Author(s): Lai Sau Ling (ESCE) , To Wai Ming (ESCE)

Purpose –
This paper aims to explore the use of importance-performance analysis (IPA) as an evaluative technique for public management decision making.

Design/methodology/approach –
Based on a literature review of convention, exhibition and meeting management, a number of attributes were identified that influence destination choice from convention exhibitors' and delegates' perspectives. Responses were obtained from 177 convention exhibitors and delegates who attended an Asia Expo in Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), the People's Republic of China.

Findings –
Factor analysis reveals that the selected importance attributes are grouped into six categories: “professional convention services”, “extra-convention opportunities”, “convention supporting services”, “accommodations”, “cost” and “image”. The importance-performance analysis shows that Macao SAR has strong infrastructure support and traditional tourist attractions but lacks specialized convention experts and mechanisms for pricing strategies.

Research limitations/implications –
The use of importance-performance analysis is explored in assessing the competitiveness of Macao SAR as a city for international conventions. The research findings indicate that IPA is an effective method and has the potential to become a valuable strategic management and decision-making tool.

Practical implications –
Macao SAR, it is suggested, should adopt a synergistic approach to develop its convention and general tourism industries in tandem since these two industries can complement each other in drawing upon the socio-economic resources of the city.

Originality/value –
This article contributes to the literature by extending the use of importance-performance analysis for public management decision making.