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Planners Looking for Flexibility in Meeting Packages


A survey of executives at 26 dedicated conference facilities in the United States and Canada reveals an increase in demand for modified meeting packages (MMP), which their customers say deliver greater value and flexibility.

The survey was conducted in mid-November by PHG Research, a division of Pompan Hospitality Global Inc., a hospitality consulting firm based in Easton, PA. It defined a dedicated conference facility as one deriving at least two-thirds of its business from meeting and conference groups. Significant findings of the survey include:

  • Almost half of responding properties report that complete meeting packages (CMP) represent less than 1
  • 0 percent of the packages sell. Two-thirds of properties say that less than half of meeting packages sold are CMPs. The most common definition of the CMP is a package that includes a guest room, proportionate meeting space, basic AV, three meals and continuous refreshment breaks.
  • High speed internet access is included in CMPs at 60 per cent of responding properties. 
  • Nearly 60 per cent of responding property executives say that customers find a modified meeting package offers greater value than a CMP
  • 41.7 per cent of respondents say their MMP volume has increased in the past three years.
  • Desire for flexibility in choosing dinner options and the desire to save money in whichever areas they can are the top two reasons customers give for opting for MMPs, report respondents.
  • 33 per cent of properties say day meeting packages (DMP) represent more than 40 per cent or more of their business
  • 83.3 per cent of respondents say that demand for the DMP has increased or stayed the same in the past three years
  • 33 per cent of respondents say clients find greater value in purchasing a DMP with a separate guest room rate

“The data supports our belief that the market is moving away from the CMP in favour of the MMP, or a DMP with or without guestrooms,”says Neil Pompan, president of PHG. “In our opinion, this shift is in no way an indictment of the conference-center concept. Many meeting planners still seek the ease of crafting a total meeting experience based on the expertise found among conference-center sales and service personnel. But at the same time, planners are looking for more flexibility in how they purchase this experience, given their organization’s perception of need and of value. Therefore, flexibility in how packages are offered is critical for facilities that want to thrive.”

The survey results are available online at http://www.pompanhospitality.com/assets/phg-meeting-package-survey_results.pdf

 



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