New survey data from Convene and Bizbash shows what really grinds the gears of professional corporate meeting planners.

In a survey of 247 professional planners, 76 percent of participants said last-minute changes are one of the most frustrating aspects of their work. It’s easy to see why—with dozens of stakeholders and hundreds of attendees, event planners are under considerable pressure even on the best days.

Ranking behind last-minute changes, event ROI was reported as a top frustration by 47 percent of planners, followed by vendors and finding a venue at 37 and 35 percent.

“We know that planners have a stressful and oftentimes thankless job,” says Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti. “These survey results show just how badly corporate meeting planners need partners they can trust. Planners don’t want to deal with disorganized vendors or get the runaround from venue providers. They need someone who will keep things simple, is transparent, honest, and can get the job done.”

Planners had plenty to say about the cities they plan in and which ones deliver on their needs, as well. A majority of planners said that venue pricing in San Francisco is NOT fair and transparent, while Chicago scored the highest marks in this category.

Food options in Orlando let half of participants down, while Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago drew praise. With a wide range of tastes and dietary restrictions, food and beverage can be a big challenge for venues (read food and beverage tips from our event experts here).

“Choose things that appeal to a wide range, and throw in one or two distinct items, like a special dish local to the area,” says meeting planner Nicholas Chan. “Ultimately, planners need to challenge venues to offer food they would eat. Is it tasty? Is it colorful? Is it appealing? No one wants to be served grey-looking food!”

If you’re planning an event in Atlanta, build some extra time into your schedule—planners reported this city the lowest for on-time starts. Washington, D.C. took home the top prize for punctuality.

And when it comes to what planners are most concerned about when sourcing a venue, it’s all about location, location, location. 83 percent of planners ranked this in their top three concerns, followed by price (64 percent).

“Proximity to public transit is key for large metro areas,” says Phoenix Anna Porcelli, CMP. “If attendees have to go through a bunch of hassle just to get to your meeting, you’ll have unhappy attendees when they arrive, which starts your meeting off the wrong way.”

Convene’s world-class hospitality and transparent pricing make life simple for corporate meeting planners. Learn more by booking your next meeting or event with us.