Allstate Customer Success Story
Creating a Strategic Meetings Management program with Cvent to help lower costs, reduce risks, and improve speed-to-market.
Mitigating Manual Processes
As one of the top insurance providers in the U.S., Allstate Insurance Company hosts more than 1,000 meetings and events each year. Despite such an expansive meetings schedule, the company lacked a disciplined approach to managing venue sourcing for its meetings and events activities.
Allstate had been using a decentralized sourcing process in which approval for financial and legal risks, as well as event expenses, was conducted on an inconsistent, ad-hoc basis. This led to a lack of visibility for those outside the planning team and affected spending levels, savings, meeting numbers, deposits, credits, and reporting. Controls over these and other line items including event governance and signatory protocols did not exist. Without oversight into the process, incentive payments from suppliers were sent directly to planners; raising concerns about possible supplier influence on venue decisions.
Creating a Strategic Meetings Management Strategy
In August 2017, Allstate’s Sourcing & Procurement Solutions department launched
a new Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) program and meeting and events policy for employees who plan company meetings or incentive events. The program encompasses departmental, sponsorship, and recognition events defined within Allstate’s new meetings and events policy. The SMM program was branded as MeetingHub, powered by Cvent’s meetings management software platform. Allstate’s new strategy was driven by its Director of Travel and Travel Team along with collaboration from the company’s Travel and Transport (TMC) partner. They worked closely with Cvent to develop a centralized sourcing process to manage venue sourcing across all the insurer’s meetings and events.
Allstate also hired a dedicated SMM Manager and sourcing specialists to work with Cvent to help develop a meeting and event policy. Debbie Barker, an implementation consultant at Cvent, and Allstate’s travel team collaborated on the development of a standardized meeting and event policy for the insurer. Under the new policy, Allstate established a clear definition of qualifying meetings and events for its company. The company defined qualifying meetings and events as having 10 or more room nights booked and a contract and/or cumulative contract valuing at $20,000 or more. Moving forward, any meetings and events that met these criteria must go through the centralized MeetingHub sourcing process. MeetingHub provides Allstate planners with a disciplined approach to venue sourcing, using the latest technology, industry enchmarking, automated workflows, and processes. The implementation of MeetingHub for venue sourcing at Allstate aimed to provide:
- Governance controls with respect to contracts
- Validation of rates and contract terms using historical and market data
- Detailed reporting on key metrics with meetings: meeting type, spend level, savings, and number of meetings
- Visibility into credits or deposits for reuse with future meetings
- Enablement of benefits of the Allstate Duty of Care Program for event attendees
- Better use of Allstate’s onsite facilities for meetings, when applicable
- Improved tools for meetings of all sizes, from small DIY meetings to full production support for large-scale events for close coordination with conference planning teams