For years, ITAGroup has offered performance guarantees related to service levels and operational success. But the company has just taken its guarantee to the next level, measuring clients’ return on investment and return on objectives for meetings and incentive programs.

“It’s a commitment built upon the company’s long-established philosophy of turning ideas into action, and it is timely amidst today’s economic environment,” says Mary Bussone, senior vice president, event management. “In the past 18 months or so, there has been more light shed on meetings and events and the ROI associated with them.”

So ITAGroup has come up with a process of creating customized metrics to demonstrate an event’s ROI and ROO. The measurements cover two areas. First, of course, are the financial numbers. Second are what Bussone calls the “soft” program goals, such as enhancing loyalty, aligning individual and corporate goals, networking, and strengthening relationships.

The process begins with an assessment. “We discuss the purpose of the event, look at influencing factors or potential barriers to reaching those goals before and during the event, and determine what success will look like,” Bussone explains. To measure that success, ITAGroup may use everything from surveys to in-depth financial modeling processes. “These efforts help reveal existing perceptions and define gaps between corporate goals and the audience’s understanding of those goals,” Bussone explains.

The expanded performance guarantee is one point of differentiation for employee-owned ITAGroup, which also sets itself apart by its ISO 9001: 2008-registered quality-management system. “ISO is an International Quality Standard that provides a written road map for our associates to deliver a consistently high service level and a formalized process for continuous improvement,” Bussone explains.

Another ITAGroup innovation is its incident response and business continuation plan. “This is an essential element of our corporate commitment to our clients and employee-owners,” she says. “It is specifically designed to minimize the disruption of operations, ensure a more stable and orderly recovery, minimize the risk cost of delays, and minimize actual decision-making during an emergency event or disaster.”—Alison Hall