Strategic Meetings Management

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1 A View into the Best-in-Class Strategic Meetings Management Program June 2011 Christopher J. Dwyer

2 Page 2 Executive Summary The modern organization s planning, execution and management of strategic meetings and events often have direct links to greater corporate performance. Business events are designed with revenue implications in mind, as well as customer retention, end-user satisfaction and promotion and marketing of the company brand. Therefore, it is critical for organizations to follow a Best-in-Class plan of attack within their Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMPs) to not only drive value out of their corporate events, but also ensure that processes to expand global Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) efforts and maintain quality / effectiveness are performed in a cost-efficient manner. Research Benchmark Aberdeen s Research Benchmarks provide an in-depth and comprehensive look into process, procedure, methodologies, and technologies with best practice identification and actionable recommendations Best-in-Class Performance Aberdeen used the following key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in- Class performance: percentage of SOW-based projects (and temporary workers) that meet pre-defined objectives, compliance to federal policies concerning independent contractors, and average year-over-year cost savings on contingent labor spending. Best-in-Class enterprises in this study are notable for the advantages that they hold over their peers: 75% higher realized / implemented cost savings on SMM spending 50% higher rate of compliance to internal SMM policies and guidelines Nearly 50% higher frequency of strategic meetings and events executed on or below corporate budgets Competitive Maturity Assessment Survey results also show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared several common characteristics, including: 68% higher likelihood of maintaining real-time visibility into the corporate calendar of strategic meetings and events 55% higher likelihood of tracking / monitoring meeting and event Return on Investment (ROI) Required Actions In addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter Three of this report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance companies must: Leverage SMM solutions, such as end-to-end SMM enablers and destination management offerings, to enhance SMMP processes Utilize data analytics and improve SMM intelligence Align SMM activities with the goals and objectives of the greater organization This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.

3 Page 3 Table of Contents Executive Summary...2 Best-in-Class Performance...2 Competitive Maturity Assessment...2 Required Actions...2 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class...4 Business Context...4 The Maturity Class Framework in Strategic Meetings Management...6 The Best-in-Class PACE Model...7 The Best-in-Class Strategic Meetings Management Program...7 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success...11 Competitive Assessment...11 Capabilities and Enablers...13 SMM Technology Solution and Enabler Utilization...14 Chapter Three: Required Actions...20 Laggard Steps to Success...20 Industry Average Steps to Success...20 Best-in-Class Steps to Success...21 Appendix A: Research Methodology...23 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research...25 Figures Figure 1: Top Strategic Meetings Management Pressures...4 Figure 2: Strategic Meetings Management Spend Control...5 Figure 3: The Best-in-Class SMMP: Basic / Intermediate Attributes...8 Figure 4: The Best-in-Class SMMP - Advanced Attributes...9 Figure 5: Best-in-Class SMM Solution Utilization...15 Figure 6: SMM Data Analytics and Reporting...17 Figure 7: Virtual Meetings Management Attributes...18 Tables Table 1: The Maturity Class Framework...6 Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework...7 Table 3: The Competitive Framework...12 Table 4: The PACE Framework Key...24 Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key...24 Table 6: Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework...24

4 Page 4 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class There may be no finer line to corporate business augmentation than strategic meetings and events; end-user conferences, customer events, internal training and development meetings, and other forms of strategic meetings all have a direct link to organizational growth and enterprise revenue. However, the very facets of modern Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) are complex and intricate in scope, forcing companies around the globe to reevaluate existing operations inherent in event management and to ensure that their strategic meetings are compliant with corporate budgets for achieving overall organizational goals and objectives. Fast Facts The average company spent nearly 22% more on strategic meetings and events in 2010 than in 2009 Over 30% of all corporate meetings and events are considered virtual Business Context This strategic meetings management research study discovered that companies spent nearly 22% more in 2010 than in 2009 on corporate events, a figure which proves the validity of such a complex category of corporate spending. With additional financial focus on strategic meetings also draws corporate scrutiny; as indicated in Figure 1, the majority of organizations feel pressure to reduce overall costs on meetings and events. Figure 1: Top Strategic Meetings Management Pressures Need to reduce costs / increase savings 66% Need to improve data analytics / reporting 41% Globalization of strategic meetings and events 33% Need to improve event policy compliance 25% While costs and savings remain a prevalent pressure, additional challenges have been catapulted into the SMM stratosphere as spending increases on this critical arena of indirect spend. Data analytics and reporting (41%) is an arena that is well-leveraged in other complex spend categories (such as travel and contingent workforce management) to drive visibility, identify value and improve forecasting and budgeting. Companies have now realized

