The 2014 EIBTM China MICE Buyer Behaviour Report was presented by Rob Davidson (Senior Lecturer in Events Management at University of Greenwich and Managing Director at MICE Knowledge) and it showed the biggest changes in the behaviour of venue managers and professional event organisers in China.

For those who were not so lucky to attend EIBTM 2014, here it is a summary of the results presented:

 

Results of the 1st survey

 

Where are the destinations that you most use for your meetings?

  • 47% worldwide
  • 29% in my province and through out China
  • 15% through China and in other South East Asia countries
  • 3% UK and Ireland
  • 2% Western Europe

 

What are the differences compared to last year?

  • An 11% increase in the proportion of meeting planners who said that the average length of their typical meeting is 3 days
  • A fall of 14% in the proportion of the meeting planners who said that the average length of their typical meeting is 5 days or more
  • But meetings organised by Chinese meeting planners are still longer than average

 

What type of venue do you most use for the meetings that you organise?

  • 84.1% hotels
  • 12.5% Convention centres
  • 1.9% universities
  • 1.4% other

 

Which sources of information on meetings are most important to you?

  • 25% other meeting planners
  • 16% telephoning DMOs
  • 12% meeting industry exhibitions
  • 12% DMOs websites
  • 9% familiarisation trips to destination
  • 9% meeting industry magazines
  • 7% social media
  • 6% intermediaries
  • 4% other

 

Results

  • Less use of familiarisation trips than last year
  • More emphasis on other meeting planners
  • More use of destination marketing organisations

 

On average, how long in advance of your meetings do you book the venue?

  • 51% between 1 and 3 months
  • 25% between 3 and 6 months
  • 14% between 1 week and 1 month
  • 8% between 6 and 12 months
  • 2% between 1 year and 2 years

 

When choosing a destination for your meetings, which of the following features (as very important) are the most important for you?

  • 59% price
  • 51% match to business
  • 44% attractiveness for tourism
  • 37% easy access
  • 34% safety and security
  • 24% match to topics to be discussed
  • 14% professionalism of the local meetings industry
  • 14% climate

 

Results

  • A more pragmatic and business-like mood among Chinese meeting planners
  • Climate far less important

 

When choosing a VENUE for your meetings, which of the following features are most important to you?

  • 32.7% location
  • 31.2% price
  • 14.9% staff service
  • 8.6% technical aspects
  • 6.25% food and beverage
  • 6.25% architecture and decoration

 

Results for Venue preferences

  • “Price” has moved up from 7th place, last year, to 2nd place this year
  • The Chinese meetings market is now beginning to look more like markets in other world regions

 

In your dealings with VENUES sales staff, what annoys you?

  • 23.8% they are inflexible in negotiations
  • 16.5% they do not tell me about changes in the venue that will affect my meeting
  • 15.8% they don’t answer my calls quickly
  • 15.2% they contact me repeatedly even when I tell them I am not interested in their venue
  • 14.6% staff turnover – changes of personnel –
  • 14% they want to charge extra for things that should be included in the price

 

Results

  • Growing impatience with time-wasting
  • Venues’ lack of flexibility in negotiations on price has become the most important source of meeting planners’ annoyance (up from 6th place last year)

 

How satisfied are you with the quality and quantity of venues available to you, for your meetings?

  • Quality (6.5% very satisfied, 93% quite satisfied)
  • Quantity (3.5% very satisfied, 95% quite satisfied)

 

How easy it is for you  to get useful information on destinations and venues for your meetings in China?

  • Information on destinations (12 very easy, 86% quite easy)
  • Information on venues (10 very easy, 88% quite easy)

 

How easy it is for you  to get useful information on destinations and venues for your meetings in OTHER countries (not China)?

  • Information on destinations (6% very easy, 83% quite easy, 10% quite difficult)
  • Information on venues (7% very easy, 81% quite easy, 11% quite difficult)

 

In the past 12 months, what changes have you noticed?

  • My meetings and events groups are becoming larger (21% a lot, 32% a little, 47% not at all)
  • My meetings and events groups are becoming  smaller (28% a lot, 38% a little, 34% not at all)
  • My client’s budget are growing (16% a lot, 24% a little, 60% not at all)
  • My client’s budget are shrinking (24% a lot, 35% a little, 41% not at all)

 

In the next 12 months, what changes do you expect to see?

  • 52% The number of meetings and events that I will organise will grow
  • 43% The budgets for my meetings and events will grow
  • 21% The average length of my meetings and events will grow

 

Results of the 2nd survey  (CIBTM future trends report)

Data were collected in Summer 2014 through an on line survey sent to Chinese venues present on the CIBTM database. Most of the 311 respondents are hotels.

 

On the website for your venue, which of the following features are present?

  • 26.4% On line booking
  • 23.6% downloadable plan
  • 18.5% a blog
  • 12.4% on line enquiry form
  • 5.6% Case studies of successful events held in your venue
  • 5% video testimonials from satisfied clients
  • 4.5% written testimonials from satisfied clients
  • 3.9% virtual tour of the venue

 

 

In your opinion, what are the main reasons for clients choosing your venue  for their meetings (ranked as very important)?

  • 33% location
  • 27.9% price
  • 16.7% architecture and decoration
  • 15.2% staff service
  • 4.7% technical aspects
  • 2.5% food and beverage

 

Which of these sources do you use, for finding new clients for your venue?

  • 36.5% internet searches
  • 33.3% databases
  • 26.4% agencies
  • 25.3% trade shows
  • 11.5% social media channels
  • 7.6% convention bureau / Municipal tourism administration
  • 34.4% other sources

 

Which ONE of the previous methods do you find most useful, for finding new clients for your venue?

  • 29.4% internet searches
  • 24.1% trade shows
  • 18.7% databases
  • 11.2% previous clients
  • 10.2% agencies
  • 3.2% convention bureaus
  • 3.2% social media

 

In the last 12 months, have you noticed the following changes in the market for meetings and events, for the venue (% of respondents strongly agreeing with these statements)?

  • 22.4% Demand from clients for stronger broadband is growing
  • 22% Competition on venues is growing
  • 15.7% Clients are negotiating harder
  • 10.2% clients’ budgets are shrinking
  • 9% meeting and events groups are becoming smaller
  • 7.8% the length of meetings is shrinking
  • 6.7% Lead-Times are becoming smaller
  • 6.3% meetings and events groups are becoming larger

 

In the next 12 months, what investments do you expect to see in your venue?

  • Physical expansion of the venue (69 yes, 213 no)
  • Refurbishment of the venue (91 yes, 185 no)
  • Better broadband (125 yes, 151 no)
  • Better audio visual facilities (126 yes, 147 no)
  • Customer – facing staff training (219  yes, 49 no)
  • Sales staff training (226 yes, 44 no)
  • More expenditure on marketing (92  yes, 178 no)
  • Employing more staff for the venue (93 yes, 174 no)

 

As a venue manager or a professional event organiser, if you are interested in the latest opportunities and trends in the Indian Meetings and Events industry, don’t miss tomorrow our next article 2014 “EIBTM M&IT India Meetings Industry Research” presented by Martin Lewis at EIBTM 2014.

 

gianfranco

The author: Gianfranco

Gianfranco is Bizvento’s Marketing Director. He defines the company’s corporate and product messaging and leads the development of digital marketing activities. He gets inspiration from playing with his kids and cooking delicious Italian food for dinners with his friends. Visit www.bizvento.com or follow us on Twitter to learn more.