Successful Meetings Releases 2016 Procurement Trends Survey Results

Posted by Kevin Iwamoto on 11/19/2015

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Recently, Successful Meetings sent out a survey to their readership about their procurement strategies.  

Of the respondents, 66% were corporate planners, 27% worked for associations, and 7% were independent or third-party planners. And of that number, 64% reported the procurement departments in their organizations had some involvement in the planning of their meetings.  

That brought a smile to my face, because many of you know when I was President and CEO of NBTA (now GBTA), I actually predicted that corporate procurement departments would get more involved with meetings and events sourcing and supplier procurement — just like they did after enjoying successes after getting involved with corporate travel programs.

When I met with the board executives for various meetings and events associations and trade groups, I was told by everyone that this could never happen — because meetings and events are so specialized that they were beyond commoditization by procurement.  

That’s ironic, I thought to myself, because that’s the same push-back that corporate travel departments and programs were making — but procurement won that battle.

Fast-forward to today, and the results prove that I wasn’t crazy — I was right!  

Here are some of the big takeaways from the survey (condensed for this blog post).  

You’ll find the full story here.

What will your organization's estimated meetings spend be for 2016?

More than $50M: 5%
$20M - $50M: 6%
$10M - $19M: 5%
$6M - $9M: 2%   
$1M - $5M: 27%
$500,000 - $999,999: 14%
$250,000 - $499,999    : 19%
Less than $250,000: 22%

How does your organization manage its meetings spend?

Through an internal meetings manager: 47%   
Through an internal meetings department: 21%   
Through an internal corporate travel procurement department: 19% 
Outsourced to a third-party meeting planning company: 14% 
Outsourced to a third-party corporate travel procurement department: 0%

If your organization has an internal procurement department, how involved is it in managing your meetings spend?

Not involved: 36%   
Somewhat involved: 32%
Very involved: 32%


What meetings procurement practices does your organization have in place?

Limits contract signing authority: 64%  
Requires use of onsite meeting space when feasible: 54%
Requires standard payment process: 51%   
Requires senior-level approval of individual meetings: 47%    
Requires the use of designated meeting planner: 39%   
Requires use of standard RFP: 38%
Pre-negotiated meetings facility contracts: 37%  
Requires use of preferred meeting suppliers: 33%   
Requires facility sourcing by procurement/mtgs./travel dept.: 31%
Requires at least three bids for any contract: 25%   
Pre-negotiated ancillary charges for meetings: 18%   
Requires use of video conferencing when applicable: 16%   
Requires use of preferred transient suppliers: 13%


What meetings expense items does your organization consolidate for procurement purposes?

Hotel accommodations: 75%   
Site selection costs: 46%
Food and beverage: 64%   
Meeting space/facility rental: 62% 
Audiovisual services: 56%   
Airfare:  53%   
Ground transportation: 42%  
Speakers: 36%   
Event promotion/marketing: 34%  
Event production: 33%   

What are the benefits from consolidating the purchasing of meetings expense items?

Budgetary control: 80%   
Leveraging volume with suppliers: 44%
Improved quality: 42%   
Reduced liability: 29%   
Sourcing documentation: 25%   
Reduced headcount: 5%

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