Top 10 Ways to Mismanage Meeting Spending

Rob and I recently shared a conversation with a colleague who managed one of the largest meeting and planning and event teams for a Fortune 50 company in North America. We began swapping horror stories about how some companies mismanage meeting costs.

Suddenly, we understood "You might be a redneck if..." and "You might be developing a meeting in the 90's if..." scenarios. So without too much more thought and not to be outdone by Letterman, here is "Lipman's Top 10 Ways to Mismanage Meeting Spending..."

10. You allow an administrative assistant to source, plan, and/or sign-off on meetings greater than 30 people, with more than 30 hotel nights and $30k net spend.

9. You do not have a preferred transient & group hotel program or, at the very least, a choice of hotels that you can frequent for meetings in increase your buying power.

8. You do not have a written meetings management policy - that is enforced.

7. You do not recognize the value of face-to-face in conjunction with online meeting presentations and on-demand modules.

6. You allow the presenter to dictate the content or allow them to prepare the message without oversight. You don't just need a presentation, you need consistency - consider validating your presentations with an Audience Response System.

5. You do not rely on professional meeting planners for large events, even if smaller conferences are managed internally.

4. You do not have a meeting planning company that can evaluate city and venue selection, visa requirements, group cumulative, air flying times, flight arrival and departure times, cost of pre/post nights, and best air cost options.

3. You allow meeting locations to be determined by where somebody thinks it might be nice to go "on vacation".

2. You do not know how much you're are currently spending on offsite company meetings at hotel and conference centers. You have more than one group in your company managing your offsite meetings, which are greater than 30 people.

1. Your company's Senior Leadership does not "lead by example" - by this we mean to establish an official Meetings Management Policy (MMP), direct employees to support and follow the established MMP and most importantly, to follow this policy themselves.

A meeting that is well-managed goes beyond tangible savings; it delivers a positive return on investment. The most successful meetings must amplify the message from the physical venue and deliver it to virtual attendees, social media, and secure archives. You now have a meeting in thrree dimensions.