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Meeting Pros: Make the Nike–SMM Connection

There's only one way to get started with a strategic meetings management program.

Here we are, almost half way through the year, and you still haven't formalized your strategic meetings management strategy. I say, stop thinking about SMM and Just Do It! I know it's easier said than done; but you can start with some focused objectives and have a plan to add new components periodically. 

Meeting Managers:
1. If writing a business plan is too intimidating, why not at least draft an outline of what you think should be in the plan? Commit to drafting one section per week until you are done. 
2. Have you done the math yet? According to a variety of industry sources, meeting and event spend is, on average, 2 percent to 3 percent of corporate revenues. What does that calculation look like for your company? Then calculate your potential savings, assuming a low savings metric in the first year of 10 percent.
3. Examine the meetings spend you do have visibility to. How does this compare to the metrics in #2?
4. Start tracking negotiated savings on the hotel contracts. The savings really add up in the first six months.
5. Reach out to contacts in the industry who have implemented SMM programs. Ask them how they overcame their biggest challenges.

Hoteliers and other Suppliers:
1. Proactively position yourself as a trusted adviser to your clients; don't wait to be asked!
2. Understand the changes in the buying process with an SMM in place.
3. Proactively share the volume of business your hotel or company has done with the client in the last 12 to 18 months; point out savings metrics.
4. Support the upcoming SMM program and reinforce the value of a preferred relationship with your company.

My call to action: As the second half of the year kicks off, Just do it. Jump into the SMM process.

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