2015 Meetings Management Survey

No Time Like Now: Seller’s Market Drives SMM Procurement, Technology Lags

By Elizabeth West / / Contact Reporter

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

1Meetings Spend On The Rise

Only 8 percent of survey respondents indicated that total meeting spend for their organization would dip in 2015 compared to 2014, while just more than half said it would increase by an average of 12 percent. When it comes to cost per attendee, 46 percent said spend was on the rise by an average of 8 percent. 

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

2Travel Management Key For SMM

With costs going up, it’s no surprise that companies want to get this spend category under control. Travel management professionals have gradually been tapped over the past several years to contribute their expertise to managing their organization’s meetings. Overall, 68 percent of survey respondents said that travel management was either “very” or “somewhat” involved in managing their organizations’ meetings. 

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

3Procurement Role Rising Fast

Involvement of procurement is growing more rapidly. Just three years ago, 15 percent of organizations responding to BTN’s 2012 SMM Study said that procurement was “very” involved in meetings. This year, that number nearly doubled. This may reflect a broader acknowledgement that centralizing contract signing authority with those most expert in this area is critical for SMM.

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

4SMM Lynchpin: Contract Authority

This year, the value of limiting contract signing authority emerged as the most critical policy component for Strategic Meetings management, leaping 24 percentage points since BTN’s 2012 SMM Study. Limiting signing authority helps achieve several SMM goals: It centralizes visibility across all meetings, it allows companies to protect themselves from contract liability and it also allows the organization more flexibility to mitigate losses when something goes wrong.

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

5Registration As Gateway Tech

Online attendee registration has been around for many years, and not necessarily attached to SMM efforts. Use of online attendee management has jumped 11 percentage points in the last three years, as technology vendors make it easier and less expensive even for small companies to adopt. It often serves as a gateway to more strategic efforts.

BTN's 2015 SMM Study

6Core Meetings Mgmt Tech Lags

Adoption of meetings management technology is slower than the adoption of meetings management practices. Online booking, automated RFPs and budget tracking—fundamental to SMM—lag.  Mobile meetings apps showed significant growth in the past three years—up 10 percentage points. But these are predominantly attendee engagement tools, not core to SMM but becoming more integrated.

RRManagement rrtestprocurement