The United Kingdom–based Institute of Travel & Meetings has released a comprehensive 170-page toolkit for meeting managers that includes information on building a meetings policy, consolidating hotel and travel purchasing, mandating and compliance, and outsourcing meetings.

The new ITM resource includes usable templates, such as a sample RFP, an on-site risk assessment document, and more. The toolkit, which is Part 1 of a larger project, is available on the ITM Web site until April 2011, after which it will be available only to members. There is no date set yet for the release of Part 2.

More than half of all meetings in the U.K. are either booked or handled by travel management companies, event managers, and site selection firms (known there as hotel booking agents and event venue agents). About half of the toolkit content is directed to these companies, which make up part of ITM’s membership. Other content is directly relevant to internal corporate meeting managers, including a case study of Tesco, the U.K.-based grocery company. Tesco started its strategic meetings management process having over 100 different meeting suppliers, 60 percent of which were venues, and ending up with six, for an estimated savings of about $650,000 in less than two years. The case study shares some of Tesco’s innovative practices, including developing its online meetings portal and holding supplier roundtable discussion and a “Team Build Dinner” to ensure that its suppliers are engaged.

ITM was started in 1956 and has 1,000 members, both buyers and suppliers. In the U.S., GBTA (formerly the National Business Travel Association) is in the midst of a similar toolkit project (though geared strictly toward meeting managers), which was introduced last year, with an update expected this summer.

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