57% of travel managers now booking meetings

The number of business travel managers with responsibility for meetings management rose from 52 to 57 per cent in 2014, and those with a strategic meetings management programme in place increased from a quarter (27 per cent) to a third (34 per cent).
These figures were revealed in the Business Travel Show’s annual buyer survey, which has been measuring the convergence of the meetings and travel categories since 2010. The Business Travel Show is Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference bringing together 6,500 European travel professionals. It takes place 25-26 February at Olympia Grand in London.

179 travel buyers took part in the survey, 73 per cent from the UK and the remainder from continental Europe. They were asked two questions –  (1) “Does your remit include meetings management?” and (2) “Do you have a strategic meetings management programme in place?”

(1)Does your remit include meetings management?

2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
yes 57 52 55 40 51
No 43 48 45 60 49

(2) Do you have a strategic meetings management programme in place?

  2014 2013 2012 2011
Yes 34 27 39 30
No 41 45 37 41
Planning to 24 28 27 22

“An increasing number of travel managers may be taking on responsibility for meetings management but that doesn’t mean the transition is without its challenges,” commented Jef Robinson, global category manager (meetings and events), Citrix Systems. 

“It’s tricky to develop a meetings and events process that reduces risk and reduces company expenditure but without planners losing ownership. Selling the concept of SMMP technology within an organisation is also a difficult task but, done well, it’s a transition that will not only help companies to leverage better deals with suppliers but also improve their duty of care.” 

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