It’s time for meeting stakeholders, professionals and even attendees to show real leadership when it comes to measuring the business value of their meetings.
I’ve been wracking my brain for an explanation as to why our industry has such an aversion to measurement. The U.S. meeting industry alone directly supports 1.7 million jobs and US$263 billion in spending.
Yet few conference or meeting owners can say what they’re getting for their investments. It boggles the mind. It defies logic and reason. It’s utterly irresponsible. How can this be?
Research professor Dr. Brené Brown, who delivered a keynote presentation at IMEX America in October, has an interesting message. (Check out her talks at TEDx.) She speaks about the roles our emotions play, consciously and unconsciously, in the everyday decisions we make—emotions such as fear, shame and vulnerability.
And it’s these dark emotions that are at the root of why the meeting industry hasn’t embraced measurement as a means for determining why meetings matter. It’s a collective state of denial that undermines the industry’s professional credibility and prevents its professionals from driving the change and innovation that organizations are so desperate for.
But even defining value can be difficult because meetings have a variety of tangible and intangible outcomes. In the words of one CFO, “Just because it’s hard to quantify, doesn’t mean it can’t be.” And the fact that some organizations are successfully measuring the business value of their meetings is proof it can actually be accomplished.
So what’s stopping us? Perception vs. Reality (the first of five white papers related to MPI’s Business Value of Meetings research) identifies a number of false perceptions about measurement under which meeting stakeholders and professionals alike operate.
- We’re bound to fail, because measurement is so complicated.
- We can’t measure success, because we can’t define our objectives.
- We’re not going to try, because measurement costs too much in time and resources.
Contrast the excuses with the benefits of measurement.
- We run more efficient meetings, because we define our objectives.
- We can better defend our budgets, because we measure meaningful outcomes.
- We contribute more value to our stakeholders, because we focus on results.
The value of measurement couldn't be clearer. Visit MPI's business value of meetings research page for the tools you need to start measuring your success.
