Evolution is a natural part of life. As a result, so is extinction. In the natural habitat of the meeting and travel planning of any corporation, this process is no different. Process and technology are continually evolving, which means that the old, outdated way is constantly being placed on the endangered list, and eventually becoming extinct altogether.
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.
- 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.