5 Page 5 that utilizing data from multiple SMM sources (spend data, supplier data, event measurement data, quality, etc.) can improve overall SMM intelligence and enhance their approaches to streamlining the management of corporate meetings and events. Globalization (33%) is also fast-becoming a concern for companies; as more organizations think (and act) globally, there is the necessary focus on understanding foreign markets and the guidelines for planning, hosting and executing strategic meetings and events. The need for Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMPs) that understand regional complexities and international policies will be a major component and competitive driver for companies as they expand corporate growth to overseas markets. Exhibiting Spend Control on Strategic Meetings and Events With increasing travel and lodging costs a major concern for companies managing corporate meetings and events in a new decade, it is crucial for organizations to apply effective spend control strategies for aligning corporate event spending with business budgets. Figure 2 details the top methods currently leveraged by companies to exhibit strategic meetings management spend control. Figure 2: Strategic Meetings Management Spend Control Utilize virtual meetings to replace / supplement live meetings 59% Reduce number of eligible attendees at specific meetings Reduce length of strategic meetings Leverage analytics to identify unnecessary meetings 36% 34% 44% Corporate performance is the basis for any strategic meeting or event that our organization holds. ~ Director of Quality Management, European Computer Equipment Manufacturer Figure 2 illustrates that nearly 60% of organizations are currently relying on virtual meetings to supplement existing live, in-person meetings or, in some cases, replace instances of those meetings. Moreover, Aberdeen research has found that over 30% of all strategic meetings and events are considered virtual in some sense; and with this figure increasing by over 33% over the past year, it has become critical for organizations to implement efficient strategies to manage a consistent combination of virtual events with more

6 Page 6 traditional live meetings. Chapter Two of this report will address these specific approaches. To adhere to corporate budgets and reduce costs on meetings and events, companies are reducing the total number of eligible attendees (44%), which can cut down on costs for airfare / travel and catering / entertainment. Organizations are also reducing the length of events (36%), a spend control factor that reduces overall costs on resort / hotel fees for conference rooms as well as the items listed above (travel, catering, entertainment, etc.). Although companies are spending more than they did in the past on their corporate events, they still maintain a focus on reducing costs on this key spend category as they continue to drive value from their strategic meetings. The Maturity Class Framework in Strategic Meetings Management Aberdeen used the following three key performance metrics to distinguish the Best-in-Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations: percentage of meetings and events managed on or below budget, compliance to corporate policies concerning meetings and events, and cost savings achieved on strategic meetings spending over the last year. Table 1: The Maturity Class Framework Definition of Maturity Class Best-in-Class: Top 20% of aggregate performance scorers Industry Average: Middle 50% of aggregate performance scorers Laggard: Bottom 30% of aggregate performance scorers Mean Class Performance 87% of strategic meetings managed on or below budget 85% compliance to meeting and event policies / guidelines 26% realized / implemented SMM cost savings 53% of strategic meetings managed on or below budget 50% compliance to meeting and event policies / guidelines 10% realized / implemented SMM cost savings 12% of strategic meetings managed on or below budget 21% compliance to meeting and event policies / guidelines 2% realized / implemented SMM cost savings Best-in-Class companies are known for their superior performance across the scope of modern strategic meetings management. These organizations have achieved success within key metrics that reflect upon their capabilities and strategies for managing the complexities inherent in the typical SMMP. These organizations have driven:

7 Page 7 75% higher realized and implemented cost savings on strategic meetings spending 50% higher rate of compliance to internal SMM policies and guidelines Nearly 50% higher frequency of strategic meetings and events executed on or below corporate budgets The Best-in-Class PACE Model The efficient management of the wide range of attributes and complexities within strategic meetings management requires a combination of strategic actions, organizational capabilities, and enabling technologies that can be summarized in the PACE Framework in Table 2. Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Need to better manage all facets of strategic meetings management (globalization, virtual, data analytics, etc.) Align SMM activity with greater organizational goals Leverage data analytics to improve overall SMM Alignment between corporate strategies and SMM planning Real-time visibility into calendar of events Standardized approval processes Instituted formal SMM sourcing processes End-to-end meetings management solutions Meetings card Destination management solution Supplier network Virtual meeting / conferencing solution Third-party SMM consultant services E-procurement solution The Best-in-Class Strategic Meetings Management Program SMMPs involve a number of programmatic components and attributes to effectively manage the wide variety of corporate meetings, events and conferences. SMMPs were built to manage the planning, development, sourcing, payment and reporting of strategic events and their associated financial costs. While SMMPs vary in scope from organization to organization, there are basic, intermediate and advanced attributes that have helped move SMM into a new decade of promoting corporate value and alignment with other strategic initiatives. Aberdeen research has found that Best-in-Class enterprises are actively managing 63% more of their strategic meetings via an internal SMMP than all other organizations, a factor which speaks to their superior level of performance across the scope of key SMM metrics. Basic and Intermediate SMMP Attributes Last year s Strategic Meetings Management: The Evolution of the Modern SMMP research study addressed the specific aspects of the typical SMMP and

