As the event planner for your company, you want to provide the best experience to the attendees possible. However, there are many barriers that could prevent the brand from throwing the event of its dreams. One growing issue for large-scale meetings and events is the rising costs of event production. Even on top of this, rising airfare and hotel rates are negatively impacting the events industry.
While the increase in general goods can make putting together a gathering more difficult, there are ways around increased costs. For this to be true, your team needs to make their budget and circumstances work in their favor. JTB has a solution that could help the brand build a strategy to manage rising event costs.
Defining Strategic Meeting Management (SMM)
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported that in 2022, the cost-per-attendee for meetings and events was about 25% higher than two years ago. In addition, the same report found that it could rise 7% more next year. This increase requires a special approach to managing these costs while still hosting a good event.
In the industry, the tactic known as Strategic Meeting Management (SMM) has been gaining popularity even though this solution has been around since about 2004. GTBA defines SMM as “strategic meetings management is the management of enterprise-wide meeting-related processes, standards, volume, spending, suppliers and data to achieve measurable business objectives that align with the organization’s strategic goals or vision and deliver value in the form of risk mitigation, quantitative savings and service quality.”
Sometimes, money is wasted on unnecessary expenses when the processes are not clear to the entire team. GTBA suggests using the method not only to plan one event but also to create an entire framework for your company’s meeting and events program. For example, it can help your organization deal with certain barriers to success like rising event costs.
Advantages of SMM
It’s true that the events and meetings industry took a serious hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, from event venues to hotels. According to Skift Meetings, “hotel prices have increased 18.5% this year, followed by an 8.2% rise next year, and have already eclipsed 2019 levels in some areas of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and North America.”
This trend is the same for other components of event and meeting planning, but the demand for in-person events is increasing, which will impact the industry’s economy. However, event planners must deal with the current price of hosting your ideal gathering. A circumstance like this one is where SMM comes into play, with its many advantages.
When the SMM program is set up correctly by the managers, it can increase the business’s spending visibility and help cut back costs in the long run. It helps stakeholders more transparently see what is being spent and how funds can be used more efficiently. Because SMM works to standardize policies and suppliers, it can boost budget management across the board.
Employees and attendees waste money when they don’t understand the required policies. Compliance difficulties can cost a business, from booking the wrong vendor to paying fees associated with state regulations. Integrating SMM into the business can help your team have more visibility on how to meet the requirements.
There is always a certain amount of risk that comes along with hosting a larger meeting or event, but SMM tactics can ensure that the entire team is on the same page. From contractual responsibilities to required permits, your business can ensure that it’s upholding every commitment necessary when hosting a meeting or event.
One of the goals of hosting an event is to turn attendee engagement into a return on the initial investment. When you are strategically aligned with the end goal of the event or meeting, it becomes easier to achieve a specific ROI.
Implementing Strategic Meeting Management
When your company decides to implement SMM into the event planning process, your team could start to work together more effectively. It allows your team the ability to assess current issues like budget barriers and find the right approach to getting past them. Connecting teams with technology can enhance the event, regardless of the rising costs of events.
Once the event planning team achieves executive buy-in for the SMM program, make sure that stakeholders are connected to the process. Ensure that the planning teams are continually operating under the SMM process for optimal success. Be sure to measure success and work to improve the program for future use. Are you ready to improve your planning process and manage rising event costs? Reach out to JTB today to learn more.