When you’re running hundreds of events each year, you need a way to manage and organize your events to optimize the outcomes of these meetings. Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) programs help companies manage their meetings and events through streamlined planning processes, preferred vendors and meetings data.
SMM programs help companies align their meetings and business objectives to deliver value by saving operational costs, mitigating risks and improving how events are managed. Companies streamline meetings management by centralizing visibility into planning, sourcing, contracting and reporting functions. Meetings management programs can be introduced in phases or deployed company-wide.
Meetings management programs generally feature the following components:
- Meeting/Event Registration: Provides visibility into all meetings or events planned throughout an organization or department.
- Approval: Workflow to generate an audit trail to comply with federal and industry regulations, and corporate policies.
- Sourcing/Procurement: Enables better negotiated rates and encourages the use of preferred suppliers.
- Planning/Execution: Creating consistency around planning, promoting and delivering meetings and events with automation.
- Payment/Expense Reconciliation: Track spending against meetings budgets and allows integration with financial systems.
- Data Analysis/Reporting: Offers a central reporting database and dashboard for real-time visibility enterprise-wide.
Benefits of a Meetings Management Program
A meetings management program can save your company’s total meeting costs by 10 to 25 percent by centralizing time-intensive functions such as venue sourcing and attendee registration.
You can set per-determined controls and approvals to prevent out-of-policy spending by planning personnel. Comprehensive reporting tools allow you to monitor spending levels to enforce policies.
The program offers 24/7 access to data to quickly locate and bring home attendees should an emergency occur. It also enables you to create standard terms and conditions for hotel contracts to protect from onerous cancellation and attrition fees.
Where to Begin
A meetings management starter kit from Cvent provides you with the materials you need to develop a business case, secure executive approval, and launch a successful meetings program.
The process begins with an overview of meetings management as a discipline and its benefits. The kit allows you to calculate meetings spend and travel costs, and then determine potential savings. It helps you make the business case for gaining executive buy-in including templates for presentation and ROI documentation. And finally, the kit provides a framework for developing a communications plan, setting benchmarks, shaping meeting policies and establishing a project timetable.
For more information on a meetings management starter kit, see here.