2016 Meeting Procurement Trends


Recently, Successful Meetings sent a survey out to our readership asking them about how they procure goods and services for the meetings they plan. Of the respondents, 54 percent were corporate planners, 27 percent worked for associations, and 19 percent were independent or third party planners. Of that pool, 82 percent reported that their organization managed its meeting spend through an internal meetings manager or an internal meetings department. Here's what else they had to say:

Organizations' estimated meetings spend for 2016:

More than $50M: 4%
$20M to $49.9M: 3%
$10M to $19.9M: 6%
$6M to $9.9M: 8%
$1M to $5.9M: 22%
$500K to $999K: 11%
$250K to $499K: 7%
$100K to $249K: 8%
$50K to $99K  : 10%
Less than $50K: 21%

How organizations manage meetings spend: 

Through an internal meetings manager: 52%
Through an internal meetings department: 30%
Through an internal corporate travel procurement department: 9%
Outsourced to a third party meeting planning company: 7%
Outsourced to a third party corporate travel procurement department: 2%

Internal procurement departments' involvement in managing your meetings spend: 

Somewhat involved: 35%
Very involved: 34%
Not involved: 31%

Are meeting planners required to manage meetings procurement through a central department or technology tool?

Not required: 76%
If a predetermined number of attendees is met: 10%
If a predetermined number of room nights is met: 5%
If the budget exceeds a predetermined limit: 9%

Most common meetings procurement practices:

Requires use of onsite meeting space when feasible: 56%
Limits contract signing authority: 50%
Requires standard payment process: 33%
Requires senior-level approval of individual meetings: 33%
Requires the use of designated meeting planner: 29%
Requires use of standard RFP: 27%
Requires at least three bids for any contract: 23%
Pre-negotiated meetings facility contracts: 23 %
Requires use of preferred meeting suppliers: 19%
Requires use of videoconferencing when applicable: 18%
Requires facility sourcing by procurement/mtgs./travel dept.: 17%
Pre-negotiated ancillary charges for meetings: 13%
Requires use of preferred transient suppliers: 8%

Most common meetings expense items consolidated for procurement purposes: 

Hotel accommodations: 68%
Meeting space/facility rental: 58%
Food and beverage: 58%
Site selection costs: 45%
Airfare: 42%
Audiovisual services: 39%
Ground transportation: 37%
Event Promotion/marketing: 34%
Event production: 30%
Speakers: 21%

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

Budgetary control: 72%
Leveraging volume with suppliers: 42%
Improved quality: 35%
Reduced liability: 16%
Sourcing documentation: 15%
None of the above: 9%
Reduced headcount: 5%

Most common lead-time for planning the offsite meetings: 

Over one year:  32%
6 to 12 months: 48%
3 to 6 months: 39%
1 to 3 months: 37%
2 weeks to 1 month: 16%
Less 2 weeks: 7%
Less than 1 week: 6%

Busiest time of year for hosting meetings:

Q1: 19%
Q2: 32%
Q3: 27%
Q4: 22%