Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) consulting helps your organization create strategic programs to reduce your meeting costs, and mitigate regulatory and duty-of-care risks associated with meetings and events.
While there are at least nine initiatives your organization can undertake to better manage meetings, there are three initiatives that are absolutely imperative (indicated in red in the diagram), and six that are optional, largely depending on the size and complexity of your program.
We are an SMM consulting firm that helps you identify your meetings management needs, design programs to address those needs, select vendors to support the program, and assist in the implementation of the program design. Our services are described in more detail below.
This site also provides numerous articles, eBooks, and tools that we have developed over the years to support your educational needs. We invite you to check out these materials by clicking on the Overview of Materials tab above.
Gap Analysis – consists of a comparison of your current Meetings program to an optimized program vision. Deliverables include current state process mapping, benchmarking of the program against nine key components, proposed initiative recommendations and projected results, transformation timeline, recommended resources to manage the program, potential savings opportunities, and annual costs.
Business Case Development – consists of identifying the appropriate executive leadership to approach for sponsorship of your SMM program and providing them with the information and evidence they need to invest in the program, including: (1) how it will increase profitability for the organization (2) improve the return on investment in meetings and events (3) mitigate the risks associated with corporate meetings and events, and (4) enhance operational efficiencies to improve employee and customer satisfaction, and to reduce costs.
Program Design – consists of the comprehensive design of a program across the nine key components of a strategic meetings management program, including: (1) policy (2) sourcing and planning processes and procedures (3) meetings technology (4) consolidation of the program (5) change management (6) compliance management (7) risk management (8) payment mechanisms, and (9) vendor supplier strategy. A detailed assessment and design is provided for each component of the program. Implementation oversight of the program is also available, and highly recommended.
Policy Assessment and Design – consists of a three phased approach of Assessment, Policy Workshop, and Write/Rewrite. The Assessment phase includes a review of 18 policy areas and 70 topics. The Policy Workshop utilizes the output of the Assessment phase as the basis for a workshop to review best practices in meetings policy and recommend areas and language for inclusion in the policy. The Write/Rewrite phase utilizes the output of the Workshop to develop draft policy language for the customer’s review. Once reviewed and approved, the final policy is provided.
Risk Management – consists of conducting an initial risk assessment across the six areas of risk in a strategic meetings management program (1) Duty of Care (2) Regulatory Violations (3) Signature Authority Breaches (4) Fiduciary Breaches (5) Cancellation and Attrition Penalties, and (6) Inaccurate Tracking of Meetings Data. Policies, processes and procedures and the meetings technology system are reviewed, and risk mitigation solutions are developed and implemented.
Communications & Change Management – consists of an assessment of stakeholder communication needs by market and event type. The engagement includes the development of a critical path plan which delineates the program rollout phases and milestones. The milestones are linked to the communication calendar which indicates when key messages are to be delivered, the objectives of the messages, the audience to receive the messages, the responsible parties for delivering the messages, and delivery dates. We will also develop a variety of documents to educate your key stakeholders on the meetings program, such as: (1) Meetings Strategy Overview (2) Components of Program (3) Supplier Value Story, and (4) Policy Overview.
Savings Methodologies – consists of an evaluation of the current state of 13 savings initiatives, and then working with the client and their meetings management company to close the gaps and implement the missing savings initiatives. Deliverables include a report on the current state status of each of the 13 savings initiatives, and overseeing the implementation of the savings programs with the meetings management company.
Meeting Management Company Selection – consists of six phases, including: (1) Requirements Definition (2) RFP Development and Issuance (3) RFP Management (4) RFP Evaluation (5) Best & Final Management, and (6) Best & Final Evaluation. We conduct a requirements definition workshop, and provide all necessary templates, evaluation methodologies, communications, and oversight to ensure an efficient and comprehensive end-to-end supplier selection process.
Hotel Addendum Benchmarking – consists of a contract benchmarking exercise, which compares an agreed upon number of the client’s recent contracts against a best practices hotel contract addendum to determine if the client’s current practices are providing adequate risk management and spend control across the following areas: (1) Concessions (2) Risk Management (3) Legal Terms & Conditions (4) Overbooking, and (5) General Business Terms and Conditions. Additionally, we will determine the opportunity costs associated with not achieving best practices concessions during negotiations. The deliverable consists of a spreadsheet documenting the results of the benchmarking exercise and valuation of the missed opportunities.
Hotel Addendum Development – consists of customizing a best practices hotel addendum to meet the needs of the client. The addendum covers the following areas: (1) Concessions (2) Risk Management (3) Legal Terms & Conditions (4) Overbooking, and (5) General Business Terms and Conditions. The final deliverable consists of a customized hotel contract addendum template.
As part of our efforts we also provide free materials on all aspects of strategic meeting management.
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- Twice-Monthly Articles on Critical Topics in the Meetings Industry
- An Ever-Expanding Series of eBooks and White Papers
- Occasional Webinars / Videos
Our materials are based on many years of helping companies build their strategic meetings management (SMM) programs. They provide first hand insight into SMM and meetings and events risk management from a 19 year industry veteran. The materials include overviews, detailed explorations, and advice on the following areas:
✓ Data Management
✓ Program Consolidation
✓ Change Management
✓ Risk Management
✓ Compliance Management
✓ Payment Mechanisms
✓ Venue Supplier Strategy
✓ Program Globalization
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