The strategic planning of a meeting can be a daunting task. Most companies start every planning process from the ground up. This not only wastes money but takes precious time.

Businesses can now use strategic meetings management programs to ensure that the strategy is kept throughout the year and that all event planning has the same look and feel to them. This will ensure that the entire team is up to date with what’s happening when it is happening and what their individual or group tasks are for a meeting or event. 

Defining Strategic Meetings Management

The definition of strategic meetings management is a method of strategically managing all aspects included in the running, planning, processing, and financial side of a meeting. 

The approach focuses on creating a platform where the management team will be able to view all vendors, budgets, processing, and other information under one umbrella. 

A strategic manager will be assigned to oversee and delegate the tasks to smaller and external groups, which will still follow the overarching budget and goals of the company. The manager must ensure that the event or meeting happens as planned. These platforms will allow for a business to layout its measurable business objectives to the team.

Significance of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) for Managers in the Current Business Climate

Managing strategically provides various benefits in the realm of strategic management. This will allow the team to set a strategy that will be used at multiple events and meetings. This will produce a set plan and goal for future engaging events, as well as a method of measuring the success of each of them. 

Key Components of an Effective SMM Program

Certain criteria and elements must be present in an strategic meetings management program for it to be effective. This will ensure that the program is working for the company and not against it. The following key components play a big role in an effective program.

Meeting Policy and Guidelines

An event planners must have clear guidelines and policies that it follows. The policies refer back to the company’s procedures. Examples of policies are the social media strategy, setting strategic goals for engaging events, and hiring procedures. This is to ensure that the company does everything on a consistent and ethical basis.

Clear guidelines and policies will ensure that the SMM program focuses on and portray the same values and ethics as what the company stands for. 

By displaying these guidelines on a program, any member of the team will have access to it, which will ensure that the entire team will build according to the core values and policies set by the business. 

Event Sourcing and Procurement

Strategic meetings management focuses on a set of procedures that will occur before an event sourcing will be completed. These procedures are placed into the SMM program to ensure ethics and are aligned with the goals of the event and the company. 

The main aim of making use of an SMM program when sourcing for an event is to ensure that the products, services, and assistance that will be used are in line with the event’s overall goals. The procedures such as contracts will ensure that every party understands these goals and that every member will be working towards the goals and objectives. 

Meeting Registration and Attendee Management

An SMM program aims to ensure that all the necessary steps are in place to create the most effective way for registration. The program must be user-friendly for all attendees. The easier the registration is, the easier it becomes to manage the attendees. 

Areas that will play a key role in registration is the platform that the company uses whether that is in-person meetings management or virtual. Set up an easy-to-follow system that will ensure a simple flow and prevent overcrowding in a certain area. Managing the attendees can come at a cost. However, this will provide the business with detail such as where the SMM program lacks.

Attendees must be able to find venues, registration, and other administrative tasks comfortably. This will ensure a pleasurable experience and an effective program. 

Onsite Meeting Logistics and Execution

Onsite logistics focuses on the décor of the venue, catering, and other services to ensure an effective display of the goal of the event. 

The theme must be clear and all outsourced teams must know exactly what their job is and where they need to be. This will leave every member with set tasks that will prevent attendees from feeling overwhelmed and confused. 

The event management must have a clear execution plan for the event. Displaying a layout even before the event will lead to a more organized team. Managers of the event will know exactly where to place all vendors, products, and promotions to draw more clients and to set the overarching theme. 

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The Role of Technology in Strategic Meetings Management

Technology is an amazing tool to use. Planning meetings is no exception. Technology will increase effectiveness and will allow team members to follow and execute at a higher level. The platform ensures that the entire team can view set goals and procedures that must be followed. 

SMM Software Solutions

Management programs aim to simplify the work and to have everything dotted down for the team members. If the tasks are not written down, the chance of them being completed is slim.

The platform ensures that the members have an online system that will showcase all tasks that must be completed. 

Dates will be blocked out with meeting times and the specific members that need to be present will be added. Some platforms will allow an agenda, schedule, and tasks for the meeting or event. This will ensure clear communication with the team. Which will ensure effective planning and running of the meeting itself. 

Virtual Meeting Platforms

The use of a virtual Meeting platform will ensure that the team has a specific location to obtain any information on the meeting, their tasks, or the time and dates of future meetings. Companies can allow access to individuals on these platforms to ensure that they only receive information on the meetings they are included in. This will allow the individual to not be bombarded with unnecessary information and deadlines. 

