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by Matt Alderton | May 26, 2015
Unlike veteran meeting planners, who value customer experience above all else, Millennial meeting planners are most influenced by cost when they're sourcing venues, finds a new survey by meetings technology company Cvent.

Published today, Cvent's survey of more than 800 meeting planners seeks to expose generational differences in the sourcing habits of meeting planners. Among Millennial planners, it found, cost of venue was the No. 1 cited reason for not using a venue again next year, compared to customer service for older generations.

And yet, Millennials are extremely flexible, according to Cvent: Although a 3-5 percent discount would convince up to 17 percent of Millennial planners to choose their second choice over their first, they also could be convinced to change venue preferences because of customer service (22 percent), size and adequacy of space (20 percent), availability of dates (12 percent), and a bad booking experience (10 percent).

Millennials' attraction to cost over customer service also extends to their preferred sourcing channels, according to Cvent, which said Millennials prefer a "transactional" booking experience: Millennial planners were 37 percent less likely than older planners to source directly through a venue, it found, indicating that younger planners are drawn to the convenience of an event management platform.

Finally, Cvent found that social media is just as influential to Millennials professionally as it is socially, with Millennial planners being 50 percent more likely than older planners to report social media and blogs as highly influential when it comes to evaluating venues.

"As the next generation of meeting planners rises in the workplace, hotels and event venues need to better understand their behaviors to close more group business," Kevin Fliess, vice president of product marketing at Cvent, said in a statement. "It is clear from the survey findings that both the influx of Millennial planners and advances in event planning processes and technologies are changing how hotels compete for lucrative group business."