Managing Events Strategically Overview
In the short time I have been involved in the Meetings and Events industry (15 years), I have learned the value of partnerships, listening and information (business intelligence). These three have helped me develop what Meeting Evolution does well, what our customers want and the importance of capturing the right information to answer the questions that your boss is asking. Managing events strategically is the driving force behind what we do and why we do it.
One of my customers came up with 10 Tips that help manage events strategically:
- Build your business acumen and understand “how your organization works” (what are products / services, primary marketplace, what drives profitability, key departments generating meetings). Evaluate your organization’s website, mission statement and any announced strategic initiatives.
- Conduct your own meeting needs assessment and evaluate the size and scope of meeting and event activity (number of meetings, locations, meeting stakeholders, budgets, meeting spend, etc.). Determine how meetings and events can help achieve stated goals and objectives.
- Learn about all facets of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) and prioritize specific components of this new “value and accountability” initiative that can benefit your organization.
- Create an Action Plan that features SMM benefits, including increased team productivity, added meeting value, cost savings, risk reduction, attendee experience / learning, etc., and outline your recommendations for an SMM plan.
- Design a master company hotel contract, ready for signature, that addresses all contract components, value added concessions, hotel fees & surcharges (eliminate or reduce), performance clauses (based on lost profit, not revenue) and company legal / liability language.
- Generate a “cost savings / risk reduction / cost containment” report, for each meeting, (from final negotiations / countersigned contract).
- Evaluate and select the “best of class” Preferred Suppliers, by category, that compliment in-house resources and take advantage of specialized services and volume buying.
- Incorporate SMM technology that provides 24/7 access to all current and past meeting activity, including management and financial reports.
- Review specific metrics to define, measure, benchmark and report results to senior management (at least quarterly). The big picture goal is on-going validation of real meeting value and planning team results.
- Stakeholder management is a big part of your job description, so focus on their specific meeting goals, objectives and vision and build your “strategic brand.”
Over the next 6 or 7 weeks I will be focusing on the steps of managing events strategically beginning with the event request. I look forward to sharing with you what I have learned and what we have implemented to help our customers manage their events strategically.