New bookings strategy

20 September 2007

Our adviser panel were asked the question:

Buying venue space for offsite meetings and conferences is common in my company, but spend and bookings are not being tracked. I have now been asked to develop a central-bookings strategy and create a company policy. What steps should I take?

- Commercial buyer, Midlands

Our advisers said:

* Reiterate that the requisition is the only authority by which a demand can be placed on external providers. No venue space can be procured unless they are requested on an authorised requisition.

* As meetings spend is estimated to be equal to 60 per cent of the total corporate air-travel expenditure, a solution is urgently required. We label such an undertaking as a "strategic meetings management" (SMM) programme.

* Your chosen venue-finding specialist supplier must be capable of building centralised policies and procedures that reduce internal costs; negotiating robust savings; implementing expedient desktop online tools; and providing quality MI that delivers cost savings accountability.

Can you recommend any other steps?

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