Posted: April 22nd, 2013 | Author: Don Munro | Filed under: Best Practices, Events Industry, Industry Research and Stats, Strategic Meetings Management | Tags: Active Network, Business Travel News, event management software, event management technology, meetings cost savings, meetings effectiveness, meetings procurement, process savings, strategic meetings management study | 1 Comment »
We work with a variety of customers from small to mid-sized businesses to global organizations with thousands and hundreds of thousands of employees. But each customer – no matter how large or small – has very similar questions when it comes to buying event management software. We brainstormed the top 10 questions that we believe smart companies should ask before buying event management software. In this blog, I’ll spotlight the importance of each of the questions – and their answers – in a series of 10 posts.
In this post, we’d like to talk about one of the most important questions you should ask before buying event management technology: How can event tech help me show cost savings?
In our previous post, we looked at how event tech can get you the ROI you need to justify your events. Well, tracking and reporting savings is a key measurement of ROI. In the 2012 Strategic Meetings Management Study, produced by Business Travel News, nearly one in four respondents indicated their firms have centrally consolidated all meetings purchasing functions. Of those, more than half said they have gained the benefit of leveraging buying volume with suppliers. Plus, more than four in five noted they have a higher degree of budgetary control.
That’s great stuff. But being able to track, measure and report on savings is even better. When looking at providers, consider the following tech and how it can help you cut 10-25% off annual meeting costs*:
- Process automation. Event planning process automation can cut from 3%-6.5% from your outlay;
- Procurement automation. Electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP) tech can help you save 4.8%-8%;
- Automation to boost visibility & control. This can help you cut from 2.4% – 5.5% from your budget;
- Compliance & Risk. Look to pare 1.6% – 5% from your budget using this tech;
- Meetings Effectiveness. On-site event reporting on attendee satisfaction with speakers and sessions, as well as reports on lead generation, can pare annual meeting costs by 0.5% – 5%.
Tell us how you’re saving on meeting costs and achieving efficiencies! We’d love to hear your stories.
* Source: CWT Travel Management Institute’s 2010 study, “Meetings & Events: Where Savings Meet Success,” which polled 222 event planners worldwide, among other methods.
Check out all 10 Questions Smart Companies Need to Ask before buying event management technology!
Stay tuned for the next post: “How will event tech make my attendees happy?”
2012 Strategic Meetings Management Study, produced by Business Travel News
Written By: Don Munro
Posted: April 5th, 2013 | Author: Izania Downie | Filed under: Events Industry, Global Event Perspectives, Strategic Meetings Management | Tags: Active Network, conference, congress, convention, event, event industry, event management, event management software, exhibition, festival, meeting, meetings management, seminar, strategic meetings management | No Comments »
By Betsy Weber via Flickr
I recently attended the PCMA Corporate Programme at International Confex and was lucky enough to host the team from PCMA, along with some of the speakers, to dinner one evening. Now here were some serious industry leaders from both the US and Europe sitting around a table together. The conversation flowed between the joys of traveling to international destinations (mainly the inside of convention centers and hotel rooms) to US & European politics and the opportunity in Latin America, and then discussing which trade show were we going to meet at next. We continued to the hotel lobby bar for a nightcap, where the conversation took a sudden swerve thanks to my extremely right-brained colleague asking, ‘what is the officially accepted name of our industry?’This seemingly innocent and straight-forward question sparked a rather emotionally driven debate around the semantics of words to describe different ways of bringing people together.
One member of the group firmly believed that meetings and events covered it all. I, however, disagreed commenting on incentives, festivals, and public events. Another person piped up about an annual general meeting being called a convention, conference, and meeting – so what really was it? Someone even looked it up on Wikipedia! It struck me that if we as industry leaders can’t even agree, it’s no wonder that the rest of the world is confused.
It also made me recall a meeting I had back in my days as CEO of Eventia. A small contingency of industry leaders in the UK were invited to meet with the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport – the latest department that was made responsible for our fragmented industry. One of the most important things I took away from that meeting was the fact that the minister asked 1) how we define our industry and 2) who the official representation is for us. Of course we had our well-rehearsed answers ready for her; however, knowing the reality in my head, I came away feeling frustrated with the fragmentation of event management and wanting to do more to bring us together. I battled on in those years creating mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances between Eventia and various other industry bodies. However, one thing I did learn is there is still a need for niche representation across our industry. The issues that affect large complex conferences with thousands of delegates managing the exhibitor elements, speakers, housing, etc. compared to festival organizers or incentive trips are all quite different. Not to mention the considerations of a strategic meetings management program.
