In a recent poll on our SMM portal, 57 percent of respondents said they were interested in taking the new Strategic Meetings Management Certification course offered by the Global Business Travel Association (formerly NBTA). The new SMMC program consists of two core weeks and three elective classes. The next Core Week 1 will be held March 7 to 11 at Emory University, Atlanta.

This week’s poll asks: “Do you have a formal definition of exactly what constitutes a meeting in your company (including number of people, room nights, spend, etc. Weigh in today.

The SMM portal also includes an online forum where readers can submit their questions to SMM experts. This week’s question—What is more efficient, insourcing or outsourcing?—was addressed by George Odom, president, Strategic Travel and Meetings Group, and a former internal meeting manager, who spoke to both sides of the equation.

“The corporate planner would argue that he/she understands the company better and has a vested interest in the success of the corporation and its meetings,” said Odom. “He would also say that internal planner salaries are not based on commissions and upcharges, so that they can make the best decisions for the organization.

“The third-party planning company would argue that they are more highly trained, have broader knowledge and experience. They would also say that meeting planning is their core business, so they are more efficient, effective, and cost-competitive. Third-party planners also say that internal planners sometimes are so steeped in the corporate culture that they don’t offer alternatives or enhancements because they're not out seeing what other companies are doing.”

What do you think? Share your comments on the online forum.

Also on the portal, our recent one-hour webinar, “Getting Buy-In for your SMM,” looked at the hurdles to getting buy-in for your strategic meetings management program. The webinar is available free and on-demand.

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