August 20, 2019
By Madeline Hessel
Organizations of all sizes struggle with productivity and cost-effectiveness when they haven’t implemented a strategic meetings management program. As a meeting organizer, you’re probably frustrated with these things, but also need to understand where to start to get your program off the ground. Or maybe you’ve got a program in place, but are looking for places to optimize. Highly effective meetings programs are essential for growth and scalability within an organization. And with our 17 years of experience in helping planners (like yourself!) implement meetings management programs and technology, we’ve realized that all meetings programs have these 5 “habits” in common.

1.   Saves You Time

Time savings is HUGE! Once you’ve put in the work of getting your program off the ground, the processes you’ve laid in place will soon govern the program – so you don't have to.

2.   Saves Your Company Money

This is why there’s a huge emphasis on selling your program to executives – a good meetings management program saves time AND money by automating processes, centralizing contracts, consolidating suppliers, re-using meeting space from cancelled events, reducing of printing costs through use of a mobile app, and gaining real-time budget visibility.

3.   Minimizes Risk

Oftentimes, supplier contracts are signed with little legal knowledge, and individual events require unique supplier contracts that bring added exposure and risk to the company. A consistent contracting process minimize risk related to meetings and events contracts.

4.   Follows An Outlined Process & Structure

Successful meetings management programs follow an outlined process that’s transferable to anyone in the organization. So, you’ve got to have a communication plan in place for internal stakeholders, which might include regular trainings. But follow this process keeps your program prescriptive, which ensures that it’s actually working!

5.   Adopts Technology

One of the main components to the success of your meetings management program is the usage and adoption of technology solutions. Ditch the spreadsheets and use technology to automate your program, and you’ll see even more return from your investment.   We originally created the Strategic Meetings Program Starter Kit  in 2015 to help planners like yourself build their programs, sell them to executives, and implement them in their organization. Recognizing that meetings can be managed throughout an organization, we’ve since updated the “SMM Kit” to be even more relevant, helpful and impactful for any meetings program. Download the revamped Meetings Starter Kit today to get started.   This post is part of a series on meetings management.   
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