Grass Roots HBI's annual Meetings Industry Report - set to be published on 16 March - is set to reveal how procurement of event services increasingly taking an international form. One key contributor to this year's report is Deloitte procurement manager Yvette Rudge.
How has Deloitte traditionally procured meetings and event services?
"In each country that we operate, Deloitte is a separate legal entity, so there is no one procurement function covering them all. This makes it more difficult to implement any cross-border programme.
And what changes are you now making?
"We are currently running an RFP for a UK and EMEA-wide meetings programme. This will be the first time that this has been done in Deloitte."
What key benefits do you think the new approach will bring?
"There will be three principal benefits to the firm. The first is the financial economies of scale, the second is standardised contracting terms and conditions and the third will be less hassle over issues such as insurance. We currently have to take out different cover every time we use a new venue. The consolidated programme will see us have a nominated lead individual covering all properties across a single venue or hotel group."
What are the biggest barriers to smooth international venue procurement projects?
"Venue quality is probably the biggest barrier to a global meetings programme within Deloitte. We have to sell the overall benefits of the programme to different hotels within a particular group. For example, within Starwood, a small team is dedicated to educating their group about our policy of consolidation."
"Another problem is the different levels of tax levied in different countries and on which services those taxes apply. This can prevent some venues from achieving the contractual requirements of our programme. We want to achieve standardised terms and conditions too. In this case, venues will usually ask themselves whether business already promised has actually materialised. If the answer is no, then that causes faith to be replaced by cynicism."
HBI's annual Meetings Industry Report is out on 16 March.