SMM:. It’s an acronym with roots that stretch back to October 2003, when the National Business Travel Association’s newly formed Groups & Meetings Committee came up with the term and began work on a white paper on the topic, which defined SMM for the meetings and travel industry when it was released five months later.
Today, SMM is the gold standard for professional meetings management. Strategic sourcing, preferred suppliers, standardized, working with procurement—all are now standard practice in many major companies.
But SMM applies to smaller companies, too. At a panel discussion I recently moderated at the Financial & Insurance Conference Planners Education Forum in Colorado Springs, Todd Zint, CMP, CMM, vice president, meetings and it can be found here.) All that was missing was one piece—a payment credit card. He was already partnering with hotel chains’ global sales managers to leverage his overall spend, he was evaluating meeting requests across the company for potential replacements if canceled, and he was using standardized language on meeting contracts to minimize financial liability and risk for NFP. He had dozens of other best practices in place that are considered elements of an SMMP. You probably do, too, but the idea of creating an SMMP for your company might be so intimidating that you don’t realize you’re well on your way., at NFP Insurance Services Inc., spoke about how he realized while developing his business plan for an SMMP that he already had all the pieces of the puzzle in place. (If you’re not familiar with the SMM “puzzle,”
Now there’s help, in the form of the first-ever certification for SMM professionals—the strategic meetings management certification (SMMC), which will roll out at NBTA’s annual convention in San Diego. It’s the culmination of a year of work led by Kari Kesler, president and chief strategist, KK Strategic Solutions; Janet Sperstad, program director, Madison Area Technical College; and Lynda Garvey, business development manager, American Express—along with 11 committee members and curriculum specialist Amanda Cecil, PhD, CMP, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis. To learn more about it, click here. And for more on the Groups & Meetings Committee—of which I am proud to be a member—click here.