Going Global? Destination Will Be a Crucial Success Driver

Post authored by Ben Goedegebuure, Global General Manager, Maritz Travel Company

hall of flagsAs our global economy continues to pick up steam, demands for face-to-face networking overseas will intensify. Today, more North American organizations are moving beyond their borders as they strive to grow revenues and market share globally.

As they proceed, international meetings, conferences and trade shows are often the first business growth accelerators they will explore.That’s good news for associations, as they are best poised to orchestrate meaningful, international deal-making and thought leadership discussions. Yet this global dynamic brings on new challenges and new decision points, the first one being…

Where Should You Host Your Event?

Make no mistake, location weighs heavily as a global meetings success driver. It’s one of the first decisions you’ll make and once that box is checked, it’s difficult and costly to amend. All too often, decision factors for selecting cities in North America don’t translate as well to the global marketplace.

On occasion, personal preferences enter in and cloud critical thinking. Your CXO just returned from a glorious Mediterranean vacation. Suddenly, he’s recommending cities that might be ideal for leisure travel, but less capable to accommodate needs and desires for your most important event customers.

Stepping Up Your Global Decision Intelligence

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) recently published their 2014 Statistics Report, ranking international destinations by a number of criteria. Here are their Top 10 cities for international meetings in 2014:

  1. Paris
  2. Barcelona
  3. Madrid
  4. London
  5. Vienna
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Berlin
  8. Istanbul
  9. Copenhagen
  10. Singapore

Knowing that a city has experience in hosting international meetings is comforting, but that’s hardly enough to arrive at an informed decision. You’ll need stronger decision intelligence, often gleaned from a number of sources.

To arrive at your best destination decision, you’ll need to gather and analyze more data (both quantitative and qualitative), which might include:

  • Data on market density – Measuring total addressable market by region, by country and by city.
  • Data on what drives the “decision to attend” for your top event customer targets.
  • Data to rank each destination on their ability to deliver on your event promise – Beyond strong capabilities and financial vigor, how well does this destination align with your brand?
  • An even deeper dive on venue(s) within each destination – Do you have access to rates for similar groups booking these venues? Will meeting spaces be conducive for peer-to-peer networking discussions? What venue “wow” factors will your event guests notice and appreciate?

We’ve only scratched the surface. What additional data points or decision insight would you add to this list? Which cities are ranking highest on your global wish list? 

Stay tuned next week as we examine best ways to enhance your global decision intelligence. We’ll also reveal three key attributes for event organizers that are winning big on global.

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