Data Analytics and Reporting

With the development of technology, team members can not only view what they and other team members have done but can review and analyze data and risk based on previous reports. These programs will allow reports and meetings data to be drawn up and analyzed to ensure that every meeting and goal can be reviewed 

Measuring the Success of Your SMM Program

Businesses and managers must make use of effective measuring tools to ensure that the SMM programs is successful. Running a program without evaluating it will only lead to a waste of time and money. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Data

Key performance indicators are similar to deadlines. These indicators refer to the statement that the meeting will use to measure how far the final goal is and if the team is on track. Simply put, it states what the company wants to achieve, by a specific time.

Well-set plans have 5-7 indicators in them. Companies can use, reuse and adjust these performance indicators if it seems fit. These indicators will guide the team to reach the final goal set by the managers.

Cost Savings and Return on Investment (ROI) Data

The savings cost and return on investment with a good strategy meeting plan can exceed the company’s expectations. The company will save finances by having a set goal for each meeting, not wasting time that could have been used to work on revenue. Using a planner will cost far less than a group of organizers and the program will allow meeting detail and information to be copied to the next.

The business will use ROI to determine the success of the purchase and use of an audit trail to evaluate the success of the SMM objectives . If they provide more value and clarity than what the company loses financially the ROI is positive. 

Enhancing Stakeholder Satisfaction

A strategic meeting plan can provide great insight to the stakeholders and team. Schedule a meeting and provide them with statistics and goals the company has set. This can be done through the strategic management program. Stakeholders can provide their input and satisfaction in these meetings, which will assist the business to grow to stakeholder satisfaction.

Best Practices for Implementing a Strategic Meetings Management Program

Aligning SMM with Corporate Objectives

All businesses start with a goal or an objective. Companies must ensure that the meetings, events and strategies they work on all push the company closer to their set goal. A strategic meeting management program must be aligned with the company’s goals and objectives. This will provide clear guidelines for all meetings and plans created by management. 

Engaging Stakeholders and Building Buy-in

The stakeholders are some of the company’s most valuable assets. They have the knowledge and direction for the company. The meetings committee will have to provide clear and specific facts and reasons why the goals and plans are necessary for the business. Managers can provide tracking methods to ensure growth after SMM implementation before some stakeholders buy in.

Continuously Improving your SMM Process

SMM is a continuous process that must be adjusted and fixed throughout its use of it. The system will always have areas where it works perfectly and those without. Working hand in hand with developers to customize the platform to ensure only progress will be of great benefit. 

Overcoming Common Challenges in Strategic Meetings Management

Strategic meeting management meetings are set to work through and overcome common and difficult challenges throughout the business.

Navigating Budget Constraints

Budget constraint refers to a situation where the financial allocation set for a certain expense is not enough. Managers will use strategic meetings to bring this to light to either increase the budget or find ways to achieve the goal differently. 

Managing Global and Multi-cultural Meetings

The beauty of business is that it brings different cultures and individuals together. The challenge, however, is to ensure that all members are heard and have an opportunity to voice their concerns. These strategic meetings are a great place to tackle hard thought questions. 

Adapting to Evolving Industry Trends and Regulations

Continued development is a key part of a successful business. Planning these changes can have a better impact than adapting by force. Strategy meetings provide the space where companies can ask for input and explain the changes. These meetings will allow feedback and questions to ensure that the staff members are all on board. 

Case Studies: Successful Strategic Meetings Management in Action

Real-world Examples of SMM Success Stories

Business stories such as Tesla, Airbnb, and Toyota are great examples of strategic meeting management. These businesses had to sit through transition, difficult times, and planning to create the dream they wanted. Through strategic meeting management, the companies defined their goals and planned a path toward them. This is possible through strategic meeting management planners.

Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways

Change is inevitable. Companies must go through it. But instead of fearing it, embrace it. By using SMM, companies can create a platform for regular and direct meetings, taking on challenges and working towards the goals and objectives.

 By simply using a platform, companies can ensure growth. This will showcase the direction of the business, which can include more buy-in from stakeholders if the trajectory is positive. Mitigating risk will provide a platform for meeting policies that will allow the event professionals to plan a successful event.

Strategic Meetings Management: FAQs

What does SMM Stand For?

Strategic meeting management is a tool used by companies to manage meetings according to a set strategy or tool. This will allow the meeting to tackle the right issues and set goals for the meeting. 

How are Strategic Meetings Conducted?

Strategic meetings have a set goal and agenda. These meetings follow a structure where the team discusses important points set by the management. This can be to brainstorm new ideas or discuss problems or goals the company has set. 

Strategic Meetings Management: Final Thoughts

Strategic meetings management platforms will have benefits to any company that embraces and use them. These platforms will assist the business to place all information and detail in one area. 

This will provide a platform where businesses can see if they achieve measurable business objectives set throughout the year. Employees, managers, and stakeholders will have continued access to meetings. Leaving everyone in the loop on what is new, what must change, and where every individual can help. 

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.