The economy drones on, meetings budgets keep getting slashed, and planners face continuing pressure from stakeholders to prove value--of their meetings, events…and of themselves.
Inside this business climate, industry trainers on ROI (return on investment) technique and its sub-topics--ROO (return on objectives) and ROE (return on experience)--warn planners there may be no more important skill set in their professional quiver these days than that of proving value to stakeholders, something that’s under the umbrella of strategic meetings management (SMM).
Before the economy began to sputter a few years ago, and meetings cancellations and cutbacks became more common, many regarded demonstration of ROI optional. Meetings logistics are demanding, after all, and arranging them leaves little time for measurements. But the paradigm has changed.
“Measurement is no longer something that is nice to have,” says Cindy D’Aoust, vice president strategic meetings for Maxvantage and a speaker at HSMAI’s MEET National who delivered a “Demonstrating Meeting Effectiveness” session. “It’s needed. With budgets being scrutinized, meeting professionals and the business units they support need to know how to demonstrate the value meetings deliver both in finance terms and in business terms.”
Several industry organizations have done research that points to why return measurements are essential to today’s business processes.
One recent HSMAI survey found, for example, that 60 percent of meeting planners feel pressure to measure event satisfaction, attendance and net revenue. The bottom line is not the approach in today’s market, the research found. Rather, planner focus must be more strategic and take into account a balanced methodology, along with logistical and interpersonal aspects of events.