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The Smaller, The Better!

Getting a handle on ‘small’ meetings can make them more productive and less costly

Size does matter. With most organizations, large meetings command maximum attention from planners, meeting owners and other managers. And why not? An event attracting hundreds or even thousands of participants mandates a major investment of both human and financial resources.

But at the other end of the spectrum, small and medium-sized meetings may garner much less focus when it comes to careful management. Yet according to some estimates, smaller meetings can account for as much as 80 percent of a company’s overall meeting spend. Since small incremental costs can add up to large aggregate spend, getting a handle on these expenditures, as well as related risk management and data collection issues, may be in the best interest of meeting owners, meeting managers, meeting planners and travel managers.

Carolyn Maloney, meeting and events global program director for Carlson Wagonlit Travel defines small meetings as those with 25 or fewer attendees. She says paying attention to the success of such meetings, as well as mid-sized events, can bring several positive results.

“Visibility around small meetings can help an organization design faster contracting processes, leverage overall supplier volume and deliver custom concessions at the event level,” Maloney says.

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