At the recent Andavo Meetings and Incentives’ client Edu-Forum, held at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, a gathering of in-house meetings arrangers representing a wide span of industries shared their most pressing challenges for 2011. Within each challenge, lies great opportunity for those arrangers who are able to find appropriate solutions that create added value and help their organizations reach their business goals.
The winning opportunities ARE: (in ascending order)
10. How to have each meeting stakeholder clearly articulate their desired business outcome for a meeting.
Gaining buy-in and support from stakeholders is critical to the success of any meeting or event. Often, stakeholders are not fully engaged in the meeting design phase which can create a disconnect with the business purpose of the meeting and make it difficult to create metrics for success.
9. How to develop a meeting theme to engage and re-energize employees to bring morale back after a period of grave economic stress and massive layoffs.
The days of the old “boondoggle” employee incentive are over and meeting arrangers must find ways to do much more than arrange golf and activities at a 5 star hotel. Employee engagement is the new incentive.
8. How do in-house meeting arrangers know that they are doing the best at being innovative and creative?
Keeping ideas fresh and exciting within restrictive budgets and an ever present watchful eye from board members takes more than a quick Google search.
7. How to find relevant data on past programs in order to demonstrate that more could be done in the future to create programs with greater purpose and measurable outcomes. Too often, the key in-house meeting arrangers have great ideas for improvement but lack sufficient data to create the business case for their executive sponsors. This raises the pressing need for training on the principles of a strategic meetings management program and policy guidelines.
6. How to deal effectively with little or no lead time for meetings and events, to avoid extreme stress, lack of strategic planning, cost overruns and total burn out(!)
This is the age of last minute planning. Gone are the days when companies had the luxury of planning one to two years in advance. The consensus is that short term planning is the norm and the bar is raised to learn strategies which keep the process efficient, streamlined and under control.
5. What are the most important ways to justify expenses to the financial stakeholders?
How can meeting arrangers measure tangible and intangible returns in order to show return on the investment on the meeting dollars spent? Financial accountability is at the top of the list when it comes to meeting the procurement stakeholders’ business outcomes.
4. How do you create the business case to “pitch” to your boss, the need for a more strategic meetings policy?
And the pitch to outsource those elements of strategic design, planning and execution which are not within your organization’s core competencies?
3. How is an effective crisis management policy built with risk management guidelines?
All planners are increasingly concerned with issues of safety, financial integrity and risk management. A new brand of due diligence must begin early in the design phase in order to create the safety net for intelligent crisis management.
2. How to keep programs upscale, innovative, motivating, inspiring and educational…..despite budget cuts?
That is the $64 million question. But, the winner is:
The #1 greatest challenge for meeting arrangers in 2011:
HOW TO CREATE METRICS FOR ROI – IS THERE A SILVER BULLET TO MEASURE RETURN ON INVESTMENT OF YOUR ORGANIZATION’S MEETING DOLLARS?
Our panel’s answer is: NO, there is no silver bullet BUT there are principles and methods which can be applied to help demonstrate the following:
- Did the meeting result in the desired outcomes for all stakeholders?
- To what degree and at what cost per attendee, was the percentage of financial and subjective return on the dollars invested?
Stay tuned for more AMI insights from our esteemed clients!