A Strategic Meeting Management Program (SMMP) concentrates on ways to achieve high-quality meetings that deliver quantitative cost savings, effective risk management and greater visibility to upper management for meeting planners.

Who wouldn’t want that … right? But how do you deliver it?


It turns out, there is not a one-size-fits-all SMMP deliverable. But it has become clear that all businesses, large or small, can benefit from this process as they look to deliver meetings that make a difference.


7 Key Questions to Answer

1. How does this meeting further our business objectives?
Most organizations hold meetings for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Educate individuals about new products, services or policies
  • Provide networking for others
  • Lead generation with customers and prospects
  • Make a decision that affects the company
  • Set long-term strategy for the organization

If the meeting doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, you need to ask if the meeting should take place at all.

2. What is the total negotiated savings, including concessions? 
Sometimes planners forget to include the concessions hotel management and other suppliers make to the organization. Be sure to include in your cost savings equation: comped guest and meeting rooms, VIP upgrades, reduced speaker fees, complimentary Wi-Fi, computer and A/V discounts. Note which ones made a significant impact to your meeting’s bottom line.

3. How many meetings did you hold and what type were they? 
Indicate how many total meetings you held. This includes small staff meetings to annual conventions and everything in between. Be sure to classify whether they were internal or external events, the total number of attendees, the meeting owner/department and the type of meeting.

4. What was the average spend per meeting and per attendee?
Find out if there is a big discrepancy between meeting types and meeting owners. For example, if Department A had an average spend per attendee of $35 while Department B had an average spend of $80 per attendee, you will need to look deeper to find out why there is a big difference and what can be done about it.

5. How many canceled meetings occurred? 
How many were rebooked? How many outright canceled? Why were they canceled? What was the cost to cancel? These numbers must go into your overall meeting spend numbers.

6. How many suppliers were used and what was the spend per supplier? 
Knowing this information will help determine if you need to consolidate or change suppliers. Managing 10 suppliers is a lot easier than managing 25. If you can skinny down the list of trusted suppliers that give you competitive pricing, your risk factor goes down and time savings goes up.

7. How much staff time is involved in planning and executing meetings?
Once time is documented for the event staff, you can justify adding/cutting staff and consolidating tasks.


Make Strategic Recommendations Based on Data

Gather this data for the last 12 months, but once you have the template in place, move toward quarterly and, eventually, monthly measurements.

Share the metrics with key stakeholders and garner their buy-in regarding your recommendations for cost cutting, process improvement and risk mitigation. Be sure to continuously ask for their input.

Above all, remember this:
“What gets measured, gets managed.” – William Thomson, Irish Mathematician


Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Can Help Achieve Your SMMP Plan

Our team of professionals will help you streamline and simplify the planning process, deliver a great meeting experience at a valuable price and make you look good to upper management. Give us a call at 855.411.4605 or fill out our contact form to learn more!