Some of you may have heard, I have recently joined Bizly as the new Chief Strategy Officer, supporting Ron Shah, CEO as he executes his vision of success for Bizly. I’m sure there are many who wonder why, so to avoid any speculation I thought you should hear directly from me.
We are at turning point in the strategic meetings and events industry. The recent pace of technological advances made targeting inefficiencies in our industry has been fast and furious. There’s been challenges to the norms and increased focus on gathering meaningful and relevant data about what, why, when and how much we spend when we meet. It’s no longer enough to focus on cost savings and cost avoidance return on investment (ROI) metrics largely influenced and driven by corporate procurement and strategic meetings management (SMM) category leaders.
As SMM matures, a new category of under-the radar spend has emerged that’s requiring separate strategies and technology to appropriately manage and oversee this area of corporate spend most commonly referred to as small, simple and/or self-service meetings. Corporations especially marketing and sales departments want more specific data points from meetings and events (M&E) technology about return on engagement (ROE) and return on objectives (ROO).
The user group for this spend category is not meeting planners, the methodology for sourcing is not heavily dependent on eRFPs, and the venues are not always hotels. Sourcing, management and oversight of this spend is not ideally mapped to the standard SMM program (SMMP) outline. Forcing and expecting compliance to following SMMP standards will ultimately result in non-compliance from this user group. The assumption that the spend budgets and risks are small enough to ignore is flawed as recent data and studies have shown that on average, more than 50% of corporate meetings fall into this decentralized spend category. That means the aggregated sum of small, simple, and self-service meetings is a large number, possibly bigger than what’s budgeted for SMMP events. The business case for oversight of this area differs from a SMMP business case.
I joined Bizly because this area of category spend is important and demands recognition as a legitimate separate area for corporate attention. Whether it’s managed through a corporate travel department or part of the SMMP, it should be reviewed and assessed by corporations. This is where Bizly is making a difference in creating user experiences that are simple, intuitive and tailored towards the actual end users. The venues are tailored to this category and the workflow processes are designed for the specific end users whether they be novice or experienced. This is exciting, and don’t just take my word, the recent spate of Fortune 100 companies who are coming on board and signing up with Bizly is impressive. There’s an excitement and momentum that Bizly has dutifully built and I want to be part of that momentum and where the action is!
My personal goal is to evangelize and educate the industry on the differences and benefits of managing and reporting on small, simple, and self-service meetings. By joining Bizly I strongly feel we’re uniquely positioned to address the current pain points and manual process inefficiencies by creating new, elegant, simple and intuitive technology that all end users will value as a positive asset to their daily workflow of organizing small, simple, and self-service meetings for their employers. We believe and are convinced if we delight and exceed the actual user’s expectations, then compliance and adoption is less of an issue. More exciting developments to come, so watch this space!