8 Page 8 identified the inherent weak links. This year, Aberdeen not only expands upon those attributes beyond the basic components, but also directly applies the Best-in-Class maturity framework to link top-tier performance to reliance on core SMMP attributes. As indicated in Figure 3, Best-in-Class organizations have more heavilyleveraged the basic and intermediate attributes of their strategic meetings management programs to enhance management of their corporate events. Figure 3: The Best-in-Class SMMP: Basic / Intermediate Attributes Planning and execution of meetings 55% 94% Event registration 56% 78% Strategic sourcing Internal approval of meetings Specific strategic meetings policies 35% 55% 59% 72% 78% 76% We ve aligned corporate performance goals and targets with the operational processes of our strategic meetings management program. ~ Executive / Corporate Management, Asian Software Firm Payment of expenses 72% Best-in-Class 58% All Others The principles detailed in Figure 3 are necessary components in managing the process cycle of modern SMM. Aspects such as planning and execution (in place in 41% more Best-in-Class companies than all others) and internal approval (leveraged by 22% more Best-in-Class companies than all others) are simple efficiencies to streamline management of corporate events and ensure that they not only stick to organizational budgets, but also establish key milestones and dates set in motion by event planners. Moreover, attributes such as strategic sourcing (which Best-in-Class companies are nearly 30% more likely to utilize) drive value for modern SMMP efforts. By applying strategic sourcing practices to the strategic meetings category (such as electronic bidding and spend analytics), companies can identify savings, reduce costs and cultivate long-term relationships with key suppliers (such as hotels and resorts, airlines, etc.). Moreover, specific SMM policies and guidelines, in place in 51% more top-

9 Page 9 performing organizations than all others, is a core competency that most other companies are failing to put in place within their respective SMMPs. SMMPs dictate that all meeting-planning aspects, such as locations, travel, catering, and entertainment, follow corporate agreements with major suppliers. Meetings that are planned outside of the SMMP / internal meetingplanning group often do not follow these agreements and result in inflated costs and events that exceed business budgets. Advanced SMMP Attributes To keep up with the upward trend of SMM spending in the next decade, companies must leverage a series of advanced strategies to effectively manage corporate meetings and events that have direct ties to revenue growth and organizational development, all while adhering to corporate policies / agreements and keep meetings and events in tune with company budgets. An increase in strategic meetings spending translates into a need for advanced attributes to improve upon existing SMM processes. As indicated in Figure 4, Best-in-Class organizations have readily-leveraged advanced SMMP aspects to improve their management of events. Figure 4: The Best-in-Class SMMP - Advanced Attributes Project management 52% 78% Data analytics 31% 67% Site selection 50% 61% Event entertainment production 33% 56% Marketing / promotion 42% 56% Design / creative 32% 56% Best-in-Class All Others Top-performing companies have utilized a series of advanced strategies to improve their respective SMMPs. Data analytics, in use in 54% more Best-in- Class organizations than all others; is considered a weak link in the

10 Page 10 average strategic meetings management program, however, it is a critical component in the Best-in-Class SMMP. Data analytics and reporting can provide intelligence into specific aspects of strategic meetings management, such as return-on-investment on meetings, quality / effectiveness of events, and cost-per-attendee, as well as help provide SMM intelligence for executives that may not be familiar with the complexities of modern strategic meetings management. Best-in-Class companies are also leveraging other advanced SMMP attributes; for instance, project management (33% more likely than all others) and site selection (in place in nearly 20% more Best-in-Class enterprises than all other companies) are two factors that place additional focus on precise aspects of event management, such as scouting ideal locations for events, managing specific milestones and dates within the lifecycle of a strategic meeting, and identifying ideal suppliers based on region, location, season / date and attendees. The Best-in-Class SMMP also includes a spotlight on unique promotional aspects of strategic meetings management, as these top-performing companies are apt to include marketing attributes (56%) and design / creative elements (56%) as part of their meetings management program. These distinctive attributes also improve the advertising aspects of corporate meetings by designing custom event websites, improving promotional printed materials for in-event use, and utilizing and other social media aspects to drive registration and attendance. Aberdeen Insights Strategy: The Link Between Strategic Meetings Management and Corporate Performance Best-in-Class companies have demonstrated their top-tier performance across several key strategic meetings management metrics (as indicated earlier in the Best-in-Class Maturity Framework). When managing a complex category such as strategic meetings / events, organizations today must analyze how efficiencies within the SMMP are tied to overall corporate performance. Best-in-Class companies are nearly 35% more likely than all other organizations to directly align strategic meetings management activities with the goals and objectives of the greater organization. This strategy is especially critical, considering that these top-performing organizations have achieved: 41% higher frequency of corporate meetings and events that meet or exceed pre-defined and communicated goals, objectives and expectations than all other organizations Over 41% higher rate of strategic meetings spending under management than all other companies 20% increase in revenue that is directly linked to effective management of strategic meetings and events

