Technology’s Role in Strategic Meeting Management

meeting technologyIf you want to have a strategic meeting management program then you definitely need to be well versed on the latest technology. Thankfully, the Groups and Meetings Committee of the National Business Travel Association has addressed this in a new white paper which is the fifth in the group’s “Framework of Success” series on meeting management issues.

The first part of the 11-page paper is titled “Choosing the Right Technology in Support of Your Strategic Meetings Management Program”.It discusses how technology facilitates all the different elements of an SMMP. It includes everything from cost-avoidance reports to proper meeting approvals. A simplified version from the author states that an SMMP should do a few things specifically:

  • Collect Meeting Data. This should include expenses across departments in order to report a consolidated view of your company’s meeting activity which can then be analyzed by vendor and meeting type.
  • Automatically notify legal or┬áprocurement departments if RFPs are of a certain size.
  • Include a searchable supplier database that can easily be found online which directs users to your company’s preferred suppliers.
  • Create a full slate of reports both customizable and standard.
  • Integrate with your company’s meeting-planning software for attendee registration and housing or, at least, have these capabilities itself.
  • Route meeting requests through the approval process and track meetings that do not receive the approvals necessary.
  • Help planners create, submit and compare RFPs as well as save all of the bids for future references.

Aside from that, the paper also considers the best practices when buying or even building a tech system. Overall, the author leans more towards the off-the-shelf systems. According to the author, “In recent years, with more visible products on the market and a growing understanding of the overall cost to maintain such systems, it has become widely considered a best practice to buy an SMMP technology solution, rather than build one.”

The paper talks about key selection criteria, including security, the ability of integration with other company systems, scalability, brand issues and ease of use as well as support for the customer as all things you should take into consideration when researching a potential meeting management technology.

Source: Meetings Net

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