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April 16, 2008

MPI teams with EIPM for Europe-wide purchasing report

Following its collaboration with UK’s Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply for the procurement guide for events, Meetings Professionals International (MPI) has partnered with the European equivalent – the European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) – to take the same formula across Europe.

‘Meeting and Event Purchasing – An Analysis of Business Relationships in Europe’ is the a research paper that looks at the buyer-supplier relationship across the continent.

The research initiated by MPI was conducted by EIPM with the aim to define best commercial practice in the procurement phase, within the meetings and events sector.

The research included a review of all the available literature on the subject and an in-depth survey of corporate buyers and agencies. The Qualitative Study showed that while the techniques may vary, strong relationships based on mutual trust remain the common bedrock of the agency-client interface. However, it seems that these are too often tainted by mutual distrust and misunderstanding. An ignorance of each other’s needs and objectives is a recurring theme.

The headline, “50% of buyers indicate that they have a purchasing strategy for meetings and events” introduces the Quantitative Study, which may or may not be encouraging news, but the survey found that even those companies with a strategy often had a less than consistent approach to selecting, hiring and managing agencies.

The authors identified three levels of maturity among corporate buyers and provide a handy yardstick for assessing these. They go on to suggest that best practice could be defined as procedures to improve: The quality of the relationship; the financial management of the project; and the success of the corporate meeting or event.

The report ends with recommendations for improving client/agency relationships, under the headings: Formalisation, Creativity and Image.

Joyce Dogniez, CMM, MPI director of operations EMEA, said: "It is the first time that meetings industry research on the relationship between procurement, meeting planning and agency services has been conducted in Europe and we are delighted to be the initiator of it. MPI’s role is about identifying challenges facing the industry and the report will be a valuable tool for all our members to maximise their business relationships.”

The research will be presented as part of the EIBTM Agency Programme on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 November. The seminar session is titled ‘Try to understand better who is buying & how’ and will be presented by Bernard Garcia, European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM).
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