11 Page 11 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success Modern strategic meetings management requires a balanced and programmatic series of strategies that streamline and enhance event management operations and ensure that corporate meetings meet objectives and goals, drive revenue, and improve customer relationships while staying on budget and adhering to organizational guidelines / policies and corporate supplier agreements. Best-in-Class organizations have leveraged a multitude of capabilities and technology solutions to not only drive value out of their strategic meetings and events, but also enhance analytical aspects, manage globalization, and improve bottom-line cost savings. Case Study The Modern SMMP Fast Facts Best-in-Class companies are 46% more likely than all other organizations to leverage SMM supplier networks Best-in-Class companies are 51% more likely than all other enterprises to standardize meeting and event approval processes A large global technology manufacturer has been utilizing an advanced strategic meetings management program to manage their corporate events. A crucial attribute within their SMMP continues to be data analytics, business intelligence and reporting. It s become even more important for our company than it was in the past, said the Global Program Manager for Meetings and Events. Our SMMP has incorporated ways to gather additional data so we can analyze our database a little differently. The organization has tracked and analyzed the demographics of their event attendees and planners as a means to ensure strategic meetings meet the goals and objectives of the overall sponsor s agenda. In addition to analytics, the Global Program Manager states that advancements in strategic meetings management technology have enhanced the company s SMMP capabilities. For instance, mobile access to event agendas and the ability to alter those agendas on-the-fly are actively enhancing event communication efforts. Technology is critically important in today s ever-changing world, the Global Program Manager said. If companies are going to expand their SMMPs globally, technology has to be in line with those efforts. Competitive Assessment Aberdeen Group analyzed the aggregated metrics of surveyed companies to determine whether their performance ranked as Best-in-Class, Industry Average, or Laggard. In addition to having common performance levels, each class also shared characteristics in five key categories: (1) process (the approaches they take to execute daily strategic meetings management operations); (2) organization (corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders); (3) knowledge management (contextualizing SMM data and exposing it to key stakeholders); (4) technology (the selection of the appropriate SMM tools and the effective deployment of those tools); and (5) performance management (the ability of the organization to measure its

12 Page 12 SMM results to improve its business). These characteristics (identified in Table 3) serve as a guideline for best practices, and correlate directly with Best-in-Class performance across the key metrics. Table 3: The Competitive Framework Process Organization Knowledge Technology Performance Best-in-Class Average Laggards Standardized meeting / event approval processes 83% 44% 35% Formal SMM sourcing processes 61% 41% 28% Collaborative management of strategic meetings / events 72% 36% 29% Real-time visibility into corporate events calendar 72% 30% 14% Analytics to identify opportunities for savings 49% 32% 24% Strategic meetings management solutions in place: 65% virtual meeting / conferencing solution 64% end-to-end meetings management solution 56% supplier network 50% meetings card 47% e- procurement system 32% destination management solution 59% virtual meeting / conferencing solution 27% end-to-end meetings management solution 32% supplier network 34% meetings card 41% e- procurement system 21% destination management solution 48% virtual meeting / conferencing solution 24% end-to-end meetings management solution 28% supplier network 25% meetings card 33% e- procurement system 12% destination management solution Strategic meetings management performance-tracking capabilities: 71% ability to track revenue tied to meetings 33% ability to measure ROI of events 27% ability to track revenue tied to meetings 18% ability to measure ROI of events 18% ability to track revenue tied to meetings 13% ability to measure ROI of events

