what is strategic meetings management

What is strategic meetings management & why does it matter?


Regardless of what your company does, you likely hold many meetings as part of your everyday business activities. These meetings need to be planned and executed with the right people at the right place at the right time. The larger the company, the more difficult the process is, and that's where strategic meetings management (SMM) comes to the fore. 

SMM streamlines your approach, with one of the many advantages being stronger relationships for the client. It allows you to plan effective, productive meetings and properly understand how to invest your business resources, something anyone involved in strategic management should take note of. 

So, if you'd like to know more, stay with us now as we examine the details of this strategy, what's involved, its importance, and the wider benefits it offers.

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What IS strategic meetings management exactly?

At its core, strategic meetings management is a systematic way of planning and executing events and meetings within a business. It also allows past meetings to be evaluated and involves using data analytics to reduce wasted time and costs. 

Why is SMM important? Imagine a large organisation featuring multiple different departments using operational languages. In this scenario, it's far harder for each part of the business to understand the other, and in terms of meetings, it's a recipe for disaster. 

If you attempt to plan important events without a single, unified best practice, it's a little like trying to run a 100-meter sprint race without a starter pistol or running lanes. All the runners will likely get to the end of the race, but there's a much higher chance of people tripping each other up and something going wrong. 

The key components of strategic meetings management

As you'll discover when talking with an MCI expert about strategic meetings management, there are several key components involved. Let's take a look at the secret sauce behind the approach that builds lasting partners and benefits the client. 

Policy development and compliance

An initial element of strategic meeting management is the actual creation of the rules and regulations of how you'll operate. This means laying down the guidelines that everyone in your organisation will need to follow when planning and executing a meeting or event. 

For instance, a pharmaceutical company might set down rules with regard to how its staff interacts with vendors to ensure ethical standards are maintained.

Budget management and cost control

Another important part to place your focus on is ensuring that you don't go over your events budget. Cost control and budget management involves precisely allocating your available resources and keeping a close eye on expenses. For example, you'll likely have a figure in mind for your annual conference, and so here you'll be negotiating prices with your suppliers. 

Sourcing and supplier management

Speaking of suppliers, it's important to identify exactly the right vendors who'll be able to meet your event requirements most efficiently. A whole host of vendors might need to be contacted, such as audiovisual and technology providers, venue and accommodation companies, and caterers and food services suppliers. 

As such, your aim is to source venues and negotiate contracts to ensure you have the most cost-effective service providers that also give you highest quality. 

Technology integration

You'd also be wise to consider using event management software and other digital tools when planning and executing your meetings. They're particularly pertinent and useful for larger companies, as they allow for the centralisation of registration to all the invited guests, as well as the collection of feedback. It's possible to do it without this help, but why would you intentionally do things the hard way?

Meeting planning and execution

Once you have all of the building blocks laid down for your meeting management strategy, it's time to get into the nitty gritty. We're talking about the organisation and coordination of all the logistical elements to achieve your objective. Naturally, this is one of the most critical parts of the process, as it's where you'll be focusing on aspects like engaging content delivery. 

Here's were you'll have the biggest impact on the success of your event or meeting, with every element needing to be honed to ensure a seamless journey and attendee satisfaction.

Risk management and compliance

In certain industries, there may be a need to consider the aspect of risk management and compliance, such as in the medical sector. For instance, a drug company would probably want to carry out a thorough risk assessment in order to ensure that everyone involved in their organisation abides by compliance laws and company ethics when organising meetings.

Stakeholder engagement and collaboration

Strategic meetings management for corporations and other large entities will require that all relevant parties are included in the planning process. Everyone needs to be on the same page in relation to your organisation's goals, which might mean involving the heads of your IT, marketing, operations, sales and business development departments. 

Their involvement will ensure consistency throughout your business and that everyone is sailing in the same direction.

Data management and analytics

As with many aspects of modern business practices, data and its analysis play a huge part in strategic meetings management. It's an ever-evolving, ever-moving process,  and your outcomes can only be improved by avoiding what's gone wrong in the past and trying to replicate what's gone right. 

Attendee feedback and engagement data are just two of the metrics that can be used to refine your future event strategies and enhance the experience of those who attend.

strategic meetings management

The benefits of employing a strategic meetings management expert

We've covered the elements that are considered as part of the process, but what about the value of strategic meetings management? What are the wider benefits that your organisation can enjoy when placing time and energy into getting your event management strategy right? 

There are many, and they're sufficiently compelling to convince any CEO or business director to consider investing resources in acquiring the services of meeting planning experts.

  • It saves you energy and time - when you enlist the help of an external strategic meetings management provider, it saves you a lot of valuable energy and time. As specialists in their field, you can trust them to take care of the details and handle the time-consuming task of handling all the logistics. They'll also deal with all of the stress of communicating with guests, venue providers and even your own team. As such, business leaders can focus on preparing themselves for the meeting and not all the small stuff. 
  • Everything is managed from one place - how many times has someone you know missed a meeting because the information about it was lost in their email spam folder? It's a common occurrence, but as we've covered, an expert will usually use management software that centralises everything. The chances of important attendees not turning up are drastically reduced, and anyone unsure can check via a central resource. No one falls through the cracks. 
  • Analysis leads to improvement - having an external expert in your corner also helps you make sense of the data generated by your past meetings. They'll assist you in turning that insight into actionable steps that make your future meetings more productive and impactful. 
  • Your meetings cost less - a company experienced in strategic meetings management will find the most cost-effective routes to achieve your organisation's goals. Using a combination of skill and software, they'll analyse your data and advise you on the most efficient way to allocate your meeting resources. 

You see, SMM is more than just another event planning tool or service. It's an holistic approach that makes not just your meetings more effective and efficient but also your day-to-day work. It's a way to accurately gauge your performance and take the necessary action armed with laser-focused insight. 

Want to take the guesswork out of your events and meetings?

As they say, what gets focused on gets done, and that certainly applies when it comes to strategic meetings management. What's more, the services we've spoken about offer far more than simply making your meetings better, as the virtuous effects pervade your whole organisation. They unify everyone to a common goal and take all of the guesswork out of the process. Fed up with events that don't hit the mark? It's time to reach out. 

At MCI, we have many years of experience and a wealth of expertise in event management, which is something that places us perfectly to eliminate the guesswork out of your meeting planning. No matter the industry, we have the know-how to optimise your strategy and deliver the impact your business deserves. 

So, if you're looking for expertise in this area from an event management company with a proven track record, we suggest you take a moment to browse our website. However, if you're eager to get started, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today and our team will do their utmost to assist in any way they can. 

MCI Content Team