Groupize Blog

Cancellations and Attrition Best Practices that will Define the Success of Your Meetings

Sep 3, 2020 12:49:57 PM / by Madison Harris posted in Modern Meetings, Success, Best Practices, Cancellations, Attrition

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Supplier Optimization Best Practices that will Define the Success of Your Meetings

Sep 2, 2020 11:45:39 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Meetings and Events, Experts, Success, Best Practices, supplier, optimization

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Policy Best Practices that Will Define the Success of Your Meetings

Aug 31, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Modern Meetings, Success, Best Practices

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Workflow Best Practices that will Define the Success of Your Meetings

Aug 28, 2020 8:00:00 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Modern Meetings, rules, Success, Best Practices

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Do you use rules to break down your meetings by size, type, budget, level of risk between occasional planners and professional planners? If not, it’s time to start.
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The Power of Self-Service in the Next Normal for Meetings Management

Aug 27, 2020 1:44:06 PM / by Madison Harris posted in Meetings and Events, Management, self-service

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Data Best Practices that will Define the Success of Your Meetings

Aug 25, 2020 8:00:00 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Modern Meetings, Success, Best Practices

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The key to success for these programs has a single common factor: data. No matter how mature or integrated a program is, having an understanding of the data is a great place to start. If a program is just starting down this path, here are some ideas for quick wins:

  • Communicate with your internal peers about how to win together.
  • If the meetings and events team is separate from the business travel team, schedule common supplier meetings together. Present suppliers with a united front.
  • Share the business travel hotel strategy and preferred suppliers/venues with the meeting planning team.
  • Leverage the new airline meeting programs for ALL meetings and events. The technology recently deployed makes it easier than ever to obtain meeting discounts and rebates.

Now that your program is presenting a united front and the lines are starting to blur, let’s lay out some ideas for where to go next:

  • Investigate and deploy integrations for tooling already in place for GDS-related travel data and meetings and events data.
  • Use combined commercial leverage to source technology platforms that service both the business travel and meetings and events programs.
  • Where possible, leverage business travel agency FTE peaks and valleys to liaise with meeting planners on group air, attendee registration, and attendee management.
  • All supplier review meetings should be combined – all data should now be presented as a single point of reference.

For those companies who are ready to be best-in-class, here are the keys to success:

  • Integrated business travel, meetings, and events websites.
  • Business travel and meetings and events policies are cross-referenced within each.
  • Meetings and events have the same Duty of Care requirements as business travel.
  • All data streams are shared and available to the combined team.
  • Make group air benefits (points/miles) available to internal meeting requestors for site visits or meeting-related travel to show the tangible benefits of working within the boundaries of the 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.

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Need Better Meetings Management? Here’s How Industry Experts & Insiders are Making It Happen

Aug 24, 2020 3:30:28 PM / by Madison Harris posted in Meetings and Events, Modern Meetings, Management, Experts

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Surely, we can all agree that company payment policy is a key component of your meetings and events program. The policy will provide a clear and documented outline of the guidelines concerning meeting expenses and what is required to get expenses paid. The policy will also inform associates about the consequences of failing to comply with the policy and local payment terms.

From the onset of the process design, involving the right stakeholders is crucial to its success. Partner with the business process owner to ensure the right control points are identified and integrated into the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). We recommend engaging with at least the following groups:

• Finance
• Meeting Management Team
• Procurement
• Third-party meetings agency
• Meetings management technology provider/IT
• Legal

Where a PO process is in place, ensure that all teams are clear on the workflow and tracking of the process. A similar process can be applied for other payment methods such as card products or inbuilt as part of a payment platform. If using a card method such as p-cards, meeting cards, or corporate T&E cards, a level of reasonable control should be built into the process, possibly scaled by payment value.

Ultimately, a technology solution will increase automation in the payment process. For example, if you have a technology platform in place, the meeting could be required to be registered, a meeting ID aligned to the request, and that ID must be issued before payments can move through for approval. This is a more advanced workflow, and with technology integrations, you can enable budget approval, card creation, assignment, and reconciliation as an integrated part of your meeting technology platform.

These are unprecedented times, and we can expect some sea-change impacts on business, behaviors, and expectations. Everyone will be required to respond and modify their business models for the new post-crisis ecosystem. How we plan, how we communicate and collaborate, and how we interact is all going to change. That being said, those who are quick to adjust will lead the way for the industry to follow. While so many may be taking things day-by-day, it’s critical to look to the future to determine the best course of action moving forward.

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.

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Modern Meeting Management: Going Beyond a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Aug 3, 2020 1:15:39 PM / by Madison Harris posted in Global Meetings, hybrid meetings, Modern Meetings, Management

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In order to understand how industry experts will approach corporate meetings for the new world, we have to first identify the goals of a meeting management program. What should you care about? Well, each company is likely to have a different answer. Consider the following examples:
  • Visibility: Ability to “register all meetings” to a company calendar. How many meetings do we have? How much do we spend?
  • Spend Management: Budgets, approvals, invoices, payment method, reconciliation.
  • Duty of Care: Where are my travelers attending meetings?
  • Savings: You can save 10%-20% with a meetings management program.
  • Risk Mitigation: Who is signing hotel contracts?
  • Security: Are we using GDPR compliant tools? What about PII?
  • Brand Integrity: Do we put our best foot forward?
  • Productivity: How much time can we save?

