The core of a strategic meetings management program is a comprehensive meeting and travel policy that includes these elements:

  • Description of the conference and events department and its responsibilities
  • List of services the department offers
  • What types of meetings are subject to the policy
  • What types of meetings are not subject to the policy
  • When a meeting request form must be submitted for review by the conferences and events department

Sample: “If a meeting planner is assigned to handle the meeting, the planner will manage all logistical requirements in association with the meeting or event. This includes hotel negotiations and arrangements, travel arrangements, audiovisual production, guest speakers, destination management, décor.”

  • Explanation of criteria the planning team uses to select sites that meet the specs provided by the meeting owner

Sample: “All potential venue options will be selected using the following criteria: cost effectiveness, preferred corporate rates or agreements currently in place, potential to consolidate [the company’s] business to drive additional savings and concessions, risk management, industry best practices.”
Sample: “If meetings are being held in the same city by different departments within [the company], every attempt will be made to utilize the same venue if it meets the meeting specifications to maximize savings and concessions.”

  • Safety review requirements

Sample: “In all cases where the Chairman and the CEO and senior executives will be attending a [company-sponsored] conference, and/or traveling internationally, the Corporate Security Office must be consulted during the planning phase to supply appropriate assessment and guidance on security and safety parameters and protocols that should be followed.”

  • Payment policies and procedures for travel- and meetings-related expenses

Sample: “Corporate credit cards cannot be used for Master Account expenses associated with meetings or events, to include food and beverage for the entire group, sleeping rooms, audiovisual charges, room rental fees, or any other ancillary fees associated with the hotel or event venue. These expenses must be charged to the Master Account for the meeting or event.”