@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 11

80 percent of all meetings, according to
the Carlson Wagonlit 2017 Meetings and
Events Forecast.
When you fail to capture small meeting
spend, the data goes missing. The trouble
is, organizations count on aggregated
spend data in vital ways - for example, to
negotiate better pricing, control costs,
better manage the planning process and
minimize risk. The more data you have at
your fingertips, the more power you have
at the bargaining table.
While results vary by organization
and industry, the bottom line is this:
Tracking small meeting spend across
all departments and regions can drive
millions of dollars in savings for many
large and mid-sized companies.
Given the volume, small meetings can
have a big impact. What's more, their
numbers are rising, as companies choose
more intimate events for their flexibility,
ease and engagement. In fact, 91 percent
of planners report their number of small
meetings increased or stayed the same
in 2016 compared to 2015, according to
PCMA's 2017 Meetings Market Survey.
Almost all planners (97 percent) expect
to hold the same number or more meeting
this year over last.

about centralizing the planning process.
A win-win for everyone.
A new breed of sourcing solutions
makes easy work of data consolidation.
More than just RFP tools, they automate
the entire booking path, from sourcing to
stakeholder communication, negotiations
and contracting.
One nice outcome is these next-level
solutions capture 10 times more data. You
get immediate access to meeting activity
companywide in real time, including
meetings in negotiations, at contract,
booked, and operated.

2

Keep it simple. When it comes to
managing small meetings and tracking
data, adoption is key. Find an intuitive
sourcing solution that loops in power
planners as well as administrative
assistants, sales staff and others
with meeting arranger responsibilities
companywide. Your solution should
be easy enough for employees to start
using immediately. No training required.

3
*

How Can You Gain Control
Over This Huge and Elusive
Category of Spend?
Over the course of the past few years,
event profs have relied on technology
to successfully leverage small meeting
spend. In the process, they've saved their
companies a lot of money, improved decision
making through solid business intelligence,
increased efficiency and simplified
reporting. Let's see how you can do this, too.

1

Automate venue sourcing. Hotels
represent the largest portion of
meeting and event spend (45 percent).
So, gaining visibility and control of this
spend is a crucial first step.
You're probably saying it's easier
said than done. Manual data capture
is a laborious, error-prone process. A
better way to ensure timely and accurate
information is by automating sourcing.
The beauty of technology is data capture
is effortless - no spreadsheet work
needed. Even better, it enables you to
centralize the data without worrying

Leverage event volume and use
sourcing data to strengthen your
bargaining position. A few other tips:
Check hotel brands in active
negotiations companywide. You may
find many meetings in the works with a
single brand. That sets you up nicely to
negotiate better rates and terms based
on volume.
Increase your buying power with
preferred brands. Stack meetings
with preferred brands for additional
savings. No preferred brands? Pick
the two brands you use most and send
them as many meetings as possible.
Then, start a discussion about getting
preferred pricing and possibly GSO/
NSO representation. Having a national
sales rep multiplies your options while
staying on budget.
Create standard concessions. Some
platforms auto-populate company
concessions on their RFPs. This way,
everyone contributes to savings
even if they're inexperienced
in hotel negotiations.
Use concessions as bargaining chips.
In the current market, it can be difficult
to score significant discounts on room
rates. Rather than requesting rate

*

*

*

reductions, add value with concessions
like free breakfast and Wi-Fi.
* Check savings-to-spend ratios. See
what your company spends with each
brand for every dollar it saves. Talk to
brands that fall short. Then shift share
around to maximize brand leverage
from your company's overall spend.

4

Create a standard meetings
management process to reduce risk,
housing all planner-related information
in one portal.
* For duty of care, combine all company
meetings on a global calendar. If a
crisis arises, you can instantly identify
employees at risk.
* Create a core set of contract clauses,
including more favorable attrition,
cancelation and indemnification
clauses. Lock them into every RFP
created in your platform.
* Develop a canceled meeting
redemption process to recoup lost
deposits. Companies lose hundreds
of thousands of dollars annually from
meeting cancellations alone.

5

Communicate results throughout
your company, including occasional
planners. Within the first couple
months of your program, share news
about the savings it generates.
Provide regular updates. When
employees see their efforts are
making a difference, they'll continue
to support your program, and
compliance will grow.

What Can You Do to Create a
Successful Small Meetings
Tracking Program?
1. Capture spend data throughout
your company
2. Use technology to simplify the process
3. Leverage overall volume
4. Standardize procedures to reduce risk
5. Communicate successes regularly
Do those things, and in not too much
time, you and your team will be able to
negotiate bigger savings and reduce risk
for your company. @
Mike Mason is a 30-year meeting and
hospitality veteran and vice president
of sourcing and hospitality solutions
at etouches.
mpigny.org

11


http://www.mpigny.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017

President’s Message
Your New Virtual & Augmented Reality Universe
Transforming Great Events Into Greater Experiences
5 Steps to Uncover Savings Hiding in Plain Sight
Wellness in the Workplace Seen and Heard at NEOCON
Meet the Board
Thought Leadership
Get to Know: Peri Halprin and Kelly Hewlett
Notes From the Field
Planning Abroad? Go Smaller
New Members
Advertisers’ Index
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Intro
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover1
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover2
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 3
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 4
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - President’s Message
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Your New Virtual & Augmented Reality Universe
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 7
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Transforming Great Events Into Greater Experiences
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 9
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 5 Steps to Uncover Savings Hiding in Plain Sight
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - 11
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Wellness in the Workplace Seen and Heard at NEOCON
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Meet the Board
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Thought Leadership
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Get to Know: Peri Halprin and Kelly Hewlett
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Notes From the Field
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Planning Abroad? Go Smaller
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover3
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - cover4
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert1
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert2
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert3
@MPIGNY - Fall/Winter 2017 - outsert4
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