TRACEY SMITH, MANAGER of events programming at Dallas software company RIA Thomson, was forced to leave in the middle of Meeting Professionals International'sSummit to call her company brass about the opening session of an upcoming meeting she was planning. The topic of the session was none other than … ROI. There she was, learning about meeting ROI at the same time as she was planning a meeting about software ROI!
MPI held the Summit this past summer because in our industry, just as in every other, these three letters are on the tips of everyone's tongues. And at RIA Thomson, as in every other company, Smith's job as a meeting planner is becoming more and more about investing meeting dollars wisely.
That's why — as the only magazine written specifically for corporate meeting planners — you can count on CMI to cover ROI and other trends that are re-shaping our landscape. For example, we just collaborated with meeting data consolidation software vendor OnVantage Inc. on a webinar and benchmark survey on managing corporate meeting spend. (See our Web site, meetingsnet.com, for more.) And in this issue, we asked technology expert Corbin Ball to share his analysis of the major meeting consolidation software tools, which he will publish in a formal report by the end of the year. If they're not already in place, these tools will soon be an important part of meeting departments in many large companies.
In upcoming issues, we'll be talking to Tracey Smith and others who are learning the new ROI methodology through MPI. And in January, I'll be leading a panel of corporate planners at The Special Event show to discuss how procurement's involvement in decision-making has influenced vendor selection.
Change is coming to all companies, not just the giants such as Thomson Corp. (which owns RIA). “It's starting with the large companies because they are the ones that can benefit the most,” says Ball in his interview with our Technology Editor Susan Hatch (on page 101). “But down the road, we're going to see these same procurement initiatives and efforts to manage meetings in a more strategic manner move into the smaller corporations as well.”
If it's happening in U.S. companies, CMI will be there to cover it, analyze it, and provide you with the information and tools you need to adapt to it.
CMI: an award winner!
Congratulations to Art Director Scott Raymond and the rest of the CMI staff for winning the 2004 American Graphic Design Award for the July 2003 issue of Corporate Meetings & Incentives.