October 01, 2009

In a new white paper, the National Business Travel Association's Groups & Meetings Committee addresses small meetings -- a cate­gory that has proved challenging to standardize.

To produce A Strategic Approach to Small Meetings, the most recent in the series, Framework for Success: Strategic Meetings Manage­ment Programs, the committee surveyed planners to identify and validate best practices. They then used this and other research to formulate recommendations. Among them: The definition of small meetings might vary, but organizations need to establish their own base to encompass the gatherings that could benefit most from cost savings and risk mitigation.

"Smaller meetings have always been estimated to be about 70 to 80 percent of corporate meetings," said Kevin Iwamoto, vice president, enterprise strategy, for Philadelphia-based StarCite, which offers online meetings management tools. "Small meetings are a perfect target for cost savings."

More tools like those provided by StarCite and online site-selection company Worktopia have emerged to help organizations gather small-meetings data.

NBTA's Groups & Meetings Committee is made up of 19 high-level meetings professionals from organizations such as American Express and Procter & Gamble. NBTA members can download the white paper free at