Who do you trust most when it comes to getting straight talk about a meeting property? Other planners, of course. This common wisdom was validated at a recent forum held by Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia, where a group of 12 meeting planners was asked what they considered the "most trustworthy source of information for planning corporate meetings." The planners concluded that they’d most trust the word of other planners who had experienced the property firsthand. Other generally reliable sources mentioned were hotel sales representatives and industry trade publications.

The good news is that these findings reaffirm what should be a facility’s top priority: Making every meeting the best it can possibly be. The downside is that marketing research shows that people are three to 10 times more likely to pass on negative news than positive, so you’re much more likely to hear about the one thing that went wrong than you are about the 100 things that went off without a hitch.

Other results from the forum: "Soft skills"—friendly greetings and offers of assistance—are high on the list; and, because the lobby area sets the tone for the meeting, it should ooze prestige and professionalism.