100 Years of Advancing Destinations

DMAI’s empowerMINT Planner Survey Reveals Opportunities for DMOs

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) empowerMINT initiative conducted its second annual Meeting Planner Survey, revealing telling opportunities for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to position themselves in a meetings market.

Garnering over 280 responses from meeting planners responsible for planning between one to over 30 meetings per year, the survey delved into topics surfaced by the DMAI’s Sales and Marketing Committee.

The survey explored the challenges that meeting professionals face throughout their planning process, identified primary sourcing practices, and pinpointed areas where they need the most help.

The survey indicated 54% of meeting planners struggle most to find a hotel that can provide the right space and configuration for their meetings’ objectives and still meet their group’s budget requirements.  Additionally one in every three planners hope to complete their search within four weeks, signaling the continued short lead time to booking events.

While planners do not rely exclusively on any single, location-sourcing channel, the majority (68%) of respondents indicated they depend (exclusively or heavily) on their  own on-line research to find the right hotel for their meeting needs and budget.

“That planners do not use any one channel to find possible meeting locations means that DMOs must make their destination sales professionals and information accessible in all the places planners do their research,” said Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki, Managing Director of empowerMINT.com. “This includes optimizing for a planner’s own independent online search and educating them on how DMOs are also uniquely qualified to help them with their search.”

Given the complexities involved with sending request for proposals, receiving responses, managing negotiations, and the final selection process, planners revealed they would be most interested in securing honest/insider information on venues/localities (52.6%), getting concrete recommendations, tailored to the specific needs of YOUR meeting (46.4%), and ensuring that they aren't pressured by vendors when they’re still in the early stages of investigating an area or areas.

With over 3,000 destination sales professionals with qualified local expertise, extensive in-market relationships, and a comprehensive view of their destinations, DMOs are the best, first point of contact to help planners find the best fit for any size meeting. The empowerMINT initiative continues to educate the meetings community on the specific ways DMOs bring unparalleled value to meeting planners, and to optimize the web presence for empowerMINT subscribers in the current environment dominated by online search. 


Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide. DMAI's influential membership includes nearly 600 official destination marketing organizations (DMOs), also known as tourism boards or Convention and Visitor Bureaus, from nearly 20 countries that command $2.1 billion in annual budgets. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for DMOs, it provides more than 3,700 individual members - professionals, industry partners, educators and students - the most innovative and relevant educational resources, networking opportunities and marketing intelligence worldwide. 


Media Contact:
Jim McCaul, +1.202.835.4205
Content Manager