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A Strategic Approach To Small Meetings

A peaked demand for information and a call to action from the NBTA Groups and Meetings Committee to share strategies and trends relating to small meetings prompted the development of this paper. Given recent advances in small meetings strategies and changing economic conditions, we realize the importance of gathering and sharing our findings, observations and best practices. Further, meeting, procurement, travel and finance professionals are being asked to identify new and innovative strategies for managing small meetings and tap into unrealized savings opportunities.

In May of 2009, the NBTA Groups and Meetings Committee set out to identify and validate small meetings best practices and emerging trends by surveying member companies. The survey respondents represented a cross-section of industries including: consumer products, health care, financial institutions, manufacturing, technology, professional services firms and others. Nearly 60% of those surveyed already have a small meetings program in place, and a majority of the remaining respondents are considering implementation of programs in the future. However, because the survey respondents are primarily meeting professionals with some degree of Strategic Meeting Management already in place, the fact that 60% have small meetings programs, is not indicative of the industry as a whole. As reported by several industry providers, an average of only one in three, or 33% currently have a small meetings program in place. This paper presents a discussion and analysis of survey findings on topics such as:

• The reasons for implementing a small meetings program
• Small meetings strategies and solutions
• Tips for determining the best methodology for your organization

As a guiding principle of all successful SMMP initiatives, including small meetings management, it is important to tailor strategies to the culture of the organization and its past experiences with similar initiatives.
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NBTA Groups & Meetings Committee
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Date Modified: Sep 2, 2009
Date Last Modified: Sep 2, 2009
Category: GBTA Resources