Benchmarking with similar companies is a valuable way to gather data on strategic meetings management best practices. I know many meeting managers who have developed strong relationships with their peers over the years. Their candid sharing provides them with new ideas and quick wins for program improvements. Additionally, benchmarking will help you understand how your program compares to that of your competition, which provides is powerful information for C-level executives. Below are six tips for your benchmarking journey.
1. If you don't already have existing relationships with meeting professionals who manage programs of similar size, scope, and industry, start reaching out to them now. People are usually willing to share, especially if you reciprocate.
2. Collaborate with your procurement department. Ask if they will reach out to some of their industry counterparts for benchmarking.
3. When you get several companies to respond to your request for sharing best practices, let everyone know you will compile the data anonymously and share it back with them.
4. Identify specific information you are interested in exploring. Keep in mind what you need in order to support your current objectives, such as meeting policy revisions, new funding models, or payment solutions.
5. Compile the data in an easy-to-read C-level report and share it with senior leadership to get buy-in for specific objectives you are working on for your SMM program.
6. Note to suppliers: Frequently you observe best-practice examples firsthand. If it is not a conflict of interest, proactively share this benchmarking information with your clients.