The trend in large corporations is toward “strategic meetings management,” meaning that enterprise meeting spend gets tracked and leveraged, the request-for-proposal process is managed according to company policy, and contracting is centralized to eliminate as much risk as possible.
But while some companies embrace these business practices, new research shows that many do not—and meeting management practices lag behind travel management practices. In a new white paper entitled, “Integrating Corporate Travel, Procurement, and Meetings Management,” Philadelphia-based StarCite (which markets SMMP technology) published the results of a survey of close to 150 travel managers, meeting managers, and purchasing executives. Here’s a snapshot of the findings relating to meeting and travel policy and preferred vendor agreements:
Travel Versus Meeting Policy: Close to 95 percent of survey respondents said their companies have a travel policy and, of those, 57.8 percent have policies supported by corporate mandates. Meeting policy is less common: Just over 40 percent of respondents report having a specific meeting policy in place, and about half those say it is enforced. Another 39 percent use the company travel and entertainment policy when booking meetings, and about one in five companies have no meeting policy at all.
Preferred Vendors: While about 16 percent of respondents had no preferred suppliers in their travel management program, that percentage was doubled (31.7 percent) for the meetings management program. Over 70 percent of travel management departments have preferred relationships in all three key categories (air, hotel, and car rental), while only 50 percent of meeting departments report preferred relationships with air suppliers, 54.5 percent with hotels, 42 percent with car-rental companies, and 30 percent with ground-transportation suppliers.