Browse by Tag

Posts by Month

Follow Me

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed


describe the image
Are you looking for educational sessions and content on Strategic Meetings Management (SMM)?

We've just added an SMM News & Events page with:

  • Recent Articles

  • A link to an SMM Webinar that you can listen to on your own, along with a PDF of the presentation that you can download.

  • Registration links for two SMM sessions at IMEX Frankfurt this month 

  • Information on a session at HSMAI West in Anaheim at the end of this month titled The Why and How of Event Measurement.  

Click on this link to access SMM NEWS & EVENTS

Check back often to see what's new and we hope to see you at an industry event soon!





How are others managing meetings & events globally?


describe the imageWe're all seeking more information on how others are addressing meetings and events globally and how these processes are developing into mature Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) programs. 

Please don't miss this chance to participate in a survey that is addressing these critical issues, so that you can learn from the results.  

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation and their investment partners are conducting research to find out more on Strategic Meetings Management (SMM). To tell us more about what you do and how you do it, please visit and complete a short survey that should take no longer than 10 minutes. Please respond now, because the survey will close on 5th May 2013. 

As a thank you for your participation, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card and you will be among the first to receive a complimentary copy of the key findings.

 About SMM Research

The main aim of the research is to create resources based on existing bodies of knowledge on SMM so that MPI can provide support for planners, suppliers and buyers to enhance best practices. This study is being conducted by the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK alongside Bondurant Consulting and Your Corporate Source. 

The study has been commissioned by the MPI Foundation, with support from the following industry partners - 

-          Gaylord Hotels

-          MCI

-          AT&T Park San Francisco

-          AVT Event Technologies 

For further information about the research and to access educational materials, please visit


EIBTM 2012 logo Are you Barcelona-bound for EIBTM?  If you have a Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) Program in place or have plans to implement an SMM, be sure to register for this Co-creation Session sponsored by MPI.

 Thursday, November 29, 9:30 to 10:30 in Room 5.2.  Click on this link to register

Has the Definition of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) Changed?


describe the imageThe most commonly recognized definition in the Americas marketplace for Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) is "a disciplined approach to managing enterprise wide meeting and event activities, processes, suppliers and data in order to achieve measurable business objectives that align with the organization's strategic goals/vision and deliver value in the form of quantitative savings, risk mitigation, and service quality."

In a recent MPI sponsored Co-creation session at IMEX America in Las Vegas, a group of 18-20 SMM professionals gathered to discuss the current state and the future vision of SMM.   The first topic was the definition of SMM.  This was a great way to get the session underway, because it generated a lot of discussion and interesting feedback.  

We want to keep those discussions alive, so please join us in continuing the dialogue by commenting here:

1)  Is this the working definition you use?

2)  With the maturity of SMM, does this need to be revised and if so, what would you recommend?

3)  How does the definition for an SMM outside the Americas differ?





The 3 R's of a Strategic Meetings Management Program



describe the image

The 3 R's

Designing and deploying an SMMP is a huge undertaking.  For those of you who have already accomplished that, CONGRATULATIONS!  You are off to a great start.

It is, of course, just the "start".  Unfortunately many companies put a lot of time and effort into getting an SMMP implemented, without making sure that the ongoing tracking and monitoring of the program objectives are clearly defined and attainable.   

That is exactly why it is not uncommon for companies to question whether or not the daily operations and financial management are delivering what they intended.

Does that sounds familiar?  Then let's take a look at what is required for short and long term success with our  3 R's of a Strategic Meetings Management Program.

  1. Reducing the Risks
  2. Realizing the Returns
  3. Reporting the Results

These are so basic and easy for people to state about their SMMP, but most have difficulty preparing for and articulating the specifics.

Operating a successful program requires ongoing quality control and adjustments.This requires a well designed model for measurement, combined with internal insight, external objectivity and market trends.

Don't get caught making broad statements about what your SMMP will do. Sustaining support for your program will require that you closely monitor Policy, Standard Operating Procedures and program performance to provide leadership with specific information.

We've created a document to walk you through the guiding principles of the 3 R's with examples for you to use in developing a comprehensive plan for your SMMP.   

If you would like a copy, please send your request via email to: and we will send it to you right away.

For those of you who have not yet implemented an SMMP, this document will help you as well.  You can use it to develop a communication for your leadership that will raise awareness about the need for an SMMP.

Is looking into an SMMP on your "To Do" List?


To Do List Image 2Peggy Hemphill


Is "looking into" a  Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) on your "to do" list?  How long has it been there?

  • A couple of weeks
  • A couple of months
  • A couple of years

What's keeping you from getting started?  Is it the “FLOSS” theory?

  1. Fear of resistance and failure
  2. Limited facts and figures
  3. Overwhelming size & scope of the project
  4. Scarcity of time
  5. Shortage of resources

If you can identify with any, or perhaps all, of those reasons for not getting started, I understand completely.  In fact, you are in great company, because everyone who has successfully implemented a Strategic Meetings Management Program experienced every one of those things.  It didn’t, however, stop them from moving forward.  Why?  Because they knew that the benefits were worth the risks.

