Important Factors for Business Meeting Location Selection
Let’s talk about business meeting location selection today. Which components are important for globally operating corporations and organizations in their meeting location selection?
We talked about the increase in remote working earlier. A great post of the benefits on remote working can be found here. Thus, the importance of in-person meetings is actually becoming more and more. If location only becomes a secondary driver in the meeting location selection process, what are then the important components to consider?
Key components for meeting location selection
In our research and discussion with corporates and globally operating teams we identified the following key components:
Experience: Imagine your team at work would be spread over different locations (maybe it actually is already for you) and you are mainly working through video conferencing. Now every once-in-a-while there is a face-to-face meeting. Let me ask a hypothetical question: Which location would you prefer to meet with your team: business hotel in any big city or a unique setup with a local experience? A finding of our research on meeting location selection components the experience factor has a high importance. People and organizations are ready to pay more if the experience-factor is exponentially higher in the more expensive location. Let me give you another example for a European traveler. Imagine, the cheapest location to meet for you team is Frankfurt. Would you pay 50 EUR more if you could meet in Ibiza or Paris or Mauritius? Most probably you would. Since the imagined experience in Ibiza, Paris or Mauritius is exponentially higher than in Frankfurt (no offence Frankfurt!).
Security: Especially for truly global teams, where the meeting location selection taps into the global availability, security considerations become important. A team which is spread over the US or Europe may not worry too much about security if they are only comparing locations within the US, Europe or certain locations in Asia. But what if, you want to bring a team of let’s say non-Africans together in a location in Africa. In that case, you may not want to select Somalia or other countries as a meeting location option.
Entry requirements: The visa component for meeting location selection is a strong one. There are locations which will never fit in a certain setup; independently how great the experience, security and/or price is. If you have an Israeli team member, some locations in the Middle East just become a no-go zone.
Price: Price has a stronger component within the corporate world than with private groups. Travel costs for multi-national organizations are still seen a strong burden on their financial status. Thus, the willingness to pay more for an exponential increase of the experience for the meeting members is lower. This willingness as well depends on the level of the people coming together. Paying for an increase in experience for a global board might be easier than for a meeting of all interns.
Strategic Importance: Another important factor for the meeting location selection is the importance of a specific location for the overall team or company strategy. If you want to enter for example the Italian market, you will be willing to select a meeting location in Italy despite the fact that it is not the cheapest one.
These 5 components have been identified as the main factors which influences the meeting location selection. There are more components such as locations with company footprints. Some companies only want to consider meeting locations where they actually have staff and/or operations.
The final selection of the meeting location is a combination mainly of Experience, Security, Entry Requirements, Price and Strategic Importance. So in the end it is all about trade-offs between those components. Sometimes, the experience factor is rated more important than for example price and vice versa.