Hotel room rates have gone through the roof, a dangerous or dirty meeting site is a major no-no and destination bad press is a who-cares. Those are among the major findings of STR’s 2017 Meeting Assessment Program, also known as DestinationMAP.

DestinationMAP is a comprehensive study of meeting planners and the meetings market in North America. The report surveys meeting planners’ preferences and their perceptions of 40 North American markets.

To be more specific:

  • Over the past decade, the average daily rate (ADR) of bookings of 10 or more rooms has grown at three times the rate of transient ADR (bookings of fewer than 10 rooms).
  • Planners prioritize safety. A safe environment and a clean/attractive site were top considerations for selecting a meeting site, followed by ease of access and value.
  • Bad publicity is only a moderate concern among all meeting planners, and even less important in the large-meeting segment (1,000 attendees or more).

More key findings:

  • Chicago, Orlando and Washington, D.C., should be pleased. About two-thirds of survey respondents —especially in the large-meeting segment—picked them as top North American markets for meetings. Not far behind were San Diego and Las Vegas.
  • Convention center considerations, such as adequate seating, reasonable rental rates, helpful staff and enough hotel rooms nearby, are important to a large majority of meeting planners.
  • Those in the large-meetings segment ranked having hotels rooms nearby and attractive conference hotels higher in importance than did their smaller-meeting counterparts.