SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

March 04, 2008 12:39 ET

Best Practices in Strategic Meetings Management

New Study Finds the Management of the Meetings and Events Highly Fragmented; Leveraging Procurement Practices Benefits Management of Strategic Meetings Spend

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - Strategic meetings management is a multi-million dollar category of enterprise spend. Often referred to as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), this category has been seen as a secondary concern to most enterprises, even though the average spend on meetings and events has increased by nearly $2 million over the last year. According to a new study published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), top-performing enterprises are achieving generous cost savings and increasing compliance to corporate polices by utilizing technology and unique strategies to manage their meetings and events programs.

The "Strategic Meetings Management" report finds that meetings and events spend is a category that deserves immediate executive attention. Management for meetings and events is plagued by decentralized program management, as 44% of enterprises' meetings and events management responsibilities are shared across the organization.

By utilizing meetings management technology and leveraging the skills and practices of procurement, Best-in-Class enterprises have achieved outstanding results:

--  An 89% compliance rate to corporate policies for meetings and events
--  11.4% cost savings on all meetings and events spend
    

"By utilizing meetings management technology and establishing a collaborative relationship between meetings and event planners and procurement, Best-in-Class enterprises are achieving better policy compliance and higher rates of cost savings," said Andrew Bartolini, vice president, Aberdeen. "These corporate meetings and events management leaders are using successfully using procurement strategies to improve program performance."

"Top-performing organizations place 41% of their meetings spend through a formal sourcing process," added William Browning III, research analyst Aberdeen. "The Best-in-Class are doing a much better job aggregating their spend and leveraging their buying power on lodging, air and travel."

To reach the level of performance of Best-in-Class organizations for effective meetings and events management, Aberdeen recommends that enterprises undertake the following actions:

--  Develop a proper meetings and events approval process
--  Implement a formal sourcing process for meetings and events
--  Build a preferred supplier program for meetings and events
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: American Express, CVent, Experient, Maritz, StarCite, and Visa. Aberdeen collaborated with the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) as a publication and data collection partner for this report. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4633.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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