Meeting Professionals International announced the results of a study on whether or not corporations measure and report on the business value of their meetings (“BVOM”) at AIBTM, the Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition, held June 21–23 in Baltimore. In phone interviews with professional meeting planners at 215 companies, Association Insights, the company hired to do the survey, concluded that meeting planners don’t have a good understanding of the techniques for capturing BVOM, and that many believe the benefits of a BVOM analysis are too small to justify its cost.

The study found that fewer than 5 percent of all meetings are measured for their business value. And of that 5 percent, only about 10 percent look at the meeting’s revenue and expenses to produce a return on investment analysis. Almost all companies conduct surveys that measure “satisfaction with meeting or event objectives,” according to Bill Voegeli, president of Association Insights, who said these “smiley sheets” are not even scraping the surface to effectively measure the ROI of meetings.

MPI is producing a five-part toolbox for meeting professionals that will help them come up with realistic objectives and measurements, to be released this fall.

Meanwhile, Voegeli recommended planners take the following steps:

  • Help the meeting owner or stakeholder create a clearly defined purpose. Understanding the intent is key to the design of the meeting, Voegeli said.
  • Establish questions that can measure quantitative objectives related to the purpose. And only ask questions that will measure what you can use in an action plan.
  • Gather the results through effectively written survey instruments.
  • Use those results in a call-to-action plan.

“BVOM is not an all-or-nothing approach,” said Voegeli. “Take small steps. The full ROI model could take five to 10 years to achieve.”

MPI members can download the full report for free and nonmembers can pay $99 for the report at www.mpiweb.org/BVOM.