Is Your SMMP Really Strategic?

Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 11/05/2014

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My friend and leading SMM consultant, Shimon Avish, wrote an interesting article for MeetingsNet recently called “Let’s Take the ‘Strategic’ Out of Strategic Meetings Management”. He raised some interesting commentary about how strategy seems to be missing from most corporate SMMPs.  I couldn’t agree more!  Most companies who oversee the SMMP tend to focus more on the tactical elements of the program versus the strategic direction and oversight of the program.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have a short-, mid- and long-term strategy for my SMMP?
  2. Have I created a robust communication strategy about my SMMP for the company and its various stakeholders?
  3. Do I have adequate change management plans in place to circumvent push-back towards the SMMP?
  4. Am I monitoring my delivery process and policies to ensure their relevance with my stakeholders and users?
  5. Am I aggregating and reporting the stakeholder specific data points via dashboards and reports on a regular basis?

If the answer to any of the above is no, then you’re not being strategic enough.  So many SMMPs are focused more on the delivery of meetings and events than they are the overall program benefits and quantifiable metrics to justify its budget and existence.  I cringe whenever I hear an SMM program manager rant about the way a registration site looks, or how their users are having to input budget information, etc.  I’ve seen SMMPs drown in the tactical whirlpool created by corporate users who intentionally or unintentionally changed the focus of the SMMP from strategic to tactical.

If this is your situation, act now!  Don’t let stakeholders and users change your focus from strategic to tactical – you have to rise above the reflex to address the tactical challenges and stay focused on the strategic delivery of your program.  Leave the tactical challenges and issues to others on your team, your third party intermediary and/or technology suppliers. Don’t be distracted.  Being a strategic leader is like being on a diet; you will have many temptations to deviate from that diet, but if you stay focused and disciplined, you will achieve your objective.  Focus your SMMP “diet” on remaining a strategic leader and don’t succumb to the tactical temptations.

If you would like to read the full article, click here:

Best regards,

Kevin Iwamoto, GLP & GTP

Vice President of Industry Strategy


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