Strategic Meetings Management

Strategic Meetings Management Programs

A strategic meetings management program (SMM, or SMMP) for both corporations and agencies is a critical component in bringing efficiency to an organisation by driving compliance, promoting common processes and centralising data management. It is a company-wide initiative which requires the buy-in of stakeholders at all levels, from senior management through to PAs who organise events on behalf of their manager or team.

Simply licensing an SMM technology platform is the start of the process - the challenge is the change management and subsequent business process engineering that is required to implement the platform. An SMM program requires stakeholders throughout the enterprise to be trained and informed on the new processes they are required to follow. The training will drive compliance, which in turn will reduce costs through standardisation. Programs can be local, regional or global, but the most significant benefit (and challenge) is to have uniformity of data and processes across the enterprise.

The GBTA "SMM Wheel"

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) introduced the term SMMP, and the concept behind managing meetings (and events) strategically, rather than as discrete tactical activities. The GBTA 'SMM wheel' highlights the different components that contribute to a successful SMM program - the wheel has been updated over the years, but the image below is the most recent version. Critically, it puts Stakeholder Engagement at its centre, as a successful SMMP requires the training and awareness of all the key staff involved in turning event ideas into reality.

Some of the key benefits of an SMM program within an organisation include:

  • increased visibility of all meetings and events related activity
  • Transparency on all cost incurred
  • Standardised processes
  • Centralised data store*
  • Greater buying power with vendors
  • Better coordination and communications for meetings and events
  • Quantitative savings

*This depends on the strategy adopted.

Change Management

Ultimately, an SMM program is a project in change management, resolving around people. Some of the key stakeholders impacted include:

  • Event planners
  • Event coordinators
  • Attendee management specialists
  • Event website and online registration specialists
  • Sourcing specialists
  • Technology support staff
  • Group travel specialists
  • Supplier relations managers
  • Account directors
  • Etc.

How Smartec can help

Smartec can help organisation in the following way:

  • Plan a SMM program by firstly analysing the organisations' processes, policies, business mix and total event-related spend
  • Recommend a SMM technology platform, if there is none in place
  • Implement a full SMM program by engaging with key stakeholders, and rolling out common processes and technology platform to all user
  • Support a SMM program, as continued review and improvement are critical to the ongoing success of SMM. This means ongoing tracking of policy compliance, system usage and industry best practice
  • Support a global implementation

For more information, call Smartec on +44 (0)1784 289974 or email info@smartecbs.com