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HRG Meetings Groups and Events reveals the four stage journey to a successful global programme

The world is a small place and being global, going global and working on a global stage are all everyday occurrences.  However as a recent report by Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) the international corporate services company, reveals for many global businesses taking their meetings, groups and events (MGE) programme onto a global stage isn’t a straightforward process.  .

Amanda Hanlin, Director of Global Sales for HRG MGE comments: “Over two thirds of the companies we spoke to have discovered real challenges to what should seem to be a very simple process of taking a MGE programme global. 

“Quite often the challenge is one of perception; we see four stages on the global journey: the first is local, the second is consolidated which moves to strategic and finally to, fully-optimised.  Many businesses aren’t quite where they thought they were.  More often than not a MGE programme will actually be localised whereas the business might assume it is more consolidated in nature. Once we establish together where they are, we can then work to help them collect the knowledge and data they need to ensure their business is ready for the phases of going global.”

HRG defines the four stages as follows:
Stage 1: A local service is often characterised by a lack of policy with no approval process or supplier.  Meetings are not logged centrally and are contracted on a per event basis.
Stage 2: A consolidated approach provides some level of strategy together with basic policies and approvals based on those minimal policies; there will be some level of registration process and existing technology but adoption will be low.
Stage 3: The third stage of the journey – strategic – sees a defined strategy and the alignment of key stakeholders. There will also be a defined policy across multiple areas, data and common definitions will be in use, savings will be consistently reported and registration and adoption is above 50%.
Stage 4: An optimised programme will have a strategy that is aligned to business objectives and will have business wide support with adoption of the policy at over 80%.  There will be centralised technology supporting all components and strong preferred supplier programmes. Savings will be both defined and reported and an achievement target will have been set.

HRG reports that the journey to a global MGE programme has many rewards along the way.  A UK client who has recently moved from a localised service to a consolidated programme has enjoyed £3.3m savings and has a booker satisfaction score of 99%. A client who is further along the journey and is now running a strategic programme has delivered 20% of savings, enjoys a 7% mitigation of cancellation charges and is now implemented and running accurate data across 40 countries.

The European and North American markets are showing the strongest requirement with over 60% of clients seeking advice and looking to consolidate their MGE programme globally.  A further 22% are also looking to integrate their MGE programme with their transient travel business.

 “This is a good business decision,” continues Amanda Hanlin.  “The growth in demand for managed MGE programmes began in the back half of 2011.  We saw a small but growing number of organisations look for help with venue sourcing in markets they considered key for their business.  The first half of 2012 has seen demand continue to grow and to grow quickly.  More companies realise that there is great potential for savings, as well as the recognition that they need better control, visibility and risk mitigation in this area.

“We talk regularly with global procurement teams who have their transient travel under control and are now seeking counsel on how to leverage their MGE business.  The report showed an 8% increase in the number of clients who are consolidating their transient travel and MGE business.  These companies are increasing their cost saving potential as well as benefitting from reduced risk and increased safety and security measures.”

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