If I were to believe my eyes, all the evidence would lead me to believe that strategic meetings management is dead.

I just came back from the Global Business Travel Association convention, and in my conversations with stakeholders from across the meetings industry I heard that SMM has hit a wall, and that organizations are resisting SMM because it is too complex, too hard, and ultimately the return is too small. I heard that it is time to acknowledge the realities of the situation and to move on to other solutions.

Well, I’m not buying it! Sure, if all you are focusing on is saving money, then the savings don’t warrant the effort for some organizations. But SMM is about more than just savings; it is also about risk mitigation. And companies beware—the risks associated with not having an SMM program are high. These include the potential for:

• failure to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other industry-specific regulations

• incomplete procedures ensuring meeting attendee safety and security

• failure to protect intellectual property

• duty-of-care failures

• loss of client and employee loyalty to your organization’s brand

• costly litigation

And the list goes on. 

Considering all that, it is mind-boggling to me that organizations are not pursuing SMM more aggressively. Yes, I agree that SMM can be complex, but it does not have to be difficult if you know what you are doing. For an extensive discussion of some of the complexities of an SMM program see my article on the strategies associated with developing one here.

So what do you think? Am I too vested in SMM, or do you agree that SMM is and should be alive and kicking? And if you agree, why do you think companies are slow to adopt SMM?

See you next time!