This week on our new SMM portal, Kathleen Terjesen of Merck, asked, “Has anyone created a truly global meetings management organization with global policy, tools, and supplier relationships?”

As Kari Kesler of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, put it, “If you ask five people to define global meetings management organization, you will likely receive five different answers.” The goal, of course, is to develop a program that covers the entire company, no matter where people are located, with the same strategy, policy, and processes. There should be allowances for regional/business unit nuances and varying cultures to gain the highest level of compliance.

Also, Debi Scholar of the Scholar Consulting Group, a Six Sigma expert, outlined a number of questions to ask to create the organizational design for a global SMM. For example, do the resources need to be centralized in one organization or close to the internal clients? Are there any groups who will operate more effectively and efficiently if organized in separate, dedicated teams? What are the interrelationships between the different meeting planning groups? Read more and add your own experiences on our forum.

Also on our portal, take our weekly poll: Do you outsource meeting planning/logistics to outside contractors?