Student Research

An exploration of marketing strategies used for university conference centers: A Delphi approach

The meeting and events industry is becoming an increasingly competitive and significant market in hospitality today. More specifically, according to the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), the use of conference services on university campuses has seen growth in recent years. By focusing on three universities located in Southern California, the objective of this study is to explore the innovative practices, tools, and strategies that sales and marketing teams must utilize in order to attract potential clients. The tools and strategies used by professionals working in university conference services is examined through the use of the Delphi Method. The findings from this study reveal that using marketing tools such as email marketing, tradeshows, and social media can demonstrate why universities are a more economical option and provide guests with the college atmosphere they would not receive if staying at a hotel. Universities are built and equipped with everything necessary to make a student’s life easier away from home; therefore, guests attending conferences on campus can enjoy these amenities at little to no extra cost. With new and better marketing opportunities, it is crucial for those working at university conference centers to diversify marketing efforts in order to keep up with growth and compete with private-sector properties. This study is expected to lead to future research about university conference centers and help fill the gap that currently exists.