2018 Meetings Forecast Part 1: Strategic Meetings Mgmt

2018 Meetings Forecast Part 1: Strategic Meetings Mgmt | HTR

American Express Meetings & Events recently released their 2018 Global Meetings & Events Forecast Report which is a comprehensive view of how planners believe their meetings will unfold next year.

This blog will address the acceptance and implementation of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) programs across four meeting categories and how SMM plays into the savings, visibility, compliance and risk assessment associated with all meetings.

4 Key SMM Meeting Categories

AMEX found that organizations fall into 4 major categories when it comes to managing their meetings:

  • Individualized: These organizations have barebone meeting policies that planners are expected to follow. Each meeting is treated as a unique entity. The industries represented in this category are:
    • Automotive
    • Manufacturing
    • Retail and
    • Wholesale Sales
       
  • Consolidated: This niche sources a portion of their meeting through an approved third-party. The industries in this category are:
    • Business Services and
    • Financial Sector
       
  • Strategic: These meetings have established policies. Hospitality companies are typically in this category.
     
  • Optimized: These meetings have fully embraced SMM and are in the process of continuously improving the process. The industries at this level are:
    • Healthcare
    • Pharmaceutical and
    • Medical Device

SMM Research Findings Per Meeting Category

Finding

Individualized

Consolidated

Strategic

Optimized

Have a defined meeting strategy in place

 

12%

 

66%

 

91%

 

100%

Have explicitly defined policies

9%

19%

48%

87%

Approval process policy

60%

60%

80%

91%

Procurement of event goods and services policy

47%

51%

71%

84%

Preferred meeting suppliers’ policy

60%

65%

64%

84%

Meeting payment methods for goods and services policy

 

47%

 

66%

 

75%

 

82%

Safety and security policy

 

27%

 

51%

 

67%

 

75%

Use of meeting technology policy

 

13%

 

28%

 

47%

 

66%

 

Key Improvements Needed in Each Sector

In the Individualized area, the SMM areas that can be improved are explicitly defined policies, defined meeting strategy and the use of meeting technology.

American Express Meetings & Events believes if this category has clearly defined policies and strategies the planner will drive more savings and mitigate risk for every meeting they execute. In addition, technology should be used more prevalently in all meetings.

In the Consolidated sector, two out of three areas of improvement match the Individualized arena (explicitly defined policies and use of meeting technology) while the third area is a tie between procurement of goods and services and safety/security policies.

In the last case, the adoption of centralized contracting should occur for procurement, while safety and security policies need to be revisited considering new challenges for planners (the shooting in Las Vegas and cybersecurity).

In the Strategic area, the challenges of SMM are use of meeting technology, explicitly defined policies and preferred meeting suppliers’ policy.

According to AMEX, this last point has to do with centralized contracting and vetting vendors. In other words, choosing vendors that meet the organization’s needs and then signing an umbrella contract with them that encompasses standard contract language associated with all meetings.

In the Optimized category, use of meeting technology, safety/security and methods for payment of good and services are the weakest SMM links. Overall, if a company is in the optimized category, they have embraced many of the SMM principles and are looking for ways to improve upon them.

As you can see the use of a meeting technology policy hits a chord in all four categories. This is an area we may be able to help. According to this survey, technology is one of the more difficult areas for planners to implement, define and manage. Also, according to AMEX, the key to a successful technology program is behavioral change of the planner and adoption of technology across the entire organization.

Hartford Technology Rental Can Help with Your Technology Challenges

Are you having difficulty with your SMM process as it relates to technology? Don’t panic! We are available 24/7 to answer any questions that might arise before your event. Call us today at 888-520-5667 or contact us online and let us show you how we can help.

Check out Part 2 regarding North American meeting trends for 2018.