strategic meeting management

Azavista, the leader in corporate event technology, participated in the “Strategic Meetings Management” (SMM) breakout session, at the GBTA conference in Berlin. One of the main points of the debate, is that SMM should not be only about cost-savings, but also about productive meetings. A better way to obtain quality meetings is to use data as part of SMM. Data can be utilised in many ways to make events smarter, as better data always leads to better decisions.

Currently in strategic meetings management

Supporters of SMM say that consolidated meetings management is bringing many benefits to corporations, including better supplier savings and better risk mitigation. Others argue that SMM has failed to happen on a large scale and that results are relevant only in a few key sectors, like healthcare. It is premature to say which view is correct and what is relevant for different organisations. However, let’s outline which are the latest advances in this area and where this field is heading.

The above-mentioned definition of Strategic Meetings Management involves a blind spot. Securing supplier savings and therefore securing a better risk mitigation involves focussing on one area and one area only: cost savings.

Suppose the event department secured a 15% savings on all meetings each year, but at the same time the quality of the meetings would be very poor, it might be better to slash the whole meeting budget. It would save everybody a lot of hassle and the company a lot of money.

Meeting ROI is about data

Nevertheless, this is not what strategic meetings management is about. Strategic Meetings Management is about organising better meetings. How do we determine the ROI of a meeting? Ultimately, this question is about data. SMM is about using data in a consistent way, so the organisation can make the best decisions regarding the meeting production, in a predictable manner, which finally produces better meetings.

Better data will lead to better decisions. Due to recent innovations in analytics, now data can facilitate more cost effective supplier management.

Currently, the meeting planner can analyse a complete range of answers to questions which were previously unanswerable:

1. What would be the best location to organise our event?
2. What would be the best time to organise our event?
3. Given the location of my participants, what would be the most efficient location?
4. We just got this offer from a supplier. Is it a good offer? Or can we can reduce our pricing by another € 30 per participant, per night?
5. What would be the best time to book our suppliers?

With the rapid advancements in this sector, in the near future the meeting planner will also be able to access data that:

  • Predicts group accommodation and meeting space pricing
  • Predicts group accommodation and meeting space availability

Implementing the rights technologies to boost Meeting ROI

How do you get the data and visibility you need in order to make bigger and better decisions for your events?  Stay tuned for Azavista’s next blog post that will analyze best practices in implementing the right technology tool-set as a means of increasing meeting and event ROI.