September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Procurement is playing an increasing role in meetings management, Birgit Roeterdink, an independent consultant, said.She said the move towards globalisation in the business travel was now being followed by meetings management.“It was unthinkable that procurement involved in meetings management a few years ago. But we all have the same costs and companies have realised that procurement practices can make huge savings Ms Roeterdink, who works with Inkx Projects in The Netherlands, said procurement focused on value and strategy in an industry which was very de-centralised.She was speaking at the first joint meeting of the Belgian Association of Travel Management (BATM) and the Belgian chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) this week in Brussels. She said the increased focus on meetings was leading corporates to adopt a Strategic Meetings Management Programme (SMMP).She said the important starting point for an SMMP was data consolidation which she warned could take years to collect. "It is one of the most important things in our industry. TMCs know this but meeting management companies still have to get through it," she said.Senior management s asking for more and more back up information about meetings, like the cost of air fares and why such a destination has been chosen, Ms Roeterdink said."Without data consolidation, it is difficult to get the sponsorship of senior management and if you don't have that, forget it, you will not get anywhere," she said. Ms Roeterdink told the 90 delegates that procurement departments would use an SMMP to control spend through strategic measuring, strategic buying, improved contracting and automated RFPs.They would also use their negotiating skills with the consolidated data to get the best price available. They would also align policies and processes to achieve savings."You can achieve a decrease in operational costs through using one department, one copy. It is more cost-effective to have the same policies," she said.