By LYDIA CRAVER
Austin and Los Angeles/Orange County were again the favorites for future AWSM convention sites in surveys completed by attendees of the May meeting in Denver.
An AWSM representative recently toured Texas properties in response to the continued demand. The organization hopes to hold its 2017 meeting, which will honor AWSM’s 30 years, in the Austin area.
Austin and Los Angeles have finished in the top three cities on each of the past three surveys.
AWSM’s 2016 convention is set for July 28-31 at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami.
Other highlights of this year’s survey:
*Although Los Angeles/Orange County was most frequently ranked first, Austin finished with a better overall score (ie. fewer unfavorable votes). Phoenix/Scottsdale was the third most popular area.
*Nearly 90 percent of voters indicated they would attend AWSM in the Palm Springs, Calif., area. Smaller markets are sometimes competitive in terms of hotel contracts; however, other challenges may exist such fewer local panelists/speakers or limited flight options. Nearly 60 percent voted favorably for Tucson, Ariz.
*More than two-thirds of the respondents (67 percent) stated they would attend an AWSM conference during July 4 week. Hotels often offer deals during holiday periods.
*Forty percent indicated they would attend during Easter weekend, another timeframe when hotel deals are sometimes available.