I believe in the saying: "What gets measured gets managed."
When strategic meeting management directors design their programs, they determine a number of metrics for evaluation and management purposes. Here are 10 of the more common metrics tracked in SMMPs and the business decisions they drive:
|1. Savings and/or cost avoidance goals compared to actuals||Are the SMM program goals realistic, too high, or too low? Should they be modified?|
|2. Total negotiated savings, including value of concessions||Which hotels/chains provide the most savings? Which planners are the most effective?|
|3. Annual volume of meetings, by meeting type (internal, external, training, sales, incentive, advisory board)||Does the overall volume make sense, or is it too high or too low? Are there more internal- than external-facing meetings. Should there be?|
|4. Average spend per meeting, by meeting owner, business unit, region||Are there significant variances in spend by owner? If so, can the variances be justified?|
|5. Number of cancelled meetings||Are these being rebooked or is there waste?|
|6. Suppliers utilized and spend per supplier||Is there fragmentation of spend? Is the preferred supplier program effective? Should you move market share?|
|7. eRFP conversion rate percentage, based on number of RFPs submitted versus declined responses||What properties/chains have the best/worst rates? What can be done to improve conversion?|
|8. Top 10 cities per region||Do the cities make sense based on current business practices and organizational goals?|
|9. Breakdown of the meetings by number of attendees or meeting tier||Does the breakdown make sense for the organization?|
|10. Meeting volume patterns||Do most meetings happen in Q1 or in the fall? Understanding the pattern can help with resource allocation in the future.|
Ideally, SMMP directors are measuring metrics on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis, and using this rich data to make business decisions for the program. If changes are needed, they happen much more infrequently, to insure that the data truly indicated a change in directions, versus a one- or two-month anomaly.
Not only should SMMP directors be measuring their program metrics but, as important, distributing the results to key stakeholders. Depending on the stakeholders, they may want monthly, quarterly, or just annual reports. Know your audience so you can provide the proper report distribution.