Do we really want to name the industry with something that would cover every possible type? Meeting, event, exhibition, festival, congress, convention, seminar, conference, incentive trip… and the list goes on. Would it really benefit us or would it become completely homogenized and lose relevance for all the individual sectors involved? I spent enough years trying to figure that out and I still don’t know the answer but it sure made for an interesting and long debate that evening.
However one thing is certain – no matter what the type of event – every organizer needs to have the right technology for meetings management to support their process and objectives. That’s why ACTIVE Network came up with the concept of SMART EVENTSTM and I’m very pleased to say that we truly do have event management software to serve any type of event. So, perhaps in some way, I’m helping to fulfill my passion of bringing the industry together by promoting the intelligent use of technology to enable SMART EVENTSTM.
I’m interested to hear how you, or your organization, categorizes the event industry. Feel free to share your thoughts on how you feel it is represented!
Written By: Izania Downie
Posted: March 25th, 2013 | Author: Don Munro | Filed under: Best Practices, Events Industry, Strategic Meetings Management | Tags: Active Network, attendee management, attendee registration, event coordination, event management technology, event planning | No Comments »
We work with a variety of customers from small to mid-sized businesses to global organizations with thousands and hundreds of thousands of employees. But each customer – no matter how large or small – has very similar questions when it comes to buying event technology. As a group, we brainstormed the top 10 questions that we believe smart companies should ask before buying event management software. In this blog, I’ll spotlight the importance of each of the questions – and their answers – in a series of 10 posts.
Doing My Event Management Job More Efficiently
The first question we address is “How will event tech help me do my job more efficiently?” CareerCast.com recently named “Event Coordinator” to its list of the “10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2012. So, event management software can pay off big because it increases your efficiency in taking care of event administration. That gives you more time to focus on creating the best content for your event, engaging your audience and strategically managing costs.
When sourcing for event tech, ask if the technology will help you simplify:
- Attendee registration – by setting up a website that enables attendees to register with speed and ease
- Attendee engagement – via mobile apps and social media, so you can easily distribute updated event material and build attendee communities
- Event coordination – Managing hotel room blocks, the call-for-papers process, exhibitors, speakers, demos, setting up 1:1 meetings
- Data analysis – by providing online reports on metrics as varied as event spend levels, exhibitors visited, sessions attended, new leads generated.
What are some of the ways that technology helps you simplify event registration and other event administration tasks? What would you do with the time you save?
Stay tuned for the next post: “How will event tech help me improve ROI?”
Check out all 10 Questions Smart Companies Need to Ask before buying event management technology!
- The Connected Event – an analysis of technology use, best practices and benchmarks.
Written By: Don Munro
Posted: July 16th, 2012 | Author: Irene Coghlan | Filed under: Events Blog, Events Industry, Features, Strategic Meetings Management, Uncategorized | No Comments »
GBTA 2012 is just around the corner. Stop by Booth #2331 and say hello to the Active Network | StarCite team. Be sure to ask them to show you the all new ‘Meeting Locator’, a nifty new tool that calculates the optimum location for your next meeting or event in terms of cost and carbon footprint.
Here’s our top picks for this year’s show.
If you haven’t enjoyed a session on Strategic Meetings Management with Kevin Iwamoto, do not hesitate any longer. Kevin is ‘The’ meetings procurement maestro and delivers his sessions with a witty punch of humor and panache that it sure to have you chuckling out loud and thinking of clever ways to pinch the pennies and manage your meetings spend within the first 5 minutes.
Get to room 157 C on Monday July 23rd at 11.45 for SMM 101: Building the Framework with Kevin Iwamoto.
Despite his fresh, handsome appearance, Anthony Miller is no spring chicken to the world of events. Indeed, he knows a thing or two about global meetings management and will have you frantically scribbling notes on smart ways to drive more revenue from your events while creating more engagement with your global event audience.
Join Anthony for his session on Global Meetings Management – The Next Frontier, on Tuesday July 24th, room 159, 10.30am-11.40
The CWT sponsored event at the Boston Symphony Hall is the place to be on Tuesday evening. With a theme like ‘Thrive in Retro’, how could you resist? This is a Mad Men-inspired 60’s night club theme that will transform one of Boston’s most beloved landmarks back to an era of glamour and style.
Get your dancing shoes on and see you for some 60’s swing on Tuesday July 24th, Boston Symphony Hall at 7.30pm
It’s not every day that we see not one, but two past US presidents in the line-up of keynote speakers for a convention such as GBTA. George Bush will host a luncheon and speaking session on Tuesday at 1.15pm but
Our pick for Wednesday July 25th is the session with Bill Clinton, Founder of The William J. Clinton Foundation 42nd President of the United States of America, which takes place from 1.45pm-3.45pm.
What sessions will you be attending at this year’s GBTA? Comment below with your recommendations.
