On CPO Rising, we like to keep it interesting so we’ve tackled a variety of complex spend categories and how the concept of “Big Data” impacted core strategies, approaches and solutions within these spaces. We continue this viable series as we move into the autumn months, and what better topic to cover after the typical vacation months than meetings and events management.
Although the meetings category can encompass anywhere from 7% to 12% of the average company’s overall budget (industry standard figure), this complex spend arena is often low on the priority scale in terms of program enhancement. Organizations that fail to recognize the value of improving events management are actively leaving valuable data, and intelligence, hidden in the crevasses of the greater enterprise.
In our introduction to the notion of “engagement management,” we said that there are a plethora of nuanced processes and attributes that play into how the modern organization manages its meetings as “engagements” rather than traditional live events due to the newfound focus on engaging attendees for a longer period of time. And, in an age where knowledge can help even the most “classic” of processes in any corporate function, there is value in taking a “Big Data” approach to improving engagement management:
- The post-event survey is more important now than ever. In the “new generation” of events management, the post-event survey (online survey launched to all attendees days or weeks after the conclusion of an event to understand the impact of said event) may not be the most emerging tool, but the data culled from this approach can be the best intelligence in improving all aspects of future meetings, including the quality of content (speakers, presentations, entertainment, etc.) and effectiveness of core messaging.
- If an organization is making the leap to event management automation, analytics should be a top priority. Analytics is still a newer game within the technological landscape of meetings management technology, yet in just a few short years since the concept of “Big Data” emerged across the globe, this tool has become perhaps the most critical of all in solution selection criteria. For organizations that are just now realizing the value of automating the events management function and supporting a wide range of processes (sourcing, marketing, registration, etc.), analytics should be a top priority. Can a prospective solution dig deep into “360-degree” event data, such as spending, suppliers, attendee and quality?
- Attendee information is the most valuable data of all. The core of engagement management revolves around the event attendee…and intelligence regarding how attendees perceive live meetings is quite valuable in shaping both future events and the greater events management program (or strategic meetings management program). The quality and effectiveness of an event is often times more important than revenue.
There are several events / management solutions in the meetings management space that are actively contributing to the “Big Data” approach. Active Network, a global solution that cites many household brands as clients, offers a robust platform that pulls from various booking, activity and event schedule sources for real-time views on company-wide meetings management. Active Network is also actively taking a procurement / sourcing approach to helping small- and medium-sized business improve the spend management aspects of their corporate meetings and events by offering SMB-specific capabilities for streamlining and enhancing the RFP process for the entire meetings management program, with controlas a major goal for their client base in this vertical. [Publisher’s sidebar: Watch for our coverage of this recent announcement, “ACTIVE Network to be Acquired by Vista Equity Partners“]
Certain Software, an event management software platform headquartered in San Francisco, recently launched its “Event Success Hub,” a centralized hub of event software partners that offer various capabilities within the greater marketing and event arena. This “ecosystem” (as Certain is deeming it) includes MeetingsMetric as a software partner, a tool that helps organizations measure the return-on-investment of events in unique fashion by taking into account attendee engagement and other factors. This solution also relies upon psychologist influence to measure the “return on events.” (Look for an interesting article soon here on CPO Rising that tackles the notion of “emotional ROI.”)