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Optimizing Meeting and Event Spend

John Kearney |

Laptop screen showing analytics from meeting and event spendEvery meeting and event planner is given a budget and CFOs are looking for a tangible return on investment. The savviest planners are understanding all of the direct and indirect costs that can be reduced, replaced or eliminated. They have the tools to enable teams of planners to negotiate rates on event costs, they can speed up venue sourcing processes and they provide visibility and analysis into event spend.

Negotiated Venue Cost Savings

Due to reduced commissions from major hotel chains, business models are changing and the sourcing landscape is transforming. Sourcing tools must drive value for the operator beyond just finding the right venue. For travel and sourcing agents, being able to prove their influence on cost savings is critical to their survival. For internal sourcing teams, being able to justify technology spend is often a mandate from finance.

An international meetings solutions company was looking to maintain its book of business after recent commission cuts from suppliers. They scheduled quarterly business reviews with their top 100 accounts to review the impact they have had on negotiated cost savings. They broke down savings by room rate, meeting space costs, food and beverage expenses, plus concessions received. On average, they were able to validate that a client saved 12x the cost of their services. Their venue sourcing solution enabled their team to negotiate more effectively and report on the results with ease.

Faster Venue Sourcing

For large teams of meeting planners, sourcing venues takes more time than any other part of the planning process. This leads to backlogs in meeting requests and fewer meetings held. Planners want more control over response rates and time. Finding solutions that include RFP fulfillment services is becoming more common among leading planning organizations.

A multinational computer technology corporation holds thousands of events for internal and external audiences around the United States. They ran into a bottleneck in the RFP process that limited their ability to execute and properly plan for each event. They engaged a venue sourcing solution that leveraged sourcing experts committed to following up on RFPs and ensuring a strong quality and quantity of bids. After the first year of implementation, the time to complete an RFP process was reduced by 20%, which led to 10% more customer events.

Event Spend Oversight

With a large team of planners managing a high volume of meetings and events, having different processes and savings can result in cost increases. It’s unclear in many organizations how every meeting is being negotiated with vendors and suppliers. When the CFO asks for justification of for next year’s budget, planners don’t have the data to validate their request. Leading planners have oversight over every bid, every negotiation, and every dollar spent. With this data centralized in a dashboard, they are making real time decisions on spend based on trends and forecasts.

A Fortune 500 insurance and financial investment management company runs thousands of meetings per year at client sites and investor meetings. Through their venue sourcing solution, executives are able to see all ongoing meetings and communicate with individual meeting owners as necessary. This keeps all pertinent information centrally located and any planner can share tips on various venues within the platform. The data and insights are reviewed with meeting owners weekly, which allows the organization to adapt their process in an agile way. They have seen 10-20% improvement in negotiated cost savings per meeting owner.

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This Post was Written by John Kearney

John Kearney is Aventri’s Director of Go To Market Strategy. He is focused on understanding our customers and our market and ensuring the organization is set up to serve both. Prior to Aventri, John spent 6 years with SBI, a management consulting...

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