Written By: Irene Coghlan
Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Author: Irene Coghlan | Filed under: Case Study, In The News, Strategic Meetings Management | 1 Comment »
If you enjoyed Eric Olson’s post on the The next big thing in SMMP: The unlikely marriage of event marketers and procurement, you may be interested to learn about IBM’s Success with its Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP), through which it successfully streamlined its global meeting and event sourcing process and tackled meeting spend head on.
IBM is a big spender on meetings globally but recognized the need for a better way to manage those meetings and control spend.
To do this, IBM decided to focus on its smaller meetings (less than 150 delegates) initially, and roll out a global meetings and event sourcing process. The project was led by Paul Wakelin, Strategic Sourcing Specialist at IBM who set out seven key objectives for the project and has exceeded expectations with the results.
As a first step Wakelin set about sourcing the right technology partner to bring the project into fruition, and after exploring several options signed with Active Network | StarCite. With Wakelin’s objectives clearly laid out, StarCite was able to develop a customized meeting request portal to meet IBM’s specific requirements. This included an easy to use single sign on system, for which over 200 IBM staff received training.
Speaking of the success of the SMMP, Wakelin comments
“We now have greater compliance that drives client savings, supplier visibility and opportunities, we’ve improved data collection and been able to define a global process and reporting mechanisms,”
The results have been so impressive that the company has been slowly rolling out the new system around the world and, in mid-2008, the IBM and StarCite teams launched full global deployment of the system.
“It transformed IBM’s strategy and approach to meetings and events, it provided a centralised framework to manage the meetings and events (M&E) process, captured key data for analysis into the company’s M&E spend, enhanced visibility of that M&E spend, offering opportunities to drive and develop key supplier relationships, and delivered process efficiencies and cost savings through IBM agreements.” - Paul Wakelin,Strategic Sourcing Specialist at IBM
Wakelin lists the following points as the key rewards of strategic meetings management technology:
• Standardised, automated processes to identify and source requests globally
• Visibility into company-wide request activity – when, where, what, who and how much
• Capability to leverage meeting volumes and associated spend to a preferred consolidated supply base
• Capability to highlight preferred suppliers for improved utilization
• Consistent RFP formats and reports on spend and savings
• Convenient access to thousands of suppliers globally
• A solution familiar to and welcomed by suppliers globally
• Improved efficiency and productivity for clients and for procurement
For more on how IBM controls meetings spend click here to access the full article and success story as featured in The Business Travel Magazine
Written By: Irene Coghlan
Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: Eric Olson | Filed under: Case Study, Strategic Meetings Management, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
By: Eric Olson, General Manager
Active Network, Business Solutions
As meetings and event stereotypes go, there are two that have stood the test of time. Event marketing teams love to spend money; procurement teams love to save it.
So when Dell’s Global Events Marketing Director, Liz Lathan took the stage beside Strategic Meetings Management guru, Kevin Iwamoto at PCMA’s Education Conference in June, one might have expected sparks to fly.
Yet, the inevitable disagreement never materialized. Instead, the two laid out a vision for a new partnership between spend-happy marketers and their spend management focused procurement colleagues. And as shocking as the thought might be, this unlikely marriage may be exactly what the meetings and events industry needs to survive and thrive.
A Cost Crisis in Meetings & Events
The challenges of today’s meetings and event professionals have been well documented. Budgets have been cut. Results are under a microscope. And the demands of a younger, technology-addicted generation are putting pressure on age-old ideas of what a meeting or event should be. Yet, at the same time, there is another crisis emerging, according to Iwamoto. The cost of hosting events is rising quicker than the elevators in a high-rise hotel. Demand for meeting space is outpacing venue and hotel supply while travel costs are skyrocketing with the price of fuel.
“At any given time, management is going to say, ‘our cost of doing business is really high, we need to do something about this.’…And you need to have a plan in place to be proactive and not reactive…”
As a result, Iwamoto continued, something strange is happening. Event planners are turning to procurement for help in three key areas:
- Planners are working with procurement to create and monitor meetings policies and handle contract administration.
- Procurement is assisting with cost avoidance, providing visibility into spend so planners know where they can cut unnecessary costs, consolidate their supplier base and senior management can get spend transparency.
- And the two groups are teaming up to drive cost savings through smarter buying processes and more savvy negotiations.
In return, event organizers are creating better ways to drive results from meetings – delivering revenue from customers and improving performance of employees.
A Success Story at Dell Computers
Nowhere is this new partnership more apparent than in Dell’s newly launched Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP). In fact, the event marketing group actually pitched the office of the CFO on the idea for its program, claiming it could save more than $2 million a year. Read the rest of this entry »
Written By: Eric Olson