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Strategic meetings management makes savings, says new study

Study by CWT and The BTN Group finds 96 per cent of firms rank SMM programmes as successful

Almost all companies that have implemented a programme for the strategic management of meetings (SMM) have been successful, according to a new study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel and The BTN Group.

The research found 96 per cent of firms rank SMM as successful, and that more than two-thirds of companies with SMM programmes plan to expand them.

Kari Wendel, senior director of global SMM strategy & solutions at CWT Meetings & Events, said: “What we found is that practically everyone who runs a strategic meetings management programme defines it as successful. All the experts agreed that a SMM programme doesn’t have to be complicated and the returns can come very quickly. 

“The advice that emerged from our research is that if you’re starting out, it’s a question of keeping it simple and focusing on strategy: tactical implementation will follow quickly. Don’t be too ambitious to begin with, demonstrate value and then grow. And the absolute key is to identify your stakeholders early on and get their buy-in.”

The study, Driving Success in Strategic Meetings Management found more than half of respondents said they had made 10 per cent savings from their SMM programme, with a further 17 per cent of respondents saving more than 15 per cent.

The study showed that cost transparency and reduction is seen as the most important success metric, followed by attendee and sponsor satisfaction and regulatory compliance. 

One of the main barriers to implementing an SMM programme is volume, with a significant number of survey respondents saying they did not have enough meetings to justify a programme. However, more than 70 per cent of respondents with a programme are looking to expand it.

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