CBI Scene Blog

Proving the ROI of Strategic Global Meetings

Posted by Kathleen O on Nov 20, 2013 10:00:00 AM

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The Three "R"s That Can Make or Break a Company

Over 50% of CEO’s feel their organization is not getting maximum ROI from their meetings and events and 49% of meeting planners feel pressure to enhance meeting results, measurable metrics and ROI. In an age of slashed budgets, reduced corporate travel and a growing trend away from costly meetings and events, meeting planners are being forced to prove to their bosses that they can be strategic assets to the organization. In order to do that, meeting planners must utilize various measurements that have become known as the three "R"s.

The most important skill set any manager or top executive can possess in today's economy is the ability to prove the company's ROI (return on investment), ROO (return on objectives) and ROE (return on equity). By utilizing and analyzing these various performance metrics to optimize an organization's meetings planning, a company can more accurately measure the profitability and productivity of their strategic global meetings. This information can be used to not only improve future meetings, but also boost investor confidence in the organization.

Over the past few decades, corporations have relied heavily on the ROI calculation as a means of convincing the decision makers at various strategic meetings that their investment is worth their money and time. Ways meeting planners can do this is by providing robust education, various certification programs, awards ceremony, onsite training, educational resources and more. Making contributions to the bottom line is essential for a meeting professional to be elevated in the eyes of corporate executives.

Proving and Improving the ROI of Strategic Meetings

  1. Apply both pre-meeting and post meeting surveys.
  2. Measure psychological, behavioral and financial factors that effect meeting planning.
  3. Use ROI measurement for both small and large meetings to draw conclusions about where the company needs to improve.
  4. Measure and track year to year, and even month to month results.
  5. Establish professional standards and staff skills.
  6. Continually improve over time.

The Crucial Relationship Between ROI (Return on Investment) and SMM (Strategic Meetings Management)

Along with analyzing the ROI of meetings, companies are turning to strategic meetings management to help them. Strategic meetings management (SMM) is a disciplined approach to managing a company's global meetings, various annual events, company processes, company suppliers and data in an effort to achieve profitable results that meet the organization's strategic goals and vision for the company, all while proving the value of the company in the form of quantitative savings, risk mitigation, and service quality.

With the combination of an unstable economy and a wide budget cut for strategic meetings for corporations across the country, meeting planners are feeling more pressure than ever to prove the ROI of every little business process. “Meeting planners are at risk unless they can prove the value of a companies meeting spend by ensuring meetings are happening the right way, for the right cost and for the right reasons,” says Steve O’Malley, vice president and general manager for Maxvantage.

Several various organizations have done extensive research that details why ROI (return on investment), ROO (return on objective),  and ROE (return on equity) measurements are crucial to tracking the overall profitability of business processes. Because of the pressure company's are facing to prove the value of the corporation, many are turning to Strategic Meeting Managerment Programs to help them optimize the structure of corporate meetings. 

Strategic meeting management goes beyond just budget crunching and bottom line savings- meeting professionals in today's economy must focus on meeting architecture, design and the overall attendee experience of each and every corporate meeting. A carefully planned and implemented SMM plan can save an organization 14% - 24% annually. This research has shown that managerial focus must be more strategic, taking into account a well-balanced approach to running not just their company, but even their meetings, along with logistical and interpersonal aspects of events.

Proving the ROI of strategic meetings is all about designing a meeting or event that meets the objectives of the audience. Executives and other stakeholders in an organization want to know exactly what effect their pressence at the meeting will have on the overall productivity of the company and whether or not it will lead to an increase in sales.

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(Image courtesy of Tax Credits via Flickr)

Topics: Meeting Management