Lexington, Kentucky, boasts a new convention center, along with 12 convention hotels located within a convenient 15-minute drive from the airport and downtown. Moreover, with its rich heritage in horse racing, bourbon production, and bluegrass music, Lexington has an undeniable charm that sets it apart. This unique blend of attractions makes it a nearly irresistible choice for planners seeking an exceptional venue for their events and meetings. 

Still, the team at VisitLEX is continuously striving to gain a competitive edge. As part of this initiative, the destination marketing organization (DMO) brought in Terri Roberts, program manager at 2Synergize, a Simpleview consulting company, to implement her “Buyer Insight” program. 

We interviewed Marci Krueger-Sidebottom, vice president of sales and services, and Leslie Miller, vice president of marketing, about the DMO’s key takeaways from the program and strategy shifts they’ve made. 

“Destinations that explore buyer insights are in a unique position to learn directly from the customer, in the customer's own words, and to collaborate on sales and marketing strategies to directly support the buyers’ journey,” Roberts said. “In the course of customer interviews, VisitLEX was praised for its creativity and ingenuity. They continually explore new avenues for customer intelligence.”

Roberts developed the program to help destinations understand the planners’ path to seeking destinations for their events and discover what blind spots planners might have about it. She conducts extensive interviews with both planners who have chosen a destination and those who have not, with the planner list provided by the client destination.

The 5 rings of buyer insights

The program includes five “rings of buyer insights,” including:

  1. Priority initiative — what starts the process of inquiry
  2. Buyer journey — what the planner’s role is in the decision, who else influences the decision, and what trusted resources are used to guide the decision 
  3. Success factors — how the success of the meeting will be measured
  4. Decision criteria — what features and benefits matter most when the planner compares destinations
  5. Perceived barriers — what gets in the way of the planner booking the meeting at the destination

For more information, see “Buyer insights to help your DMO make the planners’ shortlist.”