Identifying Savings Opportunities 

It’s also important to identify savings opportunities and, moreover, what savings formula your procurement group has in place: Options may include:
  • Year-over-year savings (not apples-to-apples comparisons, but, how much does it matter to you or your organization).
  • Savings from budget (business units hold a budget for their events, so how much you helped them to under-run this budget).
  • Incremental savings (the differential between last year/last quarter and this quarter – could be savings or dissavings).
  • Competitive bid process & negotiations (savings could reflect the difference between the original quote and the final negotiated agreement)
As aforementioned, studies show that corporations can achieve an average of 10% - 20% savings when they implement best practices in sourcing, supplier optimization, processes, and policy compliance. Considering the costs associated with corporate meetings, this is incredibly valuable.

Companies should also consider BAR vs. negotiated transient rates (preferred hotel program) vs. group rates, as this represents a true market comparison. Further, we must take into account average attendee cost year over year (YOY). From a savings perspective, companies should consider multi-property or multi-year agreement savings, group air (ticketing fees & booking window savings), labor savings by moving to self-service, and potential technology savings by not having user fees, lower licensing cost, etc..

Modern Risk Mitigation Measures for Events

While many ‘security checklists’ exist online, not all security needs are universal. You know there are risks to bringing people together, so selecting a venue that has defined, existing protocols can reduce the time you spend on ensuring the health and safety of your attendees.

Going in, you should understand precisely what you are protecting beyond attendees – company secrets? Celebrity or political speakers? Executives? Innovation samples or exhibits? Party crashers? Prior to the meeting, companies should walk the venue with security to understand vulnerabilities and actively modify strategies such as:
  • Is surveillance active or passively reviewed?
  • Staff to entry point ratios? Fire exits and sprinklers?
  • First Aid and first responder access?
  • Was your list of contacts for emergencies distributed to the right people?
Adopting a proactive approach, any risky structures should be removed or blocked in lieu of the upcoming meeting/event and, in a post-pandemic world, it will become especially important for sanitation measures to be readily accessible to all. Before the day of the meeting arrives, you should be satisfied with the following:
  • The venue has adequate insurance
  • There is an Active Shooter response plan
  • The venue’s prior experience with your event profile especially if it is large, if media is not welcome, or if your featured speakers are controversial.
As always, communication is integral to success. Prior to their arrival, you should communicate clearly with all guests/attendees and clarify expectations so they know if bags will be inspected, metal detectors will be used, social distancing is encouraged, and if a ‘see something, say something’ campaign is appropriate.

When it Comes to Meetings, Visibility Matters

You might find yourself wondering, what exactly does ‘event visibility’ entail? To answer that, companies should consider the following:
  • Do you have visibility of 100% of your meetings?
  • When and where are they being held?
  • Who is attending your meetings, and where are they at all times?
  • Who has approved the meeting expense?
  • Was the contract reviewed before signing?
  • What is your risk if the meeting must be canceled or postponed?
  • Is your meeting data GDPR and PCI compliant?
Ultimately, full visibility means you have a complete picture of all your meetings globally; you can see where people are going, and if needed, where people have been.

Lessons Learned from the Pandemic

In the wake of the COVID-19, we all just gained an in-depth understanding of these challenges. Those companies which had the data were able to support their senior leadership with strategic decision-making as the crisis evolved. Because, as we know, data is key in a crisis. Those that didn’t have a meetings program enforced, however, had to scramble. In limited time frames and with limited information, they had to determine which employees were in regions that were exposed and then had to determine if there were any executed contracts that exposed the company to risk if they needed to cancel or postpone the meeting. Without easy access to the data around the meetings and contracts, companies were forced to endure a fire drill to get the data. Decisions were made ad-hoc as opposed to strategically due to the lack of data.

And it is not just about the contracts and knowing what the location of the meeting is. Companies need to be able to access all the attendee data easily; and yet, many of them rely exclusively on GDS data, which typically only includes flight data. The hotels’ bookings are typically offline in a room block, and not all travelers fly to events, so they will not be displayed in the GDS. Due to this, companies need to identify and approve the attendee registration solutions utilized in their companies, and these systems need to push data to the company’s traveler tracking solutions. As we already identified, these traveler tracking tools typically only pull transient travel data, and it needs to include your meeting data as well.

Simply stated, it is no longer acceptable to only manage large marketing and incentive events. Moving forward, companies need to seamlessly manage all groups that are greater than two people.

These are unprecedented times, and we can expect some sea-change impacts on business, behaviors, and expectations. Everyone will be required to respond and modify their business models for the new post-crisis ecosystem. How we plan, how we communicate and collaborate, and how we interact is all going to change. That being said, those who are quick to adjust will lead the way for the industry to follow. While so many may be taking things day-by-day, it’s critical to look to the future to determine the best course of action moving forward. 

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What Will the Post-Pandemic Future of Meetings Management Look Like?

Jul 29, 2020 7:45:46 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Groupize, Covid19, Global Meetings, hybrid meetings, 2021

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In the midst of all of this uncertainty, what we do know is that nothing lasts forever, not even the Coronavirus crisis. Undoubtedly, organizations hope to quickly bounce back to their pre-pandemic business as usual though all signs point to the creation of a new normal on every level.

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Groupize Launches New Risk-Focused Assessment Tool: Groupize Assurance

Jul 28, 2020 11:58:47 AM / by Madison Harris posted in Risk, Groupize, Covid19, Global Meetings, hybrid meetings, virtual meetings, 2021

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The entry point for corporations to manage expense, travel and risk for all meetings & events.

Groupize goes beyond hybrid meetings and counters risk challenges of a global meetings program in the era of COVID-19 with Groupize Assurance.

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