FutureWatch 2011, the Meeting Professionals International’s State of the Industry report, stated that Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) is the #1 trend in the meetings industry this year. And rightly so, as thousands of organizations have benefitted from creating a Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP). Initiating an SMMP enables an organization to save millions of dollars, comply with regulatory requirements, gain productivity through efficiency, and reduce contractual risks.
Hoteliers who support their clients’ SMM initiatives win more group business and build stronger relationships, which may be the catalyst to be awarded preferred supplier status, the pedestal title that most hotels strive for. Not only do your SMM group clients want dates, rates, and space, but also data, service, and compliance. Organizations will move their meetings market share to your chains and properties as part of their SMM supply chain strategy if you offer these SMM services. Hotels that do not support their clients’ SMMP may lose group business. Yet, many hoteliers do not know what SMM is or what is expected of them.
Defined, Strategic Meetings Management provides direction for organizations to guide the strategy, operations, and tactical activities of meetings and events in order to improve business processes, quality, and return on investment, and reduce costs, risks, and inefficiencies. Simply, SMM is to meetings what Disney is to theme parks. SMM leaders expect hotels to offer high quality, consistent, flawless meetings for all business units in a controlled, compliance-driven environment with personalized attention that appears seamless to attendees, driven by the undercurrent of data consolidation.
When a hotelier asks an SMM leader, “What can I do to help you improve your SMMP?” the top 25 answers provided by your clients might sound challenging—and yet positive responses will increase your chances of being selected as a preferred group hotel:
1. Provide monthly or quarterly data and metrics for all of the organization’s meetings/events across all of your chains, brands, properties, and management companies;
2. Consider the organization’s transient volume when quoting meeting prices; use transient rates for group business when applicable;
Read the remainder of the 25 answers, the data, service and compliance requirements here: http://hotelexecutive.com/subscribe/2659/
Debi is proud to be one of only seven 2011 Editorial Board members for Hotel Business Review at www.HotelExecutive.com for Conferences & Meetings.
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Debi Scholar, GLP, CMM, CMP, SSGB, CTE, CTT
• Author, Strategic Meetings Management: The Strategy Quick Reference Guide (2011)
• Meetings Management Mover and Shaker as selected by Corporate and Incentive Travel Magazine (2010)
• Top 20 Changemaker who influenced the meetings management industry by Corporate Meetings and Incentives (2008)
• Best Meeting Practitioner as selected by Business Travel News (2007)
Visit me at one of my upcoming speaking engagements; Topics vary per conference. Some sessions include components of SMM Bootcamp© and/or SMM Challenge©
August 2 – Georgia BTA
August 25 – EMC Webinar
Sept 7 – HSMAI Affordable Meetings
Sept 20 – NYC (forthcoming)
December 1 – EMC Venue’s MEET
The Scholar Consulting Group LLC
Trusted Advisors and Superior Solutions for the Travel and Meetings Market
Benchmark your Strategic Meetings Management Program: http://www.smmbenchmark.com
Purchase the SMM Quick Reference Guide at Amazon: http://amzn.to/p9fEMF (soon to be released on iTunes)
Debi has the following designations:
• Wharton Aresty Executive Education/National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Global Leadership Professional (GLP)
• Meeting Professionals International Certificate in Meetings Management (CMM)
• Convention Industry Council Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
• NBTA Corporate Travel Expert (CTE)
• Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB)
• Chauncey Certified Technical Trainer (CTT)