13 Page 13 Capabilities and Enablers Best-in-Class organizations have demonstrated a strong reliance on specific process, organizational, knowledge management, performance management and technology capabilities/enablers to effectively streamline SMM processes and drive value out of their respective strategic meetings management programs. Process: Standardized Approvals and Formal Sourcing Processes Similar to corporate business travel, strategic meetings and events can be planned and executed without the knowledge of key executives or internal meeting-planning groups / SMMPs. Corporate agreements with resorts and hotels, as well as with airlines, help program executives keep costs down and maintain visibility into SMM spending; when administrative personnel or other staff plan meetings outside of these corporate agreements (and without the knowledge of SMMP heads), the company is often affected by inflated costs and increased spending on events. By instituting standardized approval processes (in place in 51% more Best-in-Class companies than all others), organizations can make certain that all corporate meetings and events are reviewed and approved before a single dollar is spent. Similarly, formal sourcing processes (which 36% more Best-in-Class enterprises have in place than all others) ensure that the procurement of all SMM-related spending is funneled via a centralized set of guidelines that assist the organization in driving cost savings and adhering to corporate meeting and event budgets. Organization: Collaborative SMM Strategic meetings and events often touch several key groups within the greater organization: sales teams utilize off-site training events, the executive office schedules board meetings, and end-users attend customerfocused events. It is therefore critical to involve multiple stakeholders in the overall successful planning and management of strategic meetings and events, as 56% more Best-in-Class companies have done than all others. A strategic view of specific suppliers can be gained by a free-form sharing of information, and approval and visibility aspects will be greatly enhanced with collaborative management and involvement within strategic meetings management. The performance of our company s SMMP is reported directly to both the procurement and finance groups, and is aligned with both corporate and individual objectives. ~ Director of Procurement, European Publishing Company Knowledge Management: Real-Time Visibility and Analytics Much like an Outlook calendar can be an executive s technological best friend, a real-time view into the corporate calendar of events is a crucial knowledge management capability in gaining visibility into where and when strategic meetings are being held across the entire organization. Executives working within the SMMP can identify events with the potential to exceed budget, and with these analytical views at their disposal, can take the

14 Page 14 necessary measures to control spending. Best-in-Class companies are nearly 70% more likely than all other companies to have this capability in place. Although spend analysis is only one of many aspects to SMMP, this area cannot be ignored based on its impact. In conjunction with wider strategic sourcing efforts, leveraging spend analytics to identify savings opportunities, in place in 44% more Best-in-Class companies than all others, is a significant capability in the potential of realizing cost savings and alleviating the top overall pressure in managing strategic meetings. Companies that utilize spend analytics can easily pinpoint areas of spend consolidation, eliminate inefficiencies, and help identify key spend patterns / trends. This information, when utilized by sourcing teams, can be leveraged in negotiations with major suppliers, such as resorts, hotels and airlines. Performance Management: Tracking and Measuring Revenue and ROI Strategic meetings and events often have some financial link to the greater organization; specific conferences are designed, planned and executed to drive revenue and improve customer relationships. In this regard, Best-in- Class companies are 64% and 55% more likely, respectively, to track revenue tied to strategic meetings and measure the ROI of these events. With millions of dollars tied to meetings and events for some of the largest organizations, it is crucial for companies to have the ability to track, monitor and measure both the amount of revenue generated by strategic meetings and the total return-on-investment from corporate events. This enables executives working within the SMMP to utilize this knowledge for future event planning and budgeting, and can assist in improving events that are months away on the corporate calendar. SMM Technology Solution and Enabler Utilization Technology solutions and enablers are often considered a necessary means for linking all processes within a strategic meetings management program. Best-in-Class enterprises, in their pursuit of streamlining event management and driving value out of strategic meetings, have leveraged technology enablers to drive down costs, exhibit spend control, and improve the quality and effectiveness of their corporate meetings.

15 Page 15 Figure 5: Best-in-Class SMM Solution Utilization Virtual meeting / conferencing solution 54% 65% End-to-end SMM solution Supplier network for meeting / event suppliers Meetings card 25% 23% 30% 50% 56% 64% Our company is made up of six individual units all working independently of each other. SMM solutions help bring consistency and compliance among all the units and allows for more visibility into the volume of meetings, their requirements and spending. ~ Procurement Director, Publisher Destination management solution 16% 32% Best-in-Class All Others Technology is a critical component of the Best-in-Class strategic meetings management program. These top-performing organizations have leveraged several key enablers and solutions to enhance strategic meetings management processes and drive considerable value from their corporate events: End-to-end strategic meetings management solutions were designed to streamline, automate, and enhance all processes within the modern strategic meetings management program. These end-to-end enablers, which are in use in 61% more Best-in-Class enterprises than all others, offer a single platform for managing event registration, event planning, marketing, strategic sourcing, and in most cases, robust data analytics and reporting. Aberdeen research has found that users of end-to-end SMM solutions have achieved over 30% higher realized and implemented cost savings than companies not currently utilizing an end-to-end SMM solution, as well as a 26% higher frequency of corporate strategic meetings and events meeting or exceeding pre-defined and communicated goals, objectives and expectations. Supplier networks, in use in 46% more Best-in-Class companies than all others, strategically-support the sourcing attributes of the modern SMMP in that these automated enablers provide detailed intelligence into meetings vendors, such as hotels and resorts. Supplier networks often enable automated RFP processes and improve site selection processes. Companies currently utilizing

