Tesco internal communications events manager Kate Conway said at an MPI UK & Ireland event in London last night that the retailer had established an internal meetings booking tool that led to the cost savings.
"We've put in place a meetings tool where they (Tesco staff) have to book internal meeting space before they can go off-site and they have to get sign-off from such a high level that it's not worth it," said Conway. "We have saved in excess of £3m in the past year by doing this."
Conway was speaking on a panel alongside COI director of live events Simon Hughes, HSBC Bank's chief UK economist Mark Berrisford-Smith, Helms Briscoe director Carole McKellar, Banks Sadler director David Campbell, Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool head of sales Kerrin Macphie, and Lancaster London marketing director Jason Lewis. The event, entitled ‘Economic Update: Are Venues Being Flexible Enough' was chaired by industry stalwart Paul Kennedy.
Hughes said that as the Government began spending cuts, COI and the public sector departments and agencies it represents would start leveraging their buying power with suppliers.
"I live in this bizarre world of government where the Crown's terms and conditions are not negotiatable and we have never really applied that to the market," said Hughes. "As we see restrictions in public spending and a huge drive for better buying, we might begin to mandate more ferociously our buying power. I'm not happy about it, but I think it will be inevitable."