Social Tables survey of meeting planners and properties reveals best practicesNewsBy Sean O'Neil | March 30, 2016Share This article was originally published on There have been almost no research-backed reports on how hotels can increase their revenue from booking more meetings and improving their site visits.So the industry has been under-informed about a big opportunity. Group business accounts for about 30% of total revenue for hotels with a food-and-beverage and group focus.Social Tables, a cloud-based events software business, starts to fill that knowledge gap today with "The Site Visit, Revisited", a 19-page report on the topic, covering what goes into a site visit, how planners and properties have differing expectations, and what are the best practices for site visits that close deals.Last December, the Washington, DC-based startup surveyed more than 350 planners and 350 properties in the US and Canada in a poll of Tnooz readers and a poll of members of the Global Business Travel Association and the startup's own customers.The average event professional plans 37 events per year, requiring 45 site visits annually, according to the survey. But planners and properties don't always see things the same way. Here's a telling quote from the report: "One of the most interesting disconnects between planners and properties, as illustrated in the survey, is how both sides perceive cost to be a priority in the venue sourcing process. Planners value cost as the second biggest concern after location, while properties believed cost was the last priority for planners, following location, meeting space, amenities, and “other.”Share this quote After location and cost, the biggest factor that was most often the primary reason for planners to go on a site visit was to evaluate aesthetics, or the look and feel of an event space. Logistics and trust were also important justifications.Social Tables -- which says it has more than 3,500 customers for its tools -- naturally cheerleads for planners and properties to replace paper-and-pen based site visits with software-powered ones. The report talks about the efficiency that can be gained by relying on technological solutions, rather than pen-and-paper and other traditional methods.For more details, readers can download the free report.