Government Connections - Spring 2013 - (Page 16)

THAT’S TECHNOLOGY Dispelling the Myths about Strategic Meetings Management By Eric Eden Cvent ST R AT EGIC MEETINGS MANAGEMENT (SMM) emerged as a new business methodology more than a decade ago and, ever since, the meetings and events industry has seen a tremendous amount of progress and evolution in the adoption of the practice. However, this forward momentum has led to the development of several myths about SMM – what it is, what it can and cannot do, and what it entails – but these are nothing more than misperceptions. In this article, we take a closer look at three of these most common myths in order to help create a better understanding of many of the key aspects of SMM and how such a program can benefit your organization. SMM MYTH NO. 1: IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE One of the most pervasive myths about Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMPs) is that it is too expensive an endeavor to consider at most organizations. While considerable up-front investments were common in years past, today there are options that allow for the adoption of SMM practices with minimal initial investment. 16 After all, one of the most compelling reasons for applying SMM is to drive savings across the board. In most cases, a technology platform to support and enable the entire SMM process will be the first area of investment. This technology does not have to be expensive or complex. Many solutions can be implemented in incremental stages, depending on an organization’s priorities. For example, an organization that begins by implementing solutions to manage attendee registration and sourcing may not need to invest in more complex modules until phase two of the project. This allows for the opportunity to show savings generated at the end of the first phase, in order to further justify additional technology investments. Additionally, with an upfront investment of any amount, the efficiencies and business automation advantages provided will quickly justify the expenditure of adopting an SMMP. With an average savings ranging from 18-22% after implementation, most organizations can realize a return on their technology investment within the first year and a half. The savings opportunities that drive SMM cannot be overstated when dispelling GOVERNMENT CONNECTIONS | SPRING 2013 the common myth that SMM is too expensive. In fact, it may be too expensive not to implement SMM. SMM MYTH NO. 2: IT ONLY WORKS WITH LARGE ORGANIZATIONS SMM was born from the practice of corporate travel management. For years, organizations have looked at the overall management of business travel components such as airfare, hotel bookings, rental cars, travel expenses, etc. Early adopters of corporate travel management principles were, for the most part, large corporations and government agencies. Thus, it is these same types of organizations who first adopted what was then called meetings centralization, and what we now call SMM. Because large corporations and associations were the forerunners in this space, the myth that SMM is only for large organizations has developed. This could not be farther from the truth. SMM principles, such as centralized meeting registration and data consolidation, strategic sourcing and payment reconciliation processes create value at all types of organizations, regardless of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring 2013

President's Letter
Editor's Letter
SGMP Nation
The Meeting Minute
Advertisers' Index
Plan Green: Why Create a Sustainable Event?
Good to Know: Do You Need Per Diem?
That's Technology: Dispelling the Myths about Strategic Meetings Management
Conference Connection: 2013 NEC & Expo
SGMP's New Headquarters
Working With Your Convention and Visitors Bureau
Starwood Looks Forward to Seeing You

Government Connections - Spring 2013