Industry Hot Topics

The Shift: From Logistics To Strategic

My Take: Strategic Perspective

The recent global recession, a continued sluggish economy and the introduction of the Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) initiative has clearly changed the way that planners plan and execute meetings and how suppliers sell and deliver service. Added to the equation are senior management’s expectations for improved meeting productivity, cost savings, risk reduction and ROI.

The following industry statistics will validate my point:

  • 50% of CEO’s feel their organization is not getting maximum ROI from their meetings and events
  • 40% of CFO’s are not satisfied with their company’s travel / meetings spend management
  • 49% of planners feel pressure to enhance meeting results, and need for measurable metrics and ROI

Whether your meeting responsibilities are enterprise wide or focus on headquarters, a specific department or cluster of meetings, it is essential to embrace this “accountability and value” business model.

Strategic Meeting Management is a huge paradigm shift and there is an umbrella of organizational benefits, including focus on management / stakeholder meeting goals and objectives, improved planning processes / team productivity, emphasis on core competencies, meeting consolidation / leverage spend and attendee communications / learner outcomes.

There is no one size fits all solution and each meeting planner or team must conduct their own needs assessment and prioritize the SMM components that fit their current environment. Consider this a work in progress and as your organizational needs evolve, your SMM plan will continue to mature.

The quick wins include a custom hotel contract process (ready for signature) that will add more meeting value, generate real cost savings and assure risk reduction / cost containment. This proactive process should address all hotel contract components, value added concessions, hotel fees and surcharges (eliminate or reduce), all performance clauses (based on lost profit, not revenue) and company legal / liability language. The other important parts of the equation include robust technology that drives data management (and strategic decisions) and specific metrics to define, measure, benchmark and report success. On that topic, from the countersigned contract, planners can easily prepare a cost savings / risk reduction / cost containment report for each meeting. A carefully planned and implemented Strategic Meeting Management plan can save an organization 14% - 24% annually, which is certainly a good way to get management’s attention (and buy-in). In future monthly blogs, I will assess and breakdown a multitude of meeting topics, trends and tips that impact meeting planners and suppliers and will help us all raise the bar on successful outcomes.

Yes, the shift from “logistics to strategic” takes planning, collaboration and work; however, this will have a big impact on your organization…and career.


For a complimentary copy of Tim's “Strategic Hotel Contract Negotiation” checklist, contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tim Brown is CEO at Meeting Sites Resource. MSR is a global strategic meeting management solutions organization with 20 year track record of meeting excellence. This includes global hotel sourcing and custom contract negotiations, professional meeting support services, Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) consulting and advanced meeting technology.

Tim contributes articles to industry trade publications and speaks at many industry events. MSR also designs custom strategic education for planning and procurement teams. MSR is a recognition recipient of Meeting Professionals International’s Golden Paragon Award, MPI’s highest recognition for meeting excellence.


For Additional Information Contact:
Terri Woodin, CMP, Vice President, Marketing & Global Meeting Services
Meeting Sites Resource
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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