What you should know about “next-gen SMM”

May 21st, 2014

Readers of this blog know that Omnience regularly “beats the drum” for our manifesto: make events earn their keep.Top management should require every event in an organization’s event portfolio to have measurable goals.

For example, management might require achievable ROI goals before marketing events can be approved. Likewise, approval of a training event might require the event sponsor to define how it will improve quality levels.  If a proposed event doesn’t have measurable goals and it still happens, someone isn’t doing their job.

Obviously, not all events will meet their planned goals.  The whole purpose of measurement is to learn from past experience so that we can take actions to improve future results of the entire event portfolio.

I have long been troubled that the practice of strategic meetings management (SMM) focused on measuring the cost of events, not their outcomes.  I’m delighted to learn that focus is now changing.

Recently MeetingsNet editor Barbar Scofidio reported on a panel discussion and brainstorming session at the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders event in Boston. The topic:  redefining SMM.  Participants, she wrote, agreed that first-generation SMM “evolved from meetings and travel organizations focused on procurement, and it is rooted in spend management.”

Next-gen SMM, said panelist Carolyn Pund of Cisco Systems, should also encompass the purpose and effectiveness of events – showing “what the customer touch is as a result of those events, event over event, year over year, so you have ROI from a holistic view.”

Kudos to PCMA for this important step forward. In closing, I’ll add a shameless plug:  Next-gen SMM is already here.

Casey Cote

Casey Cote

Casey Cote is the Chief Executive Officer for Omnience. Joining the company in 1995, Casey established its strategic direction as the industry leader in marketing event management and a technology innovator. He launched initiatives that made the company a pioneer in applying technology to the challenges of managing a large portfolio of events. Casey is also actively involved in managing customer relationships, seeking out partners and acquisitions, and directing the company’s expansion into new markets. Previously, Casey managed forecasting and budgets at Sprint.

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