortunate to partner with Destination Analysts and Miles Partnership on The CVB & The Future of the Meetings Industry 2020 study. Destinations International shared the study findings via their webinar on February 10, 2021.  

This study and webinar conversation had so many great insights, so we thought it was important to recap and highlight the top conversation points. 

The Future of the Meetings Industry Blog Image - Digital EdgeWhat do you see most impacting how CVBs are and must market meetings right now?

The demand for higher-quality convention services offering is increasingly important, especially as planners try to navigate how they can host groups in destinations with so many different orders and requirements.  

This will become more taxing for destinations that have had to reduce staff and reduce offerings to make ends meet.  Thus, the opportunity lies in finding and using automation and digital techniques to provide this higher-quality service.  

Servicing groups will require more collaboration with local authorities, businesses, speakers, sponsors, etc.  For many, services are the new sales and will require an organizational shiftjust like the way we sold changed during the pandemic to become a virtual sales experience only.  Servicing will need to incorporate more digital tools, automations and enhanced marketing to meet today’s planners’ needs.

meetings marketing impact image - Digital EdgeWhat about the longer-term impacts? What is here to stay?  

The need to focus on a destination’s digital presence will continue to be a focus for meetings marketing moving forward, especially as the research shows CVB’s need to gain recognition and awareness among Millennial planners.

The destinations that use the pandemic as an opportunity to take a more innovative approach to their meetings marketing will be the winners who are finding planners in unconventional places and engaging them where they live digitally.  This includes using nontraditional mediums and maintaining a presence across devices and platforms. 

Check out our blog on Millennial planners

Meetings Marketing Focus Image - Digital EdgeWhat are the best things that CVBs should focus on right now to develop necessary marketing and advertising assets?

From the research report, the most important information meeting planners want CVBs to include in their destination advertisements right now are: 

  • Images of socially distanced meetings 
  • Highlights of what is new in the destination 
  • Images of outdoor group meeting venues 
  • Short, succinct message about your meetings product 
  • Imagery of people wearing masks in the destination

Nuts & Bolts of Meetings Marketing - Digital EdgeWhat hasn’t changed? 

One thing that will always remain the same is the need for destinations to remember planners are logistics first and destination experience second.  Planners want to know will their meetings fit in terms of space, rooms, and dates.  Once they know the logistics work, we can sell them on the experience and the attributes.  

This is quite the opposite of leisure travel, where we lead with sparkle and then get to the nuts and bolts of it.  But in meetings, we lead with the nuts and bolts, then add the sparkle.  

Check out our Covid-19 Resources for more insights, and don’t forget to obtain your copy of the study

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