Results from NPOA Conference Site Survey

As many NPOA members might recall, NPOA conducted a brief seven-question poll in January 2014. Titled "Future Conference Sites & Preferences," the poll was designed to provide the NPOA Board of Directors with assistance as we plan future conferences for our members. Below are some of our findings:

Registered for Ft. Lauderdale Conference? - Our first survey question asked participants whether or not they were planning on attending our conference, because we wanted to get input and feedback from both groups. As it turned out, the responses we received were almost evenly split among NPOA members, with approximately 52% telling us they planned to attend our 2014 Conference while the remainder, for various reasons, said they would be unable to attend.

Importance of Tie-in With Graphics of the Americas Expo - As most of you know, the timing of our conference came about in large part, due to the timing of the Graphics of the Americas Expo, which is traditionally held the last week of February in Miami Beach, FL. We surveyed members and asked them to rate the importance of this tie-in with their decision to attend or not attend. Approximately 23% said the tie-in was "very important" in their decision to attend. Approximately 47% told us it was of "average" importance in their overall decision making process.Another 29% told us it played little or no role in the final decision.

Best Time vs. Worst Time for a Conference? - When we asked this question we expected the answers to be all over the place, but in reality, the timing of when we might hold future conferences became quite apparent from the results. As you can see from the chart below, almost 60% of all respondents indicated the best time of the year for them to attend a conference was during the first quarter of each year.

Of even greater significance is the fact that 73% of our survey respondents indicated that the last six months of a year was, from their perspective, the "worst" time of the year for attending a conference. Assuming some latitude from the results of this survey, it is highly likely that NPOA will hold future conferences during the preferred first quarter, possibly going out four months into April.

 Time of Year Chart

 

Preferred Climates for Future Conferences - Considering the severe winter weather experienced in most parts of the country, this question probably did not need to be asked; even a third grader could have predicted the results! Out of the more than 110 survey respondents, not a single company indicated they preferred a "Winter Wonderland" or "Cold Weather" site as their preference for future conference site selections. Approximately 67% of survey respondents checked off "Warm Weather" climate for their preference. The remaining 34% told us they had no "strong" preferences.

Best Climate

 

General Location Preferences - Once again, we suspect the weather in most parts of the country played a significant role when we asked participants to indicate where they preferred to have a future conference. The "Southeast" was selected by 33% of respondents while another 22% suggested a "Western" location. As for the latter, it was clear by the cities suggested (see more about that below) they once again were indicating warmer climates as their preferred location.

General Location

 

Rotating Conference Locations - Have a conference in a great city, and many respondents want to return to that city again. New Orleans (the site of our first conference) is a perfect example of that. Others, however, even though they may have enjoyed the site selected, still like variety when it comes to future conference sites. When we asked survey participants to tell us whether they preferred rotating cities as opposed to picking one location and sticking with it for 3-4 years, the results were relatively clear as shown in the graph below. While we have not ruled out returning to a previous site (remember we only have two conferences under our belt), it is fairly apparent that for the next 2-3 years we will continue to rotate conference sites, based upon the results of this question as well as the answers to previous questions.

 

Rorating sites?

Suggested Future Sites - Our last survey question asked NPOA members to suggest, taking into consideration seasonal and temperature preferences, to suggest cities that they would like us to consider for future conferences. Six cities stood out above the rest as sites suggested by members. 

The six top cities were:

  • Las Vegas, 13.2%
  • Chicago, 11.2%
  • Orlando, 10.7%
  • New Orleans, 10.2%
  • San Diego, 9.1%

Other cities in the running included San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, Nashville, Phoenix, Atlanta, Boston, and Miami.

Our Next Conference Site? The Board of Directors will keep you informed as to our next site. Remember, there are other factors we must take into consideration, including ease of getting to the destination (it must be termed destination city), hotel costs, preferred cities versus preferred climate and timing, as well as overall conference logistics.