Getting the most out of your spend on company meetings
Despite all the technology that allows people to “meet” without leaving their office, face to face gatherings are still essential for most businesses; they produce a vibrant, creative atmosphere and most important, build relationships. But they also cost more and you will need to ensure your company gets the most – financially and professionally – out of meetings.
To put aside any doubt: if the average day delegate rate is £35 and your company is holding, say, 10 meetings of around 20 people a year, that is £7,000 a year that is unmanaged, and this is without even considering travel and other ancillary costs. It all mounts up.
How to control your spend on company meetings:
To control the spend effectively, you need to quantify what meetings your company is actually holding. First find out who is organising them and why – this could be sales, marketing, training, business development or clients; in what form – anything from a few off-site gatherings to an annual programme that ends with a major event; and through which channels they are booked – Travel Management Company (TMC), direct with a hotel, via a venue specialist or in house.
Build a bookers community, so that you can communicate specifically with those who are arranging meetings regularly, and give them targeted useful information, rather than put that in a general message to the business. This could as simple as creating a dedicated email distribution list.
The wide scattering of data is one of the things that makes meetings so difficult to track and control. By utilising a Travel Management Company, you can direct your bookers to the right buying channels. This will keep all data in one place and will allow your TMC to see where you are spending most of your money, giving them the chance to agree favourable tariffs on your behalf. It also ensures you get best benefit from their negotiated rates and buying power.
Venue sourcing is a prime example of the value of a TMC. It can take days to find the most appropriate place for a meeting but we have the knowledge, relationships and tools to crack that nut quickly and easily, saving you considerable time and energy. In fact, where there is a venue or venues you book regularly, we are often able to negotiate improved cancellation terms and additional benefits such as discounts on food & beverage.
Make the most of the tech
Technology can also help with efficiencies and data gathering. Digital invitations can guide participants to a site for online registration, where travel bookings and hotel requirements can be processed. The same tool can be used to inform your delegates of any changes and even distribute post-event online surveys, so that the next event can be an even greater success.
Travel Counsellors Top Tips:
- Find out who is booking meetings and form them into a community to allow efficient and targeted communication
- Make sure all bookings go through your travel management company, putting all spend and data in one place
- Use technology to increase engagement and attendance
- Negotiate better deals and cancellation terms with frequently used venues
- Venue sourcing is labour intensive and time consuming, let your travel company do it btw, we offer a free venue finding service :)
Want to find out more about how we can help you make the most of your meetings and events budget? Please talk to your Travel Counsellor. If you don't yet have a Travel Counsellor, please contact us via the form below and we will be in touch.
Give us a call on +44 (0) 161 464 5350 or fill in the form below and let us call you back.