16 Page 16 supplier networks for meetings and events management have been able to identify over 54% higher cost savings within their strategic meetings management spending than organizations not currently leveraging supplier networks. Meetings cards, in use in 54% more Best-in-Class companies than all other organizations, are a specific breed of commercial card that enhances overall strategic meetings management and provides a gateway into vigorous data analytics and reporting around the SMM spend category, allowing SMMP executives to improve their visibility into specific aspects of event management, such as suppliers and locations. Meetings cards also encourage compliant meetings spending (via corporate agreements with hotels, resorts and airlines) and automate the procurement, payment and reconciliation aspects of strategic meetings management. Users of meetings cards have achieved a nearly 50% higher rate of strategic meetings management policy compliance than companies not currently leveraging a meetings card. Best-in-Class companies are also nearly 20% more likely than all other companies to utilize virtual meeting and conference technology, an aspect which reflects the evolution of their strategic meetings management programs to supplement or replace specific in-person meetings with virtual events. As we will see later in this chapter, Best-in-Class organizations are leveraging specific attributes and strategies for managing virtual meetings. Analytics in Modern Strategic Meetings Management Modern strategic meetings management calls for clear visibility into several key aspects beyond just dollars spent such as supplier information, quality and effectiveness, revenue tied to events, etc. As indicated in Figure 6, Bestin-Class companies are readily-leveraging data analytics, reporting and business intelligence to gain visibility into the full scope of strategic meetings and gain a clear understanding of the real value and effectiveness of their corporate events.

17 Page 17 Figure 6: SMM Data Analytics and Reporting Satisfaction of event attendees 36% 67% Cost per attendee per day 30% 63% Total SMM spending 29% 56% Post-event measurement 29% 50% Meeting quality 17% 47% Meeting ROI 13% 43% Best-in-Class All Others The wide extent of analytics in Figure 6 touches multiple avenues within strategic meetings management, including financial, quality and revenue aspects. Best-in-Class companies are actively leveraging analytics specific to event management to improve their respective strategic meetings management programs. Tracking the satisfaction of event attendees (which Best-in-Class enterprises are 46% more likely to do than all others) can help companies gauge the quality of an event and whether specific efforts enhance the attendee experience. Cost per attendee per day, tracked and utilized by 52% more Best-in-Class companies than all others, is a relatively newer metric that SMMP executives are leveraging to gain intelligence on the true costs of strategic meetings and events rather than total costs. Best-in-Class organizations are also 70% more likely to leverage analytics and business intelligence to track and monitor the ROI on meetings and events. The active utilization of this data aspect can help strategic meetings management program executives understand the level of revenue tied to their execution of corporate meetings and events as compared to business budgets. Virtual Meetings Management Chapter One of this report revealed that over 30% of all strategic meetings and events are considered virtual in some sense. With a 33% increase over the past year, companies must ensure that they are applying the same robust strategies to virtual meetings as they ve utilized for live, in-person meetings. In looking at this critical subset of SMM, Aberdeen research has

18 Page 18 found that only 10% of organizations currently centrally-manage their company s virtual meetings, events and conferences as part of the existing strategic meetings management program. While 25% of companies IT groups manage virtual meetings (a stakeholder that typically understands the technological requirements and cost attributes of this SMM subset), the vast majority of organizations experience virtual meetings management across a wide variety of groups that may not maintain the necessary skills or intelligence to properly drive value out of the virtual arena. As indicated in Figure 7, Best-in-Class organizations have leveraged a series of attributes to enhance their management of virtual meetings and conferences. Figure 7: Virtual Meetings Management Attributes Communication during virtual event Real-time voice / video communication Web collaboration Text / video chat Development of event milestones Event design 17% 20% 41% 48% 47% 39% 47% 41% 56% 71% 65% 65% Best-in-Class All Others Our tag line is the art of conversation. The group understands the value of communication and meetings, whether they are virtual or inperson. Travel is strictly limited to essential travel only, and our leadership is often measured on the amount of travel that they approve. We use interactive, two-way, high-definition video conferencing and content sharing whenever possible rather than traveling. We figure that 50% of our T&E expenses are meeting related, making an SMMP a priority. ~ Corporate Management / Director, Large North American Company Similar to regular updates from meeting planners during in-person events, communication during virtual meetings (in place in 42% more Best-in-Class companies than all others) is critical in achieving consistency in internet and phone connections and assisting in keeping to pre-defined meeting agendas. Similarly, web collaboration (65%) and text / video chat (56%) enhance the structure of virtual meetings / conferences and better align content for event attendees. Virtual meetings, while executed for lower costs than in-person events, still must be planned on or below pre-defined budgets to avoid causing financial

