The first international study into what BVOM means to professional meeting planners.

by MPI | June 22, 2011 | (5)
The business value of meetings: You want to prove it, but that’s problematic given the diversity of its definitions. Some claim “BVOM” is synonymous with ROI (return on investment); others contend it is ROO (return on objective). Maybe it’s both, or neither, or simply a degree of achievement.

Witnessing this utter lack of agreement and realizing its responsibility to the meetings community, MPI engaged research firm Association Insights and launched the first international study into just what BVOM means to professional meeting planners and how it is measured, reported and used.

Association Insights interviewed executives at 215 companies worldwide from a bevy of industries including health care, technology, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, finance, pharmaceutical, education, energy, consulting, congress management and legal.

The results: BVOM varies widely by meeting types, as do its measures and their uses. While BVOM is always considered in terms of contribution to company success, that contribution is seldom expressed as ROI, with the exception of meetings that exist exclusively to generate sales leads or revenue.

The definition also varies by industry and region. Some sectors, such as medical and pharmaceutical, have legal and professional requirements that often define BVOM. The business value of trade shows diverges sharply from that of incentive events, which in turn differs from motivational events and sales training. In Europe, where third-party planners are a significant provider of planning and execution services, BVOM measurement and reporting is often used as a competitive differentiator.

As meeting professionals face demands to justify cost, many are asking for help in communicating the value of meetings and events to senior management. They don’t fully understand the techniques for capturing BVOM and communicating it in terms of value. And perceived complexity and cost cause many planners to avoid the practice.

The diversity of opinion on the business value of meetings and the merits of its measurement has led MPI to conclude the necessity of a toolkit that helps meeting professionals a) address the assumption that measuring BVOM provides little ROI, b) attain senior management stakeholder buy-in, c) define objectives and realistic expectations, d) devise meaningful ways to measure the business value of meetings and e) analyze and report BVOM data.

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Comments 5

  1. Claire COURBET 03 Aug




    My name is Claire Courbet (MPI member), and I am currently working on a capstone project for an Events Management Master from the University of Marne-La-Vallée(Paris), in France.

    The subject of my project is the measure of the value of corporate events.

    I would like to get MPI members' point of view on that field in order to get a practical idea of the use of ROI in events.

    I would be grateful if you would participate in this survey, which will take you only 2-minute time.

    Here is a link to the survey:

    Thanks for your participation!

  2. Dianne Devitt 11 Aug

    Claire:  There are white papers that can help you through the Incentive Research Federation, SITE, TBA Global and MPI.   I teach Event Management at NYU and have written a book , What Color is Your Event, that can also be used for case studies to measure effectiveness.   Good luck and let me know if you need further information. 
    Dianne Budion Devitt
  3. Violet Rubino 02 Sep

    My name is Violet Rubino and I agree that the article needs to address the subject in relation to our economic environment.
  4. Carla 20 Sep

    I am with a Global company and plan events for the US division and am in supply chain logistics.  I'm also working on a template to measure ROI and finding it very complex due to the range of events, the audience and various tracking mechanisms out there. It is becoming tougher to justify events, but a key skill we must harness in order to get the best value for our organisations.
  5. lavage de vitre 23 Apr

    I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

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