Why Should You Survey Your Attendees About Their Event Destination Preferences?

Bringing your attendees into the conversation about choosing where they will meet next shows them that you value their insight and opinions. A simple survey can point your compass toward the destinations which offer the most features on your group’s wish list.

There are myriad ways in which destinations and venues can influence the success of an event. Armed with information straight from your event attendees, a more targeted site search lays the foundation for meeting (and exceeding) your event objectives. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Be brief.
You will lose participants’ interest after more than 12 or so questions.  Also, try boosting their interest and the response rate by tacking on a sweepstakes award for participation.

Don’t wait until the current event concludes to start the discussion.
Mid-event, seek out commentary about this year’s location, perhaps with one question per day. Was it a smooth trip to the venue? What strikes a chord about the hotel or resort?

After the event, don’t delay in sending a web link to your survey. Embedded sites offer wider options for an appealing design and easy interface, likely reflecting why they receive higher response rates.

Prepare your questionnaire by narrowing the field to several destinations. Seek ratings on several factors which are most pertinent to the nature of your event.

Depending on the nature of the event—say, an incentive reward trip, association conference or board meeting—your query should focus on key factors most critical to your audience. Let’s look at some other considerations for specific types of events.

Incentive Trips – Flight of Fancy
Naturally, as an incentive program, the more desirable the destination, the more your employees will be driven to perform and ultimately, win. Since incentives are a reward for both the employee and their spouse or partner, you may want to consider collecting input from both attendees. This may include speaking to the spouse indirectly. For example, “Did your guest take advantage of the spa?” Or perhaps, “Did you and your guest have any special dietary requirements and were they met?” Some topics to cover include both the highlights and challenges of the previous destination. Also consider asking, “Would you choose a beach or city break?” Or, “What is the most important feature about the hotel or resort?”

Association Conferences – Practical and Financial
This is perhaps the most important type of event to survey. Why? Because the destination may significantly affect whether guests choose to actually attend. Be sure to ask for opinions on the previous venue’s meeting space and facilities. For future destinations included in your survey, find out what attracts or deters attendees. Is it a broad selection of hotel types? Value for money?  Restaurants, nightlife or activities? Is it an advantage to return to a previous location or is it more enticing to head to a new location? 

Corporate Meetings – Most Brass Tacks

Logistics, convenience and cost are all important drivers attached to the decision of where to hold an internal corporate event. A quick query to your group may clarify what needs they expect to have met and may increase engagement.  Here’s a few helpful hints:

  • Understanding access across the group—by air, car or public transit—can help in narrowing your focus.
  • The preference of room setup could determine the square footage required at your venue.
  • When there is a networking component to the event, consider which characteristics of a venue are most conducive to success.

Finally, include a field with a few open-ended questions. This allows survey takers to nominate alternate locations and to highlight areas of concern.


Elita Murphy

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