Real-time results from an ongoing poll on our new strategic meetings management portal reveal that, out of 34 meeting managers who have taken the poll so far, 55 percent outsource their meeting planning logistics.

Nancy Teresa, travel and event planning manager-North America at Nestlé Business Services is the only Nestlé employee overseeing meetings. “I manage the Nestlé Business Services event planning department, which consist of eight third-party planners, sourcing agents, and a registration manager.” At Millennium, The TAKEDA Oncology Company, James Vachon, associate director, events, meetings and conventions, works with eight internal colleagues and outsources most programs to three meeting management providers. “Some of our programs are still managed internally, but that is likely to decrease in 2011 as our volume is continuing to increase as more of our pipeline products mature.”

Industry consultant Dianne Devitt of the DND Group predicts that all facets of meeting planning—not just logistics but also strategy and meeting design—will increasingly be outsourced. “Outsourcing specialists will be in demand for everything from designing the meeting experience to creative implementation. ...As departments continue to be downsized, the same experienced planners will be hired as consultants.”

For more on outsourcing logistics, visit the MeetingsNet Guide to Outsourcing

The SMM portal will post new polls every week. Take our latest poll on the strategic meetings management certification (SMMC). Also visit our interactive experts forum, where this week, Kari Kesler, senior director, SMM program management + solutions at Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events, discusses why she thinks management buy-in is not essential to get an SMM off the ground.