Event Travel Management (ETM)
Proving the Value of a Strategic Meetings Management Program
in verified savings through SMMP
reduction in planning statuses with MRF
sunk costs only due to savings through SMMP
Corporate Travel Management (CTM) is an award-winning international provider of innovative and cost-effective travel solutions spanning corporate, events, leisure, loyalty, and wholesale travel. CTM’s event management division, Event Travel Management (ETM), is a global, multi-award-winning provider of professional event management services delivering innovative solutions and exceptional value with each custom tailored event.
ETM first began using Cvent to optimize business efficiencies and services in 2009. Since that point, the organization has grown their solution suite as the business expanded. They have created executive reports and dashboards, streamlined the transient hotel RFP process, reduced manual labor, optimized the attendee experience, and eliminated the need for single point solutions within the business. ETM uses a host of integrated Cvent solutions including Event Management, Cvent Mobile Event Apps, Strategic Meetings Management, Cvent’s Diagramming & Seating solution, the Cvent Supplier Network, Surveys, and much more. “When we first started exploring options, we were looking for a registration technology and a sourcing solution, but more importantly, we were looking for a partner and somebody who would grow with us,” explains Tami Reier, Senior Vice President. “And we certainly have not been disappointed. That has been our experience in the time that we've been with Cvent.” The ETM team notes that the integrated Cvent platform has directly contributed to three key business goals: integrating decision support systems for one source of truth, optimizing purchasing power, and fostering a unified culture.
Ensuring Effective Crisis Management through Strategic Meetings Management
At the outset of the global health crisis, ETM found their Cvent solution suite to be a vital tool in navigating the initial challenges of the pandemic. Many of their scheduled meetings and events were canceled or rebooked, which significantly impacted expected revenue and existing staffing models. Simultaneously, CTM had acquired Travel and Transport Events (now ETM); the acquisition resulted in several new projects centered around staffing, service design, and technology solutions.
The crisis also impacted ETM’s clients. “When the pandemic hit, it was slightly chaotic,” says Julie Huber, Sourcing Manager. She explains that a lack of transparency into data and fluctuations in the daily news around COVID-19 caused confusion amongst various departments within their client’s organizations. She adds, “So we really had to kind of pause and wait to see where this information should come from.”
A large financial industry client had partnered with ETM to streamline their Strategic Meetings Management program. “The client is in insurance, so mitigating risk and spending money wisely is very important to them,” notes Marla Everett, Director, Consulting Solutions. Their SMM program, internally branded “MeetingHub,” was being revamped in tandem with an enterprise-wide transformational growth plan. One of the key goals of this plan was to drive cost savings, which ETM was able to assist with. In March 2020, the organization had 153 signed contracts in excess of $50M when they stopped all travel and meetings.
Understanding the current state of their meetings program in the face of the pandemic was a key to the organization’s ability to navigate the crisis successfully. First, they needed to mitigate loss from canceling or rebooking. In the weeks that followed, the company relied on the MeetingHub SMMP to help mitigate loss from canceling/rebooking and centralize processes to help manage risk management. With evolving guidelines, multiple teams, and inconsistent information, there were significant challenges in understanding what data was needed to make key decisions. Therefore, having centralized data already located within Cvent was invaluable. Marla explains, “What we discovered was that we were tracking a lot of data for events that were going to happen, and we weren't tracking a lot of data to prepare for whether or not we needed to make decisions for the event not to go forward.”
With the discovery of these data gaps, ETM and the organization worked together to assess exactly what data was missing and how they could configure the available data in Cvent to plug any leaks. “We actually went back into Cvent and entered data for each of the contracts that we had regarding cancellation, timelines, milestone dates, when decisions needed to be made, and what the financial impact was,” Marla adds. “We were able to pull what we called the milestone report and made decisions in a timely way, based on the data that we put into Cvent, and we're able to pull out and analyze along the way. “