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Meeting Management: SMMP By JenniferW. Brown, CMP


Take Away


Creating an Executive Summary


You’ve completed an analysis of your organization’s meeting activity, spend, and processes. You grasp why implementing a Strategic Meetings Management Program is critical. Next, you need to prepare an executive summary to get the green light from senior management.


Itwas a hotel invoice—a $110,000 cancellation fee for a contract signed by an administrative assistant—that helpedTerri Crovato,CMP, con- vince theUnited StatesConference ofCatholic Bish- ops’ (USCCB) board of directors to adopt a Strate- gicMeetingsManagement Program (SMMP). “The truthis,” saidCrovato,USCCB’smeetings


and events manager, “there were toomanyinexpe- rienced people planning meetings, making poor decisions, and signing contracts without under- standing the consequences.” The cancellation fee was“ahuge hit” for her organization, she said,and while itwas proof of the needfor change, itwasn’t


wide, division, and/or department), and your goals, objectives, and vision for SMMP. In a nutshell, you are exposing gaps in the current meetings-management process and presenting business solutions that drive value and ROI. Youmust be prepared to defend your reasons,


so along with the one-page executive summary, attachaone- or two-page financial report.Thedata should support the cost savings, riskmitigation,and value-based outcomes tomeeting stakeholders. Be realistic about the cost savings, benefits, time-


lines, projections, and outcomes.Work with key stakeholders to ensure the integrity of the informa-


“There were too many inexperienced people planning meetings and signing contracts without understanding the consequences.” —Terri Crovato, CMP


the only argument she gave to the board. Crovato had put together 10 compelling reasons why the organization needed to implement an SMMP to drive immediate increased team productivity, improved meeting qualityandcontent, cost savings, risk reduction, and value to all stakeholders. Like Crovato, you will need to prepare your


own “Why SMMP” list — a one-page, high- impact executive summary of your meetings- management analysis—to present to manage- ment. Start off your summary by identifying who you are and your role in meetings manage- ment, the scope of your analysis (enterprise-


tion you provide, andknowwhoyou can counton for support and guidance throughout the process. As for Crovato, it has been nearly a year since


herSMMPwasimplemented,andsheandmanage- ment are very happywiththe results.“We’vebeen able to demonstrate realmeeting value in several categories, and are looking at a 14- to16-percent savings during year one,” she said.“Our board is keenlyaware of ourmanySMMPbenefits, includ- ing streamlined processes, departmental collabora- tion, riskmitigation via custom hotel contracts, and improved meeting outcomes—all validated with timely financial andmanagement reports.” 


ON_THE_WEB: Download a Strategic Meetings Management Program Executive Summary PDF from the National Business Travel Association: http://bit.ly/fvsUEA.


30 pcma convene May 2011 ILLUSTRATION BY GREG MABLY


 JenniferW. Brown, CMP, is president of Meeting Sites Resource, a global specialist in meeting- site research and hotel- contract negotiations, professional meeting- support services, SMMP consulting, and technology solutions. For a compli- mentary copy of her SMMP Action Plan Checklist and/or Business Acumen & Exec- utive Summary Checklist, contact her at jbrown @meetingsites.net.


In Summary Your SMMP executive summary should pro- vide an analysis— weaknesses, strengths, benefits/value—of the following:  current meeting activity/spend  staff supporting meetings/core competencies  sourcing/value- based negotiations  meeting consolidation/leverage spend/cost savings  hotel/supplier contracts/risk mitigation  preferred supplier relationships  metrics to define and measure success  company/industry compliance/regulatory policies  technology/data- management/reports  post-meeting evaluation ROI and ROE  SMMP cost/impact analysis  industry/competitor SMMP statistics.


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