–Cvent, Inc. (NYSE: CVT), a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, recently surveyed more than 800 meeting planners to understand the generational differences between meeting planners’ sourcing behaviors as millennials rise in the meetings industry. The study found that millennials value the venue’s cost as most influential, while members of older generations value the venue’s customer service department when sourcing their next meeting location.
Millennial meeting planners are generally flexible when sourcing a venue to host their next event. The survey results uncovered that venue cost was the top reason why planners often switch locations. A 3-5 percent discount would convince up to 17 percent of millennials to choose their second choice over their first. Other top reasons millennial meeting planners switch venues included:
- Customer service (22 percent)
- Size and adequacy of space (20 percent)
- Availability of dates (12 percent)
- Bad experience with booking (10 percent)
“As the next generation of meeting planners rises in the work place, hotels and event venues need to better understand their behaviors to close more group business,” said Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing at Cvent. “It is clear from the survey findings that both the influx of millennial planners and advances in event planning processes and technologies are changing how hotels compete for lucrative group business.”
Millennials prefer a transactional experience
Venue sourcing is often a multi-day process that involves various touch-points and interactions between the venue and planner. Millennials were 37 percent less likely to source directly through a venue when compared to their older generation industry peers, indicating that the new generation of meeting planners value the convenience and simplicity of an event management platform during the process.
This new digital generation prefers to source directly at scale. 25 percent of millennial planners are more likely than older generations to report that negotiations are the most difficult part of sourcing a venue, indicating an aversion to one-on-one interactions and a preference for a transactional experience, while Generation X and Baby boomers showed a much higher willingness to negotiate.
Millennials are social media dependent
Millennial meeting planners were 50 percent more likely to say social media and blogs are highly influential when it comes to evaluating a venue compared to older generations. These millennial planners rely on online reviews, ratings and opinions, compared to traditional media.