19 Page 19 heartache. Virtual meeting planners are also often not keen to the costs of hosting additional attendees beyond the number that what was originally planned, causing major financial implications for extra voice and video users. It is crucial to develop clear event milestones, in place in 57% more Best-in- Class organizations than all other companies, to appropriately prepare for each stage of the virtual event lifecycle and plan for real-time instances that could potentially cause events to exceed corporate budgets. Aberdeen Insights Technology: Strategic Meetings Management Automation As evidenced in the past two chapters of this research study, Best-in- Class organizations have not only demonstrated their ability to drive value and performance out of their corporate events, they ve also exhibited a willingness to align the attributes of their strategic meetings management programs to the evolution of a new decade. A core component of this SMMP evolution is reliance on technology in terms of automation. Automation is a necessary enabler to link key SMM processes, create a repeatable set of SMMP inner-workings and methods, and continually drive visibility into company-wide spending on strategic meetings and events. In looking at the Best-in-Class SMMP, it is clear that top-performing organizations have leveraged the automation of key SMM components to streamline processes and achieve top-tier performance. In this regard, Best-in-Class companies are: 61% more likely than all other organizations to automate budget configuration for meetings and events 57% more likely to automate vendor management (and supplier networks) 36% more likely to automate central meeting / event supplier contractor repositories 30% more likely to automate corporate meeting and event registration than all other organizations

20 Page 20 Chapter Three: Required Actions Modern strategic meetings management has a direct link to corporate performance and business development. In order for companies to drive value out of their corporate meetings and events, they most follow the path blazed by Best-in-Class organizations. To effectively enhance strategic meetings management processes and improve performance, companies should look to the following recommended actions to increase the productivity of their strategic meetings management programs. Laggard Steps to Success Develop real-time visibility into the corporate calendar of meetings and events. Visibility into the full scope of corporate meetings and events can assist in understanding the financial implications of strategic meetings management against enterprise budgets. Industry Average companies are 53% more likely than Laggard organizations to maintain real-time visibility into the full calendar of meetings and events across the company, a factor which boosts intelligence into SMM spending and identifies both highprofile and low-profile events for proper forecasting, planning and budgeting. Align strategic meetings management activities with the goals and objectives of the greater organization. Industry Average organizations are over 25% more likely than Laggards to align SMM activities with the objectives of the greater organization. Corporate meetings and events are often direct links to revenue and customer retention, so it is especially critical for C-level executives to understand strategic meetings management processes and their effects on organizational performance. Standardize event approval processes. Meetings that are planned outside of the scope of the SMMP are often executed without the knowledge of corporate agreements with hotels, resorts and airlines. It is therefore critical for Laggard organizations to standardize event approval processes to ensure that every aspect of strategic meetings fit into corporate budgets and adhere to business agreements. Industry Average organizations are over 20% more likely than Laggard enterprises to have this capability in place. Fast Facts Best-in-Class companies are nearly 60% more likely than Industry Average organizations to leverage end-to-end SMM solutions Industry Average companies are 53% more likely than Laggard organizations to maintain real-time visibility into the corporate calendar of meetings and events Industry Average Steps to Success Track and monitor the ROI of meetings and events. Data analytics remains a crucial area within the modern strategic meetings management program. With a link to overall corporate performance, it is important for organizations to accurately track and monitor meeting ROI as a means of analyzing the efforts put into planning and executing corporate events. Best-in-Class

21 Page 21 companies are nearly 75% more likely than Industry Average enterprises to track this aspect of data intelligence. Look to end-to-end strategic meetings management solutions to automate and enhance specific processes within the strategic meetings management program. Endto-end strategic meetings management solutions automate the multitude of attributes inherent in efficient SMMPs, helping to provide support and enhancement to enterprise events. Best-in- Class companies are nearly 60% more likely than Industry Average organizations to leverage end-to-end SMM solutions, which automate core SMM processes, provide visibility into meetings spending, and drive event cost savings. Develop event milestones for all planned virtual meetings. Virtual meetings remain a cost-effective manner to supplement or replace live and in-person events, however, poor management of conferencing activity can have dire financial results. It is critical for organizations to develop event milestones for all virtual meetings, a capability that Best-in-Class companies are 51% more likely to have enabled than Industry Average organizations. This strategy will ensure that all steps and processes required for effective execution of virtual meetings are in line with corporate budgets and are prepared to combat issues as they arise. Our company is strongly pushing a globalized approach to conducting business in general, and therefore, an SMMP is imperative for meeting this significant corporate objective. ~ Executive / Corporate Management, Large Global Financial Services Enterprise Best-in-Class Steps to Success Leverage destination management solutions to improve the quality and effectiveness of strategic meetings and events. Destination management solutions link companies to preferential supplier rates and offer extensive knowledge of meeting and event locations, assisting in planning and managing dinners, accommodations, incentive schemes and various entertainment activities. In this regard, only 32% of Best-in-Class companies are currently utilizing a destination management solution to improve their strategic meetings management programs. Institute multi-regional planning to improve strategic meetings management globalization. Globalization remains a prevalent pressure within modern strategic meetings management. However, less than 30% of Best-in-Class organizations are currently instituting multi-regional SMM planning to expand their strategic meetings management programs into the global arena. This planning aspect can involve a free-form sharing of intelligence, ideas and supplier information within several global regions as a means of preparing to bring strategic meetings management to an international scale.

