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The Bed Bugs Aren’t Biting Meetings Planners

Knowland Survey Finds Planners most Concerned
about Cost, Location, not Bed Bugs

McLean, VA, 10/14/10 – The Knowland Group, the world’s largest data firm in the global meetings and conventions industry, today released a survey on meeting planners’ reactions to the recent outbreak of bed bugs across America. Meeting planners routinely schedule events at hotels, which include the use of meeting space and multiple hotel rooms. The survey found that a minority of planners are concerned about bed bugs, instead focused on cost and location of an event in this tough economy.

Specifically, Knowland surveyed meeting planners across the country and found that 82 percent never inquire about bed bug outbreaks at a hotel when booking an event. In fact, only 10 percent sometimes ask about bed bugs, and only 8 percent will always ask. Furthermore, when following up on a booked event, 82 percent of survey respondents never ask about bed bugs. Less, 6 percent always ask about the prevalence of bed bugs after booking an event. 

In fact, the lack of concern extends beyond meeting planners. “None of the members of my association have expressed any concern about attending an event because of the possibility of bed bugs,” said one meeting planner for a national business association based in Maryland. 

Surprisingly, an even larger number of meeting attendees have not expressed any concern over bed bugs. Only 4 percent of those surveyed stated that more than half or all of their group members have expressed concern about attending an event based on concern of a bed bug outbreak, while 88 percent said none of their attendees had expressed concerns.

Knowland’s survey found that bed bugs ranked last on a list of concerns when meeting planners are scheduling an event. Instead, meeting planners’ top concerns were location at 33 percent, cost at 25 percent, and the meeting space itself at 20 percent. Further outranking bed bugs were the hotel’s amenities as well as other concerns including customer service and additional expenses in the location surrounding the meeting space.

This Knowland survey was conducted over a two day period from October 11-12, 2010. The full survey results can be found below.

1. When researching meeting spaces for your event, do you inquire about bed bug outbreaks on the property?
a. Always – 8%
b. Sometimes – 10%
c. Never – 82%

2. Have you started asking for clauses in meeting contracts pertaining to bed bug outbreaks?
a. Always – 0%
b. Sometimes – 2%
c. Never – 98%

3. If you have an event already booked, have you followed up with the hotel to make sure no bed bugs are on their property?
a. Always – 6%
b. Sometimes – 12%
c. Never – 41%

4. Have your group members expressed concern about attending events at hotels because of the chance of bed bugs at the property?
a. All of my group members have expressed concern – 2%
b. More than half have expressed concern – 2%
c. About half have expressed concern – 2%
d. Less than half have expressed concern – 6%
e. None have expressed concern – 88%

5. When booking events at hotels, what is your greatest concern?
a. Free of bed bugs – 4%
b. Cost – 25%
c. Location – 33%
d. Amenities – 9%
e. The meeting space itself – 20%
f. Other – 9%

About The Knowland Group
The Knowland Group is a proven innovator, developing intuitive marketing products and services that streamline and support event and group sales in the hospitality industry. The company, headquartered in McLean, VA, serves over 2,000 hotel clients and 17,000 users globally. Recently featured on the Inc. Fast 500 List, The Knowland Group is the second fastest growing company in the travel industry. For more information, visit, call 410-860-2270 or follow us on Twitter @knowlandgroup.


Tom Crosson, Communications Manager
The Knowland Group
(703) 869-1246

Also See: The Knowland Group Releases Oil Spill Survey Findings Following Memorial Day; Increased Cancellations, Increased Impact as Spill Magnifies / June 2010
Latest Knowland Survey Shows Silver Lining in Cleanup Crews; Hoteliers surveyed show increase in transient bookings, take wait and see attitude on $20 billion BP claims fund / July 2010

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