June 23, 2010 // Franchising.com // Paris - Companies can save on average 10 percent to 25 percent of their Meetings and Events (M&E) spend when they apply best practices to policy and compliance, sourcing, and processes, according to the latest in-depth study from the CWT Travel Management Institute, the research arm of Carlson Wagonlit Trave (CWT), a global leader specializing in business travel management. Meetings and Events: Where Savings Meet Success was conducted in collaboration with CWT's M&E technology partner StarCite.
The study also estimates that M&E spend represents on average 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent of companies' revenues, depending on the business sector, or 35 percent to 60 percent of the amount they spend separately on transient business travel. Despite the significant expenditure, many companies do not have an M&E strategy or the policies and procedures needed to optimize their spend and best serve their business objectives. The study identifies eight steps companies can take to maximize M&E management.
According to Christophe Renard, vice president corporate marketing and business intelligence for CWT, effective M&E management brings more than cost savings: "Companies with a high-performing meeting and events program do not seek savings at any price. Instead, they look for a real return on their investment. Their decisions are based on business objectives and they tend to involve stakeholders across the organization, including procurement, to ensure they are taking a balanced approach."
Savings and return on M&E investment come from three main areas. When coupled with full support from senior management and a well-designed change management program, results are enhanced. Companies with an effectively managed M&E program focus on:
Mr. Renard acknowledged that organizations recovering from the economic crisis are reinvesting in the US$650 billion global M&E market but their priorities have evolved: "Many of CWT's clients are rethinking their approach to meetings and events and are asking us to help them apply the same strategic principles we use for effective business travel management. As a result, our dedicated meetings and events specialists analyze clients' spend, assess their programs, help them define and implement a companywide strategy, and manage sourcing, all of which saves them money while supporting their business plans. With more than 800 M&E employees worldwide, CWT also provides a full range of logistical and creative services to help clients make the most of their M&E program."
Kevin Young, StarCite Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Partner Management, added: "Process automation helps companies save time and money and enjoy greater visibility over their meetings and events. With StarCite's enterprise platform and services, companies can effectively deploy a strategic meetings management program using online meeting requests and approval routing; a supplier database for easier, more cost-effective sourcing; and attendee management solutions for online registration and electronic updates. From start to finish, there is greater compliance and control as well as enhanced satisfaction for attendees and M&E professionals."
Research was conducted between September 2009 and March 2010 and several techniques were used:
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a global leader specializing in business travel management. Present in more than 150 countries, CWT serves companies of all sizes, as well as government institutions and non-governmental organizations. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability. The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers. CWT services and solutions comprise four lines of business: Traveler & Transaction Services, Program Optimization, Safety & Security, and Meetings & Events. In 2009, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$21.4 billion.