22 Page 22 Aberdeen Insights Summary: A New Decade of Strategic Meetings Management While costs and savings are prime pressures within modern strategic meetings management, the new decade of this complex spend category presents an opportunity for companies to expand their strategic meetings management programs onto a global stage and reap the rewards of international business expansion through events that can drive new customers and clients and promote the corporate brand. Before executing meetings management efforts on a global scale, companies must first master the mass of processes and attributes within the modern SMMP. Furthermore, data analytics within SMM is a leading strategy for companies looking to improve not only the processes inherent in their strategic meetings management programs, but also understand the wider scope of value formally managing corporate meetings and events provides. Improving the greater understanding of SMM through metrics such as cost per attendee per day and meetings ROI helps the modern organization gain intelligence on the quality and effectiveness of their strategic meetings and utilize that information to improve specific processes. Technology solutions and enablers are the underlining components to link SMMP processes and drive additional value. Solutions like end-to-end strategic meetings management enablers and destination management offerings automate key strategic meetings management processes, create efficiencies within strategic meetings management programs, improve visibility to SMM spending, and ultimately drive cost savings through improved supplier relationships.

23 Page 23 Appendix A: Research Methodology Between April and May 2011, Aberdeen examined the use, the experiences, and the intentions of more than 115 enterprises using strategic meetings and events in a diverse set of enterprises. Aberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with interviews with select survey respondents, gathering additional information on strategic meetings management strategies, experiences, and results. Responding enterprises included the following: Job title: The research sample included respondents with the following job titles: manager / general manager (30%); director (26%); C-level / executive (16%); vice president / executive vice president / senior vice president (10%); and others. Department / function: The research sample included respondents from the following departments or functions: procurement, sourcing or supply chain (24%); corporate management (19%); business development (14%); marketing (7%); finance (4%); IT (4%); and others. Industry: The research sample included respondents from the following industries: manufacturing (17%); telecommunications (11%); financial services (10%); public sector (9%); utilities (8%); health / medical services (7%); and 25 others. Geography: The majority of respondents (65%) were from North America. Remaining respondents were from the following regions; Europe (16%); Asia / Pacific (10%); Middle East and Africa (6%); and South / Central America (3%). Company size: Thirty-eight percent (38%) of respondents were from large enterprises (annual revenues above US $1 billion); 19% were from midsize enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion); and 43% of respondents were from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less). Headcount: Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents were from large enterprises (headcount greater than 1,000 employees); 20% were from midsize enterprises (headcount between 100 and 999 employees); and 29% of respondents were from small businesses (headcount between 1 and 99 employees). Study Focus Responding executives completed an online survey that included questions designed to determine the following: The degree to which strategic meetings management is deployed in their retail operations and the financial implications of the technology The structure and effectiveness of existing strategic meetings management implementations Current and planned use of strategic meetings management solutions to aid operational and promotional activities The benefits, if any, that have been derived from strategic meetings management initiatives The study aimed to identify emerging best practices for strategic meetings management, and to provide a framework by which readers could assess their own processes and capabilities.

24 Page 24 Table 4: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures external forces that impact an organization s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key Overview The Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises as falling into one of the following three levels of practices and performance: Best-in-Class (20%) Practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and result in the top industry performance. Industry Average (50%) Practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance. Laggards (30%) Practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance. In the following categories: Process What is the scope of process standardization? What is the efficiency and effectiveness of this process? Organization How is your company currently organized to manage and optimize this particular process? Knowledge What visibility do you have into key data and intelligence required to manage this process? Technology What level of automation have you used to support this process? How is this automation integrated and aligned? Performance What do you measure? How frequently? What s your actual performance? Table 6: Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework How They Interact Aberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the most transformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitive performance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well they execute those decisions.

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