Strategic meetings management programs have been around in one form or another for about 20 years. One topic we don't hear a lot about is the technique of identifying tiers within the meetings portfolio, to ensure the appropriate level of service is matched with the complexity and potential risk of the meeting or event. This helps to expedite the distribution of the meeting to the proper staff, as well as give internal clients a clear understanding of what services to expect from the SMMP support team.
One of the challenges for SMMP managers is deciding what services should be aligned with each of the meeting tiers. Most meetings will need sourcing and contracting support; for simple meetings, logistical planning can be self-service. Other meeting types may need the involvement of compliance, security, or experts in building registration websites. As with most aspects of SMM, the tiers need to be customized for each company. They should be based on the size and composition of the meeting portfolio, the meeting planning infrastructure, and the culture of the organization.
Below is an example of various meeting tiers that can be considered. Many small organizations will only need some version of the first three tiers. Large, multinational firms may use all six of these examples, and may even determine that a few more tiers are necessary. My advice is to keep the tiers simple and aligned to your meeting portfolio.
|Tier||Sample Meeting Types||# of People||Sample Services Provided|
|1||Simple: internal meetings, teambuilding, training and strategy meetings||10 -100||Sourcing, contracting, requestor does all planning|
|2||Moderate: internal meetings, training and strategy meetings||101 - 500||Sourcing, contracting, third-party meeting planning support, website build|
|3||High touch: external small meetings, board meetings, incentive, regulated (HCP)||10 - 100||Sourcing, contracting, compliance, third-party or internal meeting planning support, website build, multiple suppliers, security support|
|4||Large, complex, domestic: launch meeting, national sales meeting||500 - 5,000||Sourcing, contracting, compliance, third-party meeting planning support, website build, multiple suppliers, security support, meeting app|
|5||Large, complex, multinational: launch meeting, national sales meeting, convention||500 - 5,000||Sourcing, contracting, compliance, third-party meeting planning support, website build, multiple international suppliers, meeting app, security support, social media manager|
|6||Citywide convention, user conference||5,001+||Sourcing, contracting, compliance, third-party meeting planning support, website build, multiple international suppliers, meeting app, security support, social media manager|