Dana enjoys a strong track record in meeting and conference marketing, from our long relationship with the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) to our recent work with IMEX America and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. In fact, our President, Bob Prewitt, is the recipient of IACC’s highest honor: the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service in the Meetings Industry. But our marketing knowledge goes beyond experience. Our clients also look to us for the latest trends and insights.

Below are some of the things we know about the group market that make our media plans work:

• The meetings sell is a direct sales sell.
• Sell the visit, then sell the meeting.
• A meeting planner’s perception of the quality of your property is largely determined by the production values of your marketing materials.
• Only 17% of meeting planners have “Meeting Planner” in their title, so reaching the occasional planner and gray trade is critical to overall success.

But most importantly, we know that there are three types of meeting planners:

1. Professional Meeting Planners
• By title and/or belong to professional organizations like MPI, PCMA, SGMP, etc.
2. Occasional Meeting Planners
• Non-Professional Meeting Planners who identify with meeting responsibilities as part of their job function, but only plan 1-2 meetings per year; meeting planning is less than 25% of their job.
3. Gray Trade
• Non-Professional Meeting Planners whose meeting planning duties are few and far between, and who might not even identify meeting planning as part of their job responsibilities.

There are numerous national outlets dedicated to covering the meetings industry, plus more outlets covering the topic regionally, exclusively or partially. Professional meeting planners are easy to find and the best outlets offer comprehensive, integrated marketing programs to achieve the greatest possible return on your investment. Meeting planners are emissaries to the transient audience, and they provide a key role in differentiating hotels and brands, especially in crowded marketplaces. The professional group meetings market can be influenced with relatively modest investments.

But how do you reach the other 83% of the marketplace?

Essentially, we employ a consumer tactic—segmentation—to reach a B2B audience. Dana’s understanding of targeting and profiling delivers these separate but similar audiences. Our goal in marketing communications is to find media placements that speak to the special interests of each target group. The one-size-fits-all campaign is a thing of the past. We talk to prospective planners on their terms, knowing where they are in their careers and what information they need to succeed.

By segmenting this marketplace of occasional and “gray trade” meeting planners, Dana offers several key benefits. We deliver the right message to the right person, maximize the number of impressions, make the most of your dollars and build your hotel or destination’s brand. Does your agency have a plan to reach this “other” 83% of meeting planners? Dana does.

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