IBM and Linklaters share SMMP experience in industry research

Strategic meetings management programmes (SMMP) used by IBM and Linklaters are examined in latest research from the HBAA.

HBAA has published a White Paper on strategic meetings management
HBAA has published a White Paper on strategic meetings management

Fragmented events data

The HBAA has published a White Paper examining how to implement a strategic meetings management programme, and highlighting adoption from corporate, agency and venue perspectives.

One of the key challenges identified in the research is the fragmented nature of meetings and events spend, and a desire by corporate clients to capture data and potentially reduce costs.

IBM experience

IBM UK's strategic sourcing specialist with global procurement Paul Wakelin said the company moved to an SMMP – developed by technology provider Starcite - in order to develop a centralised framework to manage meetings and events, capture data to analyse events spend, drive supplier relationship and deliver efficiencies.

"We now have greater compliance that drives client savings, supplier visibility and opportunities, we've improved data collection and been able to define a global process and reporting mechanisms," said Wakelin.

Education and training

Wakelin added that education and training, as well as "obtaining stakeholder buy-in rather than bulldozing ahead" is critical.

"You've got to collaborate," he said. "Nobody likes change as people are worried about how it's going to affect them but once they get it a lot of the road blocks disappear."

Linklaters

However, Linklaters has taken a slightly different approach, as global head of events Sharyn Scott wanted to retain a focus on bespoke events.

In the HBAA White Paper, Linklaters has shared its experience of working with Zibrant, as well as implementing a registration element through Demo Media last year.

Suppliers, buyers, agents, hotels and venues involved in the research included Cvent, Starcite, ABC Connections, Venue Directory, BSI, Brief to Event, Conference Care, Grass Roots HBI, Hotelscene and Zibrant.

Synergy

HBAA’s head of marketing, Andrew Deakin, who oversaw the project, said: "We understand that, for our agent members, making events and accommodation reservations is their core business, and have created the paper to demonstrate the synergy between the four involved parties: the RFP provider, the agent, corporate, and the supplier."

The White Paper is available to download from the HBAA website.

Read more about SMMP here.

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