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1 April 2015

BestCities not afraid to ask the tough questions

BestCities Global Alliance have undertaken their 6th consecutive Client Survey at a time when competition in the international convention market is at an all-time high and client satisfaction has never been more important.

All six client surveys from 2009 - 2014, have been conducted by LJ Research and measure ongoing levels of service and expertise provided by BestCities' full partners.

"Winning business as a result of word of mouth referrals is dependent on achieving high approval rates among existing clients and in today's highly competitive environment, client satisfaction is even more critical," says Karen Bolinger, BestCities Board Chair and CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau.

"Six years of evaluating our clients has provided BestCities with a highly valuable resource unmatched by any other convention bureaux alliance and the data collected allows us to consistently monitor our commitment to deliver high quality services as well as to make direct comparisons to previous years.

"For example, we have seen client satisfaction with ‘Response time to Requests' increase from 8.97 in 2010 to 9.08 in 2014. Although a minor increase, the data indicates that our bureaux reacted to the feedback and, as part of their regular audits, addressed the areas of concern and improved their internal processes.

"This improvement in service is a direct benefit to all our clients, and as we embark on a new strategic direction with an even stronger customer focus, it is more important than ever that we continue to ask the tough questions and be ready to listen and respond to the feedback - both good and bad," says Ms Bolinger.

The ten* BestCities partners of Berlin, Cape Town, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore and Vancouver were all evaluated, in the 2014 survey, across a range of areas including bureau performance, bid services and delegate boosting.

"Regularly capturing and assessing client feedback also provides us with insights into any occurring trends as well as identifying areas for improvement," continues Ms Bolinger.

"We know that delegate boosting is an area that clients feel very strongly about with 48% of respondents making use of the service in 2014. However, feedback also suggests that more information should be provided and that it could be tailored more closely to fit delegates' needs and requirements.

"With our capacity to harness the collective power of our partners, BestCities is addressing this challenge by working towards a model of attendance building where clients will receive the same high level of assistance across 12 destinations and five continents," concludes Ms Bolinger.

*During the period of this survey, Bogotá and Tokyo were not full members of the Alliance and as such are not included in these results.

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