August 1, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The survey, conducted by not-for-profit UK-based organisation The Business of Events, polled corporate, association and agency planners from the UK, Europe and North America, on the relative importance of 12 factors in the destination or venue selection process.

Only one choice factor was universally agreed to be the most important amongst those surveyed, with venue quality and suitability chosen across all markets as amongst the most important.

Amongst the least important, there was also one common factor – sectoral strengths of the destinations in contention.

Sustainability, which is generating a lot of attention in the Australasian market, was seen as reasonably important amongst planners in the UK and Europe, ranked amongst factors considered second in relative importance, while North American planners considered it significantly less important, with just two out of the 12 factors considered of less importance than sustainability.

All planners were asked to rank the 12 choice factors from one to 10, with 10 indicating the factor had the highest relative importance and one representing the lowest importance.

Amongst UK planners, aside from venue quality, ranked at nine, cost and value for money was also cited as the other equally important top decision factor, also assigned a collective nine. Coming in at eight were accessibility and ease of travel, sustainability and quality of welcome in the host destination. Sectoral strengths was the single lowest ranked factor, given a four on the rankings scale.

In Europe, destination choice factors appear more evenly weighted, with accessibility and quality of welcome sitting alongside venue quality at nine, while value for money, destination support, safety and security and sustainability of host destinations all came in at eight on the rankings scale.

At the bottom of the list for European organisers, ranked six, were equity and diversity, skills and talent along with sectoral strengths.

In the US, planners were freer with the very top ranking, indicating accessibility, safety and quality of welcome all sat alongside venue quality and suitability with the highest ranking of 10.

With nothing gaining the second highest ranking of nine, cost, destination support and food and hospitality came in at 8.

Sectoral strengths came in at just three, while equity and diversity is also not high on the factors influencing destination choice at five, and sustainability was also less important to US planners, ranked six, alongside skills and talent.

Destination brand was a firm middle-of-the-pack factor across all geographies.

The survey was conducted during late May and early June.

The Business of Events is a series of reports and events for the full cross section of the business events industry, with support for the organisation coming primarily from UK governments, including major destination bureaux, and UK industry associations.