One of the key tasks facing meeting planners is site selection. First, you have to figure out which destination will entice and inspire members of your organization. Then you have to find suitable meeting spaces and lodging. Then it’s F&B, then decorations, then…you know the drill.

Social Tables, a meetings and events company that utilizes software to help planners and suppliers work together online, has released a new report on the site visit process. The new downloadable eBook features best practices, benchmarks and tips to help properties close more deals. It’s based on a survey of 700 respondents in the meetings and events industry who were asked about ways they thought site visits can be improved.

To download the report, click here.

The report, entitled “The Site Visit Revisited,” reveals that there’s a major disconnect between planners and properties, especially with regards to cost as a priority in the venue sourcing process. The report concludes that planners value cost as the second biggest concern after location, while properties believed cost was the last priority for planners.

Reasons planners choose an event space according to the survey are:

1. Location

2. Cost

3. Meeting space

4. Other (includes timing, available dates and contract specifics)

5. Amenities

Reasons properties think planners choose an event space according to the survey are:

1. Location

2. Meeting space

3. Other

4. Amenities

5. Cost

According to the 350 planners surveyed, the group averaged hosting 37 events a year, with 56 percent requiring site visits. That translates to planners organizing 21 events a year that require a site visit.

When asked about the primary purpose for going on a site visit, planners noted their No. 1 objective was to assess aesthetics—the look and feel of an event space. Logistics and trust rounded out the top three priorities.

The report notes that site visits represent a unique opportunity to kick off lasting relationships between planner and properties. Properties need to adapt to the changing complexion of their buyers, site visits are the piece of the event sales puzzle that offers the greatest room for improvement.

Smart Meetings Simplifies Site Selection

Smart Meetings 360, Inc. saves meeting planners time by assisting with the site selection process. Once planners, office managers and administrative assistants begin to narrow down the destination organizations want to stage an event, the Smart Meetings 360, Inc., team of experts will step in to help with determining which site is the ideal fit for an event. Smart Meetings 360, Inc., which has assisted more than 500 clients on event sourcing, works with more than 200,000 domestic and global properties.

Knowledgeable experts are with you every step of the way, including handling the RFP process. For assistance with site selection, email the Smart Meetings 360, Inc. team at

Want to learn more? Make site selection simple with Smart Meetings 360