Anything worth the effort is going to have some risks along the way.  You can't avoid the risks all together, but there are ways to get around some of them.

Avoiding the Risks

  • Build your knowledge of SMMP
  • Learn from your peers who've implemented an SMMP
  • Socialize the SMMP concept internally 
  • Move it from your "To Do" list to "Committed and In Progress"
Check our SMMP Blog posts and request any of our documents for free by sending an email to: 





Do you have 3-Fold Reporting for your Meetings & Events expenses?


Reporting Peggy Hemphill

 If management asked you, "what are our current and long-term liabilities for meetings and events", how quickly and confidently could you provide that?

Would your answer be a little "fuzzy" like the image on the left?  

It is understandable that the primary focus for managing meetings data is to report volumes; spend; savings; and cost avoidance in various categories.  This provides critical information on "meetings in progress" and "final meeting costs" for reporting and negotiations.  Every company with a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) needs an ongoing assessment of their results.  

But what about the liabilities created at contract signing, from cancellation and attrition clauses, especially for those events that will occur months later; in some cases a year or more in the future?  

In order to track and report reliable data for this, it is essential to structure the cancellation and attrition clauses in your contracts with fixed amounts and dates that these charges would be invoked.  This should be a standard within your policy and standard operating procedures.  

You definitely don't want leadership to be uninformed or surprised by the liabilities that the company would incur if they were considering canceling the meeting or reducing your room block.

Make it easy on yourself and elevate your level of business intelligence around the overall meeting activities and expenses by making sure that your reporting to leadership is 3-fold.

Cancellation & Attrition Liabilities
In Progress Activities & Expenses
Final Activities & Expenses

For more information on Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMP), check out our Blog and request any of our free SMMP documents, created to assist you with your programs, by sending an email request to:



Moving forward with a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP)


Peggy Hemphill

Running Against Time

Do you ever feel like you are on the "Hamster Wheel".........running as fast as you can, but not really moving forward?  If so, you may want to take the risk of getting off the Hamster Wheel for an hour to seriously plan for your Strategic Meetings Management Program.  

We offer a 60 minute Complimentary SMMP Consultation and all you need to do is send an email to to REQUEST YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. 

You can also find all of our SMMP Blog articles, along with an E-Book and other free documents in the right hand panel of this page to help you.    

We know how busy you are and how tough it is to move forward with these programs.   We can't add an hour to your day, but we will give you an hour to talk through how you can move forward with your SMMP. 

15 Dos and Don'ts to Get "Buy In" for a Strategic Meetings Management Program


Peggy Hemphill

I am hearing from so many who are working on "Getting Buy In" for a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP), that it has become the hot topic of our Blog this week.   

Some of you are preparing to get "buy in" from an executive to get an SMMP underway; while others are trying to get "buy in" from end users who are resisting an SMMP that is already in place.   

If you find yourself in either of these positions, then this article, along with our Dos and Don'ts tips will help you through this stage of the process.

First of all, let's look at what the term "buy in" implies:

Something that is currently in place needs a change.  The key word here is change. 

I think that you would all agree that a Strategic Meetings Management Program is something that creates a lot of change.

Secondly, let's look at how the term "buy in" is defined in the dictionary:  

To pay in order to take part in or have a share of something.  The key words here are pay and share. 

An individual's decision to take part in something is typically based on an expectation that by committing to the proposed set of financial and behavioral requirements, they will be sharing in the rewards.  

It is so easy to get so caught up in gathering data and creating a Return on Investment (ROI) for the business case, that we overlook the importance of understanding the environment and gauging the appetite for change.  

These programs are only successful when there is "buy in" from senior leadership, middle management and those who will be using them. 

 As you prepare your strategy for getting buy in, keep this list of 15 Dos and Don'ts in mind.  

For additional help, send your request via email to:    





Estimating annual expenses for a Strategic Meetings Management Program


Peggy Hemphill

As we close out Easter Egg Hunts for this year,  it seems appropriate to look at the similarities between Easter Egg Hunts and "The Hunt" for meetings and events expenses.

  • There is no standard for Easter Egg Design
  • Everyone puts their own unique style into the process
  • Some are basic, others have lots of detail
  • They are all hidden in a way that makes them difficult to find
  • Rarely does anyone collect "all of the eggs into one basket"
Sound familiar?  Can you see the similarities? 

One of the first things that companies do when they begin to consider a Strategic Meetings Management Program is search for data that will give them a baseline of the overall expense.

What do they find?

  • There is no standard for creating the data
  • Everyone is capturing data in a different way
  • Some of the data is basic, other data is more detailed
  • The data is hidden in disparate places, making it hard to find 
  • Gathering the data into one "bucket" isn't easy  

There are so many possible sources of data, it is sometimes hard to know where to begin your Assessment, what to consider and what will ultimately be the most valuable.

We have created a template that you can use to map out and consider the benefits and limitations of all of your data sources, to help you get started.

Just send your request for a free copy via email to:     

All Posts