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by By Loren G. Edelstein | February 01, 2010
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Just 29 percent of organizations have formal meetings management policies in place, according to a recent poll of planners conducted by M&C Research. And of those organizations, only 11 percent claim that all of their meetings are in compliance with the guidelines.

Not surprisingly, various corporate departments have a hand in meetings-related decisions. Finance or procurement personnel are "extremely" involved, say 23 percent of the 113 respondents, and another 22 percent note that finance is "moderately" influential. Just 22 percent say the finance department has no hand in meetings.

The travel management department also is "extremely" (20 percent) or "moderately" (14 percent) involved in meetings, per those polled. However, more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents report that travel managers have no role in the meetings process.

Relatively few planners fully understand the meaning of a strategic meetings management program, or SMMP, which is defined by the National Business Travel Association and other industry organizations as an interdepartmental approach to managing meeting and event activities, processes and data. Forty percent are not at all familiar with the term.

While 26 percent selected the correct definition of SMMP ("An enterprise-wide effort to manage meeting and event processes") out of a range of choices, another 4 percent chose "other," and some respondents wisely pointed out that a written policy and high-level approach to planning also are important components of such a program.

 

 Defining SMMP