Chicago, Orlando and Washington, D.C., are the top North American markets in the meeting planners’ consideration set, according to STR‘s 2017 DestinationMAP (Destination Meeting Assessment Program).

DestinationMAP is a comprehensive study of meeting planners and the meetings market in North America. Now in its 17th edition, the report surveys meeting planners’ preferences and perceptions.

Following Chicago (67%), Orlando (67%) and Washington, D.C. (66%), the most common destinations that meeting planners have used or would consider using are San Diego (64%) and Las Vegas (62%).

“Sixty-seven percent of planners listed Chicago and Orlando in their destination consideration set, and both markets were particularly popular in what we define as the large meetings segment (1,000+ attendees),” said Chris Klauda, STR’s director, destination research. “Planners indicated that a safe environment was overwhelmingly the top consideration when selecting a meeting site.”

Other key findings from the 2017 DestinationMAP include:

  • Corporate planners (40%) make up the largest employer type among meeting planner segments followed in almost equal proportions by associations (29%) and third-party planners (31%).
  • A safe environment and a clean/attractive site were the top considerations for selecting a meeting site, followed by ease of access and value. 
  • Convention center considerations, such as adequate seating, reasonable rental rates, helpful staff and adequate hotel rooms nearby, are important to a large majority of meeting planners.
  • Those in the large meetings segment ranked adequate hotels rooms nearby and attractive conference hotels higher in importance than did their smaller meeting counterparts.
  • Environmental deterrents (unsanitary and unsafe) are the lead location deterrents for almost all meeting planners.
  • Bad publicity is only a moderate concern among all meeting planners and even less of a concern in the large meeting segment. 
  • Among meeting planners who plan seven or more meetings annually, roughly one-third attend IMEX America, while one-fourth attend local/national Meetings Professionals International (MPI) and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) events. 
  • Over the past 10 years, Group (bookings of 10 or more rooms) average daily rate has grown at three times the rate of Transient (bookings of less than 10 rooms) ADR.

To purchase a copy of the 2017 DestinationMAP, please contact