Planners Voted the Best Meeting Destinations

January 20, 2022

Destinations worldwide are looking around wondering who is doing it right and who will capture meeting planners’ attention the most effectively. Instead of guessing, DCI looked to the meeting planners themselves and asked the questions that every destination wants answered.

We asked what are the best meeting destinations for hosting meetings, and the laureates aren’t all what we expected.

DCI’s newest edition of “Winning Strategies In Destination Marketing: A View From Meeting Planners” offers insight to guide efforts among destinations looking to attract meetings and conventions. Among the results are the best meeting destinations of the world as perceived by these professionals.

Surprises: The Winners

While some destinations like New York and London continue to be top meeting destinations, a few new names have crept onto the list. Among North American sites, for example, Canadian destinations are becoming more popular taking silver and gold behind San Diego in the rankings for best-in-class destinations.

Perceptions of places shift in response to all sorts of geopolitical issues, but the handling of the pandemic in general has clearly helped many destinations like Vancouver and Montreal rise to the top. Internationally we saw Sydney and Auckland rank in top spots, along with Mexico, which helped push Brazil off the list entirely this year.

The report details European and South American destinations that also provided some surprises, demonstrating how much the pandemic has shifted planners’ perceptions in such a short time. Positive perceptions lead to more bookings, and destinations want to make sure they are keeping up with the cool kids.

Less Surprising: The Losers

As part of the best meeting destinations, the report detailed locations with the worst perceptions, providing further insight on how the pandemic and political turmoil can create big problems for certain cities and countries. Both domestic and international destinations were marred by their COVID-19 responses, leaving them in the dust when it comes to meeting planners’ perceptions.

Texas and Florida, two U.S. destinations who some planners note had the least robust response to the pandemic and some of the highest infection rates in the country, were among the biggest losers this time around. China and India on the international field also rated high on the list of destinations that planners are likely to avoid. While Brazil didn’t land on the least favored list per se, it’s absence on the best-in-class list suggests that its perception has been similarly tarnished due to its government’s COVID-19 response.

Poor perceptions mean planners will pass on even considering these destinations for upcoming events. All the fancy convention centers and eager hotels won’t mean a thing if planners won’t even consider stepping foot inside your city or country.

What Now?

Know your competition and follow their examples. Or at least see who isn’t succeeding and be sure you aren’t following what they are doing. In any case, destinations must adapt to meet the needs of meeting planners today. As perceptions change among the best meeting destinations, so do habits and practices, and the strategies we all used going into 2020 won’t cut it anymore.

Knowing the best worst meeting destinations, however, is just the start to creating a successful plan for attracting conventions. Data doesn’t lie and “Winning Strategies In Destination Marketing: A View From Meeting Planners” provides all the insight you need to meet planners where they are. It’s the best tool you have for helping to shape perceptions and maximize your chance of getting on – and ideally staying on – their radars.

Get Your Copy

The fourth edition of “Winning Strategies In Destination Marketing: A View From Meeting Planners” is out now and provides the data and rankings that destinations need to bolster their perceptions among meeting and conference planners. Click here to download your copy.

Eager to make a better impression on meeting planners? The MICE industry took a hit during the pandemic, but it adapted and continued. Get in touch with Stella Tsitsipatis at [email protected] to learn more about DCI’s business events marketing services for destinations and its more than 60 years of creating successful strategies.