New survey at GIBTM revealed today what are the key drivers of regional meeting planners in the Middle East at purchasing habits and the decision-making process.
According to Middle East Buyers Report released at GIBTM on Tuesday, price alone was not a key driver for regional buyers in the meetings and incentives sector.
The myth about price-conscious buyers was clearly highlighted in three very specific questions. When regional buyers were asked which features were most important when choosing a venue, price came in fourth place (48%) behind ease of access (61%), Safety and security (52%) and professionalism of staff (52%).
It was a similar response when meeting planners were asked about the least helpful type of behaviour of venue staff. Inflexibility in price negotiation came in fourth position (55%) behind venue changes not communicated (61%), slow staff response (58%) and staff turnover (58%).
Another interesting statistic was the fact that the flexibility of meetings space ranked higher than price, when considering which features of a venue were most important to a buyer.
Overall the study analysed the preferences of Middle East-based meeting planners in terms of the types of destinations and venues that they choose for their events, but also how they wish to interact with the sales and marketing professionals that are competing to host those events.
Other highlights of the study were that the UAE is the leading destination 66% of meeting planners reporting having held meetings there in the last two years. Outside of the region, approximately 70% of planners also said that they had selected European destinations for their events with France, Spain, Austria, Italy and Turkey, respectively, the most popular countries.
Almost 50% of respondents have also held events in Asian countries, with Malaysia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka the top three ranked destinations.
The report also found that 97.5% of respondents opt for hotels in terms of venue preference, and this sends out a clear message to properties of the need to invest in state-of-the-art facilities, technology and offer dedicated propositions.