Strategic meeting management, a concept which was coined back in the year 2004, by the Global Business Travel Association (previously known as the Groups and Business Committee of the National Business Travel Association), has gained widespread adoption in the corporate world. Businesses, as well as corporations all over the globe, have adopted this method of managing global meetings and event planning, which primarily focuses on increasing profitability while reducing costs.
Event management, planning, and execution is a multifaceted activity involving the interest of various internal (company decision makers, manager, etc.) and external (experts from event planning industry) stakeholders. An SMM program is designed with a goal to align the interest of both the internal and external stakeholders, while at the same time keeping factors such as risk mitigations, adherence to regulation and cost in mind.
- Functions of SMM
- Why Should You Choose an SMM program?
- Strategic Meeting Management Helps In Generating Maximum ROI
- Strategic Meeting Management Gives You An Increased Visibility of Spends
- Strategic Meeting Management Helps You With Compliances
- Strategic Meeting Management AssistS with Risk Mitigation
- Strategic Meeting Management Might Boost Productivity and Data Quality
Functions of SMM
For those who are new to the concept of strategic meeting management and are looking to incorporate SMM program within their ecosystem, a meeting program generally comprises of four essential functions:
Planning and Managing Event
One of the most basic and well-known uses of an SMM program is event management and planning. An SMM program helps organizations plan a range of activities starting from the scope of meeting to booking accommodations and flights.
Connecting Disparate Elements
A meeting consists of some parties involved in its overall planning and execution. By using the SMM program, a company can synchronize and connect these different parties by streamlining the process of resource procurement. For example, a venue sourcing tool – part of SMM programs – can be utilized for sending RFP’s which in turn can help in easy sourcing of things such as travel, accommodation etc.
Keeping a Financial Check
One of the key advantages which an SMM program offers is helping organizations with the management of their finances. With an SMM program in place, an organization’s decision makers know in advance about the enablement cost of an event or meeting and thus can decide on the components to include or exclude. Strategic meeting management program can further help in expense reconciliation as well as can keep a company’s overall budget in place.
Strategic meeting programs further tend to help organizations mitigate risks and keep them aware of contractual obligations they hold towards vendors or suppliers. They also allow organizations to keep track of delegates and their schedule so that the organizers know about an attendees schedule and hence can make sure that meetings don’t coincide.
Why Should You Choose an SMM program?
While there are many benefits an SMM program can have for your organization, we list below the top 4 which have maximum impact.
Strategic Meeting Management Helps In Generating Maximum ROI
The term maximizing ROI sounds boring, but it is one of the most important advantages you can fetch from an efficient SMM program. While most of you might consider this process focussed towards optimizing cost, an SMM, in turn, enables organizations to design and conduct an event with clear goals in mind, aimed towards delivering quality. The ROI here is measured in terms of satisfaction achieved by an attendee which in turn will help them produce better results for the organization.
Strategic Meeting Management Gives You An Increased Visibility of Spends
An effective SMM program provides you with greater transparency as well as visibility into the spends which are going on in conducting a global enterprise meeting. Generally, with SMM, there is a single centralized database of spends where the organization’s stakeholder can have a look at what a particular department is making spends or where is their money going (to vendors, contractors, etc.). This, in turn, provides them with more significant insights into the finances and gives them an opportunity to optimize these costs as well as decide on what costs can be reduced without actually hampering the event quality.
Strategic Meeting Management Helps You With Compliances
Any event conducted needs to be compliant with both the internal as well as external policies. Internal policies are the company-specific rules which are put in place by the company stakeholders and can range from the maximum budget allocated, to the frequency of such meetings. External policies are policies specific to a region for, eg. U.S. Corrupt Practices Act, or compliances relating to pharmaceutical industries.
SMM having an integrated and transparent nature allows you to abide by these policies at all times and thus prevents your chances of running into a compliance roadblock.
Strategic Meeting Management AssistS with Risk Mitigation
With SMM all the contractual obligations, permissions, and authorizations are stored and recorded in a single central database. This makes it easier for you to review and remember each commitment you have and prevents any risk of delaying or defaulting on payments or defiance of regulations.
Strategic Meeting Management Might Boost Productivity and Data Quality
By bringing all the vital processes of enterprise meeting management such as procurement and selection, proposal and approval, transportation and accommodation, etc. under one umbrella SMM program streamlines the entire process and thus boosts response time which further increases productivity.
The system also stores the analytics and data in one central database and thus can check and remove redundancies if any, thereby increasing data quality.
By streamlining all the processes of strategic management and optimizing the cost associated with same, SMM makes it easy for organizations to secure the highest ROE (Return on Event), thereby boosting overall company profitability and margins.
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Guest contribution by Ethan Scott – he started his career in the publishing industry at a very young age. It was 2014 until Ethan realized that he needed to explore the terrains of writing and seek his passion for it. He worked, partnered and contributed to 20+ websites and blogs and constantly thrived by working on them.