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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  August 02, 2011

Trends on Meeting Expenses

Good news:  Corporate America spent nearly 22% more on meetings last year than they did in 2009.  The bad news:  they are not happy about it.  According to a recent study by The Aberdeen Group, reducing costs/increasing savings of both face-to-face and virtual meetings (now considered 30% of total meetings) is the top pressure faced by 66% of respondents.  Two plans for reducing costs:

  • Change the structure to include more virtual meetings (59%), reduce the number of attendees (44%), and reduce the length (36%).  Also on the radar:  cutting meetings that provide to be unnecessary.
  • Narrow the field of suppliers (such as hotels and airlines), resulting in fewer resources with bigger deals.  More layers of agreements and policies make sure these suppliers (and not anyone else) are used.

Why do you care about this?  Processes for measuring ROI on all expenses — such as speaker fees — are on the upswing.  We can no longer dodge this bullet.

My crystal ball prediction:  watch for these buyers to go to several speaker bureaus and say something like, “We need XXX speakers and can only spend $xxx.  We want XXX for the keynote.  We need someone like XXX for the entertainment.  Here are our specs on the rest of the sessions.  Let the bidding begin.”  And then the bureaus go back to speakers and negotiate fees.  They will give the biggest fees to the keynote and the entertainment; and then sing the “budget blues” to everyone else.

Bottom line:  your brand must compete for the biggest share of that budget.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.