SMM Basics 101


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Want to learn how to jump-start your SMMP?
You’ve got the go-ahead from procurement to implement a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP). Fantastic! Now what? Knowing where to start, which stakeholders to involve and what steps to take to drive a successful strategy can be unfamiliar territory to meeting and event professionals of all levels.

This free webinar will help guide you through a high-level “getting started” process in which you will learn:

Typical components to SMMP
Pre-planning to get started
Key steps for implementation
Common pitfalls to avoid

Published in: Technology, Business
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SMM Basics 101

  1. 1. Debi Scholar, President Scholar Consulting Group Mark Hubrich, VP Client & Industry Relations SignUp4 Matt Hodge, VP of Sales SignUp4
  2. 2. SPEAKER BIOS DEBI SCHOLAR • Author, President, Scholar Consulting Group • Designations include GLP, CMM, CMP, CTE, SSGB, & CTT • T&E Plus Blog has over 31,000 views & described as “must-read” by industry magazine • Selected as one of the top 20 Changemakers of the industry & BTN Practitioners of the Year • Formerly managed Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s SMMP for over 2,000 meetings & budget over $200M and was first Meeting Director to include Virtual Meetings under her direction in 2002 MARK HUBRICH • Vice President of Client and Industry Relations • Technology entrepreneur with over 13 years of software development • Guest lecturer on meetings technology at Univ. of North Carolina Charlotte & Kennesaw State University • Meeting Industry Ambassador with GaMPI MATT HODGE • Vice President of Sales • Over 14 years of successful sales & sales management • Lead technology sales at Datastream Systems,, & Knowledge Storm
  3. 3. Typical components to SMMP Pre-Planning: Sample Questions to Ask Common Misconceptions & Pitfalls to Avoid Key Implementation Steps Post Implementation Best Practices Questions & Answers
  4. 4. Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) is a disciplined approach to managing enterprise-wide meeting and event activities, processes, suppliers and data in order to achieve measurable business objectives that align with the organization’s strategic goals / vision, and deliver value in the form of quantitative savings, risk mitigation, and service quality. Global Business Travel Association produced the first whitepaper on SMM in March 2004.
  5. 5. Pre-Planning: Sample Questions To Ask • Do you currently have a meetings policy? • Who are your key stakeholders? • Number of meetings held annually? • Annual meeting costs (hotel, travel, catering, etc.)? • How are hotels/vendors procured & is it consistent across the company? • Is your company at risk by not having standardized contracts for vendors?
  6. 6. Finding Meeting/Event Spend and Volume • Extract data from Accounts Payable and Cards (corporate, Pcard, etc.) - Finance and supplier reports • Ask for historic spend and forecasted budgets. • Survey administrative assistants and other key ad hoc planners. • Ask key suppliers. • Use industry benchmarks.
  7. 7. Common Misconceptions Requires hundreds of thousands of dollars & years of data collection
  8. 8. • One meeting manager only used benchmark data to convince leaders to move forward. • One meeting manager wrote a short memo to her leader explaining how she could help keep the organization stay out of future lawsuits. • Many organizations started without any data - but needed to comply with future regulations. • Many organizations want to comply with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which regulates companies' internal financial controls and procedures.
  9. 9. SMMPs are only for enterprise level/Fortune 500 companies
  10. 10. 7 Risk Exposure Categories without SMM Risk Exposure is REAL if you plan 1 meeting or 1,000 meetings Planner Types • Corporate • Association • Higher Education • Government
  11. 11. Implementation is difficult and overwhelming
  12. 12. Start Simple 30 days 60 days 90 days • Recognize opportunity (save? risk? efficiency? compliance? transparency?) • Prepare and perfect elevator speech • Don't get overwhelmed; most mature programs take years to develop • Gather and analyze whatever data is available • Identify stakeholders; • Continue meeting start meeting with with stakeholders them • Read your T&E policy or meeting policy • Identify quick win opportunities • Tackle 1 or 2 quick wins • Collect best practices • Document pros/cons; • Enjoy the journey and learn may want to develop and course correct business case and as necessary proposed project plan
  13. 13. Dramatically changes existing processes
  14. 14. Pitfalls to Avoid DO: Ideally your organization will have a meeting policy defined. However, many simply need to start gathering data in order to validate to management the “Why.”
  15. 15. DO: Have a concise meetings request process. One client of ours had a 300 question form and no one wanted to fill it out because it was so lengthy. Some clients may have 2-4 different meeting request forms based on the meeting type and complexity; a best practice is to keep the forms as simple as possible.
  16. 16. DO: Know what type of reporting you would like to generate. This determines the setup process for the vendors and budget categories to match up with accounting. Standard and custom reports are available.
  17. 17. Key Implementation Steps Step #1 Define Goals Identify the problem and opportunities. Example: Driving measurable savings to support business objectives
  18. 18. Step #2 Create An Implementation Taskforce
  19. 19. Know Your Stakeholders and HOW to Approach them Stakeholders Drivers Finance • • Maintain financial controls Visibility into spend Operations • • Streamline processes Efficiencies Travel • • Transparency into travel costs Support group travel Procurement • • Select suppliers fairly Leverage spend IT • • Secure networks Support the right technologies More Stakeholder Drivers at Tailor Discussions based on Personalities - (e.g. B.A.N.K. System*) *Contact Debi Scholar for more information
  20. 20. Step #3 Collect Meetings Data
  21. 21. Step #4 Choose Your SMMP Technology Provider Consider longevity, feature offerings, pricing, references and most importantly ease-of-use. Scrutinize the user interface.
  22. 22. Step #5 Develop The Actual Plan, Rollout & Timeline Create a business process map with specific action items, timelines and supporting data. Include opportunities for built in assessments and corrections throughout the process. Benchmark measurable goals to evaluate progress.
  23. 23. Sample Project Timelines for samples ©Debi Scholar. 2011
  24. 24. Step #6 Develop Internal Communication Plan
  25. 25. Step #6 Develop Internal Communication Plan • Message • Audience / Stakeholder • Purpose or goal of communication • Medium of communication (e.g. face-to-face meeting, phone call, email, webinar, etc.) • Developer • Approver • Deliverer • Frequency • Timing of communication
  26. 26. Post Implementation Best Practices Registration Define the meeting Determine level of data required for registration Outline spend categories related to total cost Use unique meeting ID once meeting is registered Approval Budgetary Financial Compliance/Regulatory Approval to come from senior executive above planner
  27. 27. Post Implementation Best Practices Negotiations Engage more than one supplier to ensure best rates & concessions Multiple options prevents starting over if one should fall through Negotiations can be reported by planners and sourcing team Contracting/Risk Management Centralized contracting prevents unauthorized commitments Procurement can review and approve contracts along with legal Create pre-approved meeting contract templates Create commodity-specific agreements
  28. 28. Post Implementation Best Practices Execution Management should ensure policies & procedures are clearly documented Roles and expectations should be clearly defined Training should be included for new planners Reporting Develop organizational reports to present to leaders demonstrating ROI Define metrics for success meetings visibility, cost per attendee, percentage of total meeting cost for major commodities Use metrics to identify trends and opportunities for increased savings
  29. 29. Thank you for joining us! Visit us at these upcoming conferences Contact Us Debi Scholar Mark Hubrich