Successful Meetings - June 2008 - (Page 25)

Planner’s Workshop > Pre-Event Using Tech to Drive Down Meetings Spend By Marty Denning As a meeting planner in control of what could be your company’s second- or third-largest expense after salary and benefits, you are no longer viewed as only operating a cost center; you are now tasked with bringing in revenue and savings. In a growing shift, you are a valuable player in management’s perception of travel and meetings, once considered unavoidable costs of doing business, but now thought of as strategic procurement focused on your company’s overall objectives. In your new role, you must: Provide transparency and quickly show meetings expenses and value. Provide an audit trail to prove the existence of adequate internal controls for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance, including policies that detail a minimum number of bids. Achieve speed in the pursuit of the best-value meeting venue. The most efficient way to achieve these goals is by incorporating software and online technology into the site-selection process. David Chandler, president of Atlanta-based, which provides training SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS JUNE 2008 to corporate software developers for banks and financial institutions, holds meetings that require a complete audiovisual setup, preferably with built-in ceiling projection, and frequently books overnight accommodations and meeting space for 10 to 20 people. Currently his company’s expansion plans are being hampered by an inability to quickly locate the best-value meeting space in any location. “Our Google ads are getting Inside a lot of traffic from the financial > PRE-EVENT Using barter to centers in New England and boost your meetings budget New York,” says Chandler. “I PAGE 26 would like a website where I > TOOLS OF THE TRADE The vino could see all the meeting rooms that are available in ing materials under complete hotels, universities, or corposurveillance PAGE 29 rate centers in that geographic area. This would allow me to expand our business. Meeting space is more expensive in those areas, and I would like to know I am getting the best value.” Some savvy suppliers are responding to the need for speed to which Chandler refers. Scott Brown, vice president of information technology at San Diego’s Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, noticed that new meeting planners rarely visit the prop- valise; keep your shipped meet- 25

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - June 2008

Successful Meetings - June 2008
Editor's Note
Industry Trends
Planner Spotlight: Kelly Broz
Technology Talk
Food & Beverage
Websites of the Month
Pre-Event: Tech
Pre-Event: Bartering
Tools of the Trade
Dialing for Dollars
The All-in-One Resort
Bottom-Line Speakers
Places & Spaces
Florida’s West Coast

Successful Meetings - June 2008