MPI Sets Benchmarks for Measuring the Business Value of Meetings

Globally, less than 10 percent of meetings are currently measured for business value, according to Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which yesterday released the results of a new study that identifies key benchmarks in the measurement of the business value of meetings, encompassing: the percentage of businesses that measure, barriers to implementation, crucial programming elements for organizational success and key skills needed for personal success.

Introduced during Reed Travel Exhibitions' inaugural Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) in Baltimore, the "Business Value of Meetings" study is based on interviews of 261 corporations in 27 countries, which said collectively that the decision to measure the business value of meetings typically hinges on whether or not clear business objectives have been established for the meeting.

Unfortunately, MPI found, organizations often rely exclusively on financial objectives and return on investment (ROI); if the meeting lacks clear monetary goals, it's often deemed — incorrectly — immeasurable, in which case organizations often revert to "implied ROI" and traditional satisfaction surveys.

On the contrary, the study asserts, events can be measured universally provided that measurement initiatives include: clearly defined meeting and event objectives, appropriately designed data collection methods and thorough evaluation of results.

Additionally, planner interviews revealed, successful measurement hinges on the meeting planner's aptitude for design — properly designing surveys to align with objectives — and analysis: analyzing data in order to make statistically reliable suggestions for improvement.

Based on its findings, MPI plans to develop a suite of business tools that meeting professionals can use to introduce meeting value measures to their events, answering questions such as:

1. How can I address low perception of ROI?
2. How can I get stakeholder buy in to measurement programs?
3. How do I define objectives of large and small scale events, and define expectations of leaders?
4. How can I devise meaningful ways to measure value?
5. What are the proper methods for analyzing and reporting value data?

"This research enables our members and industry colleagues for the first time to assess their own practices against established, global benchmarks," said MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan. "We now have the critical data to direct the development of tools and resources our professional community needs to speak the language of business and advance best practices in value measurement."

For more information about the "Business Value of Meetings" study, including complete findings, visit