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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

The votes are in and the conference is a winner

The first ever Small Market Meetings Conference (SMMC) scored a home run with meeting planners, who were especially impressed with the conference’s Marketplace and with Shreveport as a meeting destination.

“We’ve been planning conferences for the group travel industry for 25  years. This conference, our first for the meeting industry, is our highest-rated conference ever,” said Charlie Presley, partner for the Small Market Meetings Conference. “It is quite gratifying for our first time out.”

In terms of overall conference experience, 97 percent of meeting planners who responded to the poll (32 of 55) rated the SMMC excellent or very good. Ninety-four percent rated Shreveport’s hospitality as excellent or very good; 90 percent said they would consider Shreveport as a meeting site.

All of the planners responding to the poll said they expected to do business with a supplier they met during the Marketplace.

Good news for the planners of the SMMC was meeting planners’ responses to a question about next year’s conference: Just over 80 percent said they would attend the 2011 SMMC.

Travel industry also pleased

Members of the travel industry who responded to the online poll were also pleased with the two-day conference. Eighty-six percent of industry reps rated their overall conference experience as excellent or very good.

Like the meeting planners, the travel industry applauded Shreveport, the Shreveport-Bossier CVB, and the Shreveport Hilton and Shreveport Convention Center staffs for their hospitality, with 96 percent rating the hospitality as excellent or very good. About 70 percent rated Shreveport as excellent or very good as a meeting site.

In terms of the quality of meeting planners, 36 percent rated planners as qualified, 29 percent said planners were very qualified, and 21 percent said they were extremely qualified.

Just over 65 percent of respondents said they would attend next year’s conference, with a number of those who didn’t commit saying that the conference location would be a determining factor.

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