Described potential to consolidate internal meetings (under $60,000) at corporate office locations
Explained that consolidation would mitigate corporate risk, align with policy, and focus on the majority of the spend
Showed that they could partner with preferred hotels and venues for favorable pre-negotiated legal terms, benefits, and discounts
Conservatively estimated unmanaged meeting spend
The keys to ongoing success:
Extremely clear guidelines for when the small meetings tech tool was to be used (budget less than $100k) and when employees could use the corporate meeting services team for assistance (see second image below)
Strong ongoing management and reporting
This case study focuses on a large health insurance company that aimed to optimize and streamline its simple meetings, thereby reducing costs, improving efficiency, and enhancing the overall meeting experience. The company recognized the potential for significant savings and sought to implement a holistic solution that encompassed various aspects such as venue selection, technology platforms, and meeting management processes. By adopting a strategic approach and leveraging data-driven insights, the company aimed to achieve a high return on investment (ROI) while ensuring the well-being and safety of its employees. The overarching goal and mantra for this small-simple meetings program was, “Keep it simple.”
Opportunity and Business Case Justification:
The company identified simple meetings as an area that presented a significant opportunity for cost savings and process improvement. By analyzing their current travel policy, they recognized the potential for consolidating all internal meetings (under $60,000) at corporate office locations. This consolidation would mitigate corporate risk, align with the travel policy, and focus on major markets where the majority of transient spend occurred. By partnering with preferred hotels and venues, they could negotiate favorable contracts with pre-negotiated legal terms, benefits, and discounts.
Process and Approach:
To garner executive attention, buy-off, and support, the company employed a strategic and data-driven approach. They conducted thorough research and compiled specific data elements to support their solutions. This included data on the number of total annual transient rooms in four major markets such as New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Cincinnati. By estimating the percentage of simple meetings within this transient spend and multiplying it by the average meeting cost, they arrived at a conservative estimate of unmanaged spend.
Corporate Real Estate Image
The company developed an ecosystem for their simple meeting program/platform, focusing on simplicity and independence for the users. This ecosystem encompassed various elements such as search capabilities, payment options, preferred marketplace partners, corporate-owned office information, and architecture. They also created an intuitive one-page internal meeting workflow diagram that provided clear education and process documentation for all stakeholders.
The bottom line was to create policies, guidelines, and a process for the post pandemic workforce that management was targeting to return to their corporate headquarters and regional offices. Executive leadership needed incentives to entice people to return to the office, so by creating well defined policies, guidelines and processes targeting these daily small and simple meetings, returning employees had a blueprint to follow when encountering the demand to organize these smaller daily meetings. Not having anything in place for the returning workforce would have resulted in chaos, policy non-compliance, loss of valuable data and would potentially compromise employee safety and security.
Meeting Structure and Levels of Service:
To cater to different budget sizes and complexity, the company developed an event structure with various levels of service. These levels ranged from self-service options for smaller meetings to full-service support for larger and more complex events. Each level came with specific responsibilities for meeting owners and provided the necessary services, such as venue sourcing, negotiation, contracting, registration support, and budgeting assistance. The company employed a combination of technology platforms, such as Bizly for smaller meetings and larger event platforms like Cvent or Lenos for more extensive gatherings.
Return on Investment (ROI):
Through their comprehensive approach, the company aimed to achieve a significant ROI by optimizing the management of simple meetings. By consolidating meetings at corporate office locations, negotiating favorable contracts, and leveraging technology platforms, they anticipated substantial cost savings. By providing an intuitive and user-friendly experience, they aimed to enhance employee satisfaction and engagement during meetings. The company planned to track and measure the ROI by comparing the actual savings achieved with the estimated unmanaged spending.
This case study highlights the transformation of simple meetings for a large health insurance company, with the objective of reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and improving the overall meeting experience. By adopting a strategic approach and leveraging data-driven insights, the company aimed to achieve a high return on investment while prioritizing employee well-being and safety. The opportunity for cost savings and process improvement was identified through the consolidation of internal meetings at corporate office locations, aligning with the travel policy and focusing on major markets.
By partnering with preferred hotels and venues, the company negotiated favorable contracts and implemented a comprehensive ecosystem for their simple meeting program. This ecosystem included search capabilities, payment options, preferred marketplace partners, and clear process documentation. Different levels of service were established to cater to varying budget sizes and complexities, ensuring appropriate support for meeting owners.
Through the implementation of this holistic solution and the use of technology platforms, the company anticipated significant cost savings and improved employee satisfaction and engagement. The return on investment will be measured by comparing actual savings with estimated unmanaged spending. By focusing on simplicity and utilizing a data-driven approach, the company aimed to streamline their meeting processes and achieve their objectives successfully.