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January 25, 2016
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Americas: A New Way to Launch a Strategic Meetings Management Program


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As you all know, I am a big believer in strategic meetings management. And as you also know, I am often perplexed by the fact that many organizations have not adopted the three core requirements of SMM: a comprehensive meetings policy, standardized processes and procedures for sourcing and planning, and a meetings technology platform to assist in sourcing, attendee management, budgeting and reporting. I have written on this topic many, many, many, many times.

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Photo by Freeimages.com/Daniel Souza

As an industry consultant, I have advised companies on how to design, build and operate their SMM programs, and I stress the importance of using common change-management techniques such as creating consensus and buy-in from key stakeholders (business owners, internal meeting planners, and senior executives) at the beginning of the project. That’s as opposed to gaining buy-in during implementation without having already collected their input. Not involving stakeholders in the design phase of the initiative inevitably leads to resistance to the program, and can even cause a cascade effect whereby multiple divisions, operating companies, or countries, get an exemption from the program.

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