New Meetings Management Resources!

Great news! There will soon be some new resources you can use to improve the way you manage meetings. First, there's a new study coming out that you can use to point out the ROI of investments in all types of business travel--including meetings.  Major details of the survey have yet to emerge, but next month, the U.S. Travel Association, which commissioned the study, is to report on the findings. In a Meetings & Incentives magazine story, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow said that the data is "very exciting" and "positive." He added that the results will "underscore that a dollar spent on business travel has a clear and direct return on investment" for companies.
The more evidence we have on the value of business meetings, that is, information in dollars and cents, the better for our industry. And it'll be easier for you, as a meetings manager, to use that evidence to gather support for your strategic meetings management efforts--among planners, purchasing managers, global peers and, perhaps most importantly, CEOs and other senior executives.

The new research will update a wealth of persuasive information already out there in the industry, some of it produced by StarCite, such as a benchmark study showing that companies can save up to 25% through greater leverage in supplier negotiations, automation, reduced cancellation and attrition fees, as well as many white papers and webinars that make clear the savings and rewards possible with meetings.

In fact, this week, at NBTA's annual convention, the Groups & Meetings Committee is unveiling a new white paper on small meetings, "A Strategic Approach to Small Meetings.” It includes some great advice on defining and improving management of those events. Some guidance offered in the new white paper:  

• Creating a "meeting in a box," where a company's meetings department pre-negotiates various packages with hotels, making an administrative assistant's planning job much easier,
• Establishing pre-negotiated meetings contracts--ensuring risk to a company is minimized
• Building a basic "toolkit" for the neophite planner, including budget spreadsheets, standard cancellation policies, lists of concessions the planner should ask for and other advice.

I know that I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the new U.S. Travel study, and as soon as the details surface, I’ll share. And I’m happy and proud to see that the NBTA Groups & Meetings committee has produced some great new information on strategic meetings management in order to help companies centralize planning for small meetings and reap rewards there, too.

Kevin Iwamoto is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite. This post is syndicated from his blog, Strategic Meetings Management.