Your Corporate Source defines a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) as:  “an operational and financial infrastructure for managing meetings and events across the enterprise that is designed to achieve top-line business objectives with impeccable execution, while managing bottom line costs and risks, with reliable business intelligence.”

The planning and execution of Meetings and Events for a large global company affects almost every part of the organization.  However, this multi-million dollar expense is often overlooked when the search is on to reduce costs and risks.  Why?

10 Potential Reasons Why Companies Overlook the Opportunities that a Strategic Meetings Management Program can provide:  

  1. There are too many competing initiatives that take priority.
  2. There is no visibility to aggregate spend.
  3. There is no enterprise-wide oversight by a senior leader.  
  4. There is a lack of resources, specifically a Subject Matter Expert (SME), to effectively lead the SMMP initiative. 
  5. There have been no reported incidents of unfavorable contract terms that have invoked significant costs, as yet.
  6. There is a lack of awareness by the leaders of talent management, finance, compliance, legal & marketing about the risks. 
  7. There has been no recent evaluation of payment processing for this expense and how it impacts cash flow.
  8. There have been no catastrophic occurrences that have created problems for events, as yet. 
  9. There has been no "negative press" from the media regarding the location or expense of meetings and events for the company, as yet.
  10. Those who see the need for change don't have a strong enough voice to get endorsement from leadership.

Those are not viable reasons to avoid consideration of a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP), especially for an annual expense that can range from $20M to $200M (and up) in a large multi-national company, with a potential savings of 15-20%. 

Read our SMMP blog articles to learn more about Strategic Meetings Management Programs:

Why are companies overlooking opportunities that an SMMP provides?

Converting to a Strategic Meetings Management Program is not easy and many companies delay getting started, because they don’t have the resources and Subject Matter Expertise.

That is why our clients rely on us to provide:

  • Subject Matter Expertise
  • External objectivity to balance the needs of each stakeholder group
  • Overall project management to manage the timelines  
  • Facilitation through implementation & change management
  • Preparation for the client to achieve success with their program when the project is complete

Each company has its own cultural and business requirements, which means that each program must be customized to meet those needs.    Although each program is unique in its size, scope and structure, most are developed with this common set of Best Practices.

Best Practices for a Strategic Meetings Management Program

Policy & Governance

►    Common, standard definition of meetings

►    Formal policy aligned with T&E policy

►    Clear senior ownership of the policy

►    Active communication of the policy

►    Rules of enforcement and compliance tracking

Service Delivery Staffing

►    Single reporting structure for all internal and external planning resources

►    Clear definition of roles and responsibilities

►    Separation of roles by key competencies and professional expertise

►    Recurrent internal and external training

Budgeting and Master Calendar for Scheduling

►    Separate line item with sub accounts to roll up annual budget for meetings and events

►    Top down forecast of future year(s) meetings

►    Requirement for all meetings to be registered

►    Shared central calendar with privacy options

►    Leverage sourcing and manage cancelled space for re-booking through central calendar

Supplier Selection & Negotiations

►    Consolidation of suppliers across all spend categories

►    Preferred supplier list communicated and easily accessible

►    Comprehensive centralized supplier database

►    Aggregation with T&E volume for better price and added value negotiations

►    Standard sourcing criteria and guidelines in collaboration with Procurement & Legal

Planning Process

►    Common standards and practices, supported by a robust technology platform

►    Ongoing strategic planning with key leaders and meeting owners to optimize results

►    Clear and executable objectives qualified at the initiation of each meeting request

►    Auditable records for transparency and business continuity

►    Comprehensive plan for Duty of Care

Attendee Management

►    Web based tool for registration

►    Automated room block and inventory management

►    Clear definition of attendee types and tiered levels of customer service with corresponding levels of support

►    Real time data capabilities for distribution to suppliers

►    Registration integrated with air supplier

►    Utilization of single supplier for air bookings

Payment Processing

►    Centralized payment vehicle for all cost categories

►    Capability to exclude attendee incidental expenses paid individually

►    Payments directly to supplier for transparency, rather than through a 3rd party

►    Online meeting expense reporting with pre-populated card data

►    Integration of data with other financial systems

Reconciliation, Expense Allocation and Reporting

►    Enterprise wide meeting and event data, with integration capabilities for aggregation with T&E data

►    Robust platform for comprehensive data management

►    Meeting identifiers tied to all invoices

►    Ownership of comprehensive data management and reporting by skilled financial analyst, rather than an added responsibility for meeting planners

Post Event Evaluation

►    Surveys or evaluation forms to attendees and meeting sponsors

►    Alignment of objectives with evaluation results

►    Two way review process with suppliers, based on Service Level Agreement

►    Formal feedback and review with key stakeholders


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