How Do Meeting Organizers Choose Convention Sites Based on Different Types of Meetings?

An Empirical Analysis of the Italian Meetings Industry

Understanding site selection criteria and decision-making processes used by meeting organizers is critical to explain and predict their purchasing behavior.

There is substantial literature covering site selection, and while previous research has helped to identify many of the criteria involved, very few studies have focused on the relative importance of each one. In particular, there has been no published paper differentiating the importance of each of the destination’s attributes and the influence that different types of meeting organizer exerts over the executive site choice, based on types of meetings.

The present research aims to explore this somewhat neglected area of tourism research by focusing on six types of meetings, i.e., conferences, conventions, incentive travel meetings, kick-off meetings, seminars, and symposiums. The study is based on a web survey of selected Italian meeting organizers.

Data were coded and analyzed using SPSS (version 17.0), then applying the chi-square test and post hoc analysis (Bonferroni test), where appropriate, to indicate whether the influence that the different categories of meeting organizers exert over the site selection process, and the way organizers assess the importance of each selection factors, can be differentiated by type of meeting. Findings support both these research propositions, and suggest ways in which a destination can enhance its competitiveness according to the type of meeting it would like to attract.

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