Measuring The Effectiveness of Your SMMP Program

measuring smmp effectiveness, kpi's, event planning, austin, texas, atx, atx event systems, production, events, texasYour Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP) is up and rolling. Whether it’s a new program you put in place, an old program you fine-tuned, or an existing, successful program, you feel good about the direction your program is moving.

Though things seem to be working well – your processes were implemented without much of a hitch and everyone is onboard – how do you really know it’s working? It’s easy to look in from the outside (and even the inside) and say that it’s successful because people are using it, but overall adoption of your program is not necessarily an indicator of success. And even if that is one of your indicators, it’s certainly not the only thing that will measure the success of your SMMP.

You cannot determine the success of your program unless you can actively measure it and you cannot measure it if you don’t have Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in place to create your benchmarks.

Creating KPIs for an SMMP is not necessarily difficult, but it can be challenging to decide which metrics matter the most to you and your organization. At the end of the day, you want to be able to go to your executive team and report, with confidence, that your program is successful. And if it’s not, you want to be able to have transparency into why, so that you can come ready with ideas and plans to fix the inefficiencies.

If you are ready to start measuring the success of your SMMP (which you should be!), but don’t know where to begin, then we have some ideas for you. It’s important to remember that key metrics will differ depending on your industry, your purposes for the program, and your goals, so these ideas can be flexible depending upon your needs.

Common KPIs for SMMPs

Creating a set of concrete KPIs for measuring your strategic meetings management program can seem like a tall order. There aren’t a lot of best practices out there as far as benchmarking these types of programs and since each program is different, there aren’t many models you can track down and use as a basis for your own tracking.

That said, here are a few KPIs that we think can be tracked by nearly all SMMPs and can be shaped to match your organization’s unique needs.

  • The total number of meetings conducted and cancelled, segmented by type (internal vs. external, training/conferences vs. sales, etc.). It’s a good practice to create a normalized category structure for the types of meetings your organization has so that each person is recording them the same way.
  • Average spend per meeting. Ideally, this would be something that will trend down overtime after the SMMP kickoff. However, it is good to get this data point segmented by category as well so you can determine, with more accuracy, which areas are successful and which need work. The more distilled you can get with your data, the better off you’ll be when trying to make recommendations for moving forward.
  • Average spend per supplier. Again, getting granular with your data is essential. Not only do you want to see the spend breakdown per type of meeting, but you want to know how much you spend per vendor. This can help with optimizing vendors and sources.
  • Savings and/or cost avoidance achieved by the SMMP. Anytime you have a cost that is associated with savings or cost avoidance with the SMMP vs. without, you want to track those numbers. This is a direct way to show the value of the program.
  • Satisfaction of attendees, meeting owner, and other stakeholders. An SMMP is not just about cost savings and streamlining processes, it’s about bettering the experience for attendees and all others involved in the process. Putting out regular surveys or creating an easily accessible feedback loop for all stakeholders is a good way to capture that data.

As a rule of thumb, it’s generally best to determine your KPIs at the outset of developing your program, rather than waiting until it’s already in motion. However, there are many reasons why this step could come later: budget restrictions, time constraints, existing programs, and many other factors could mandate that you implement your KPIs well into the program’s lifecycle. Regardless of the stage of your program, having clear and concrete KPIs that you can measure against each week/month/year is a critical part of your program’s ongoing success.