Overarching funding options for meetings management programs can be summarized at the highest level below:
Centralized funding – A single budget for all/set scope of meeting services provided and managed across an organization. We often see this budget sitting with and managed by Procurement.
Decentralized funding – Meeting service fees are charged back to business units based on usage (per meeting rate card or % based), or a fixed cost is included as a shared service line item. These can be distributed either from a central fund and passed back through a finance function; or paid at point of service delivery.
Commission offset - Commissions are typically used to partially offset costs or fund other meetings related items such as technology or additional resources. While some strategic sourcing programs are fully “funded” through commission, a value/cost for this service should still be accounted for as a budget line item for an organization.
Relying on commissions to act as a “free” service for sourcing, or core revenue stream should be cautioned, both given industry factors such as declining hotel commissions; as well as disparity of the ability to deploy such a model in all markets and regions, globally.
It is important to have a well-established business case for your strategic meetings management program, where the true value and return in investment (be it offset or not) in having a meetings program can be clearly articulated and communicated within the organization.
The most appropriate funding model for your business will vary greatly across businesses; considering several factors such as tolerance for change, shared service infrastructure, guaranteed volumes, services in scope, executive buy-in, stakeholder engagement strategy, and meetings management program maturity.
Credit card rebates, where a meetings card program is in use, can be an additional revenue stream to also offset costs or deliver funds to a program.
Now more than ever, corporations are looking for easier, more efficient, and cost-effective meetings management strategies to navigate through this period of uncertainty and into the future.
To learn more about the new normal and how to prepare for the changes in travel, meetings, and events worldwide, download the complimentary titled, Prepare for a Changed World, which delivers timely peer to peer advice from travel managers, meeting planners, procurement, TMCs, and industry partners.
To learn more about how Groupize helps organizations simplify meeting management, please visit www.groupize.com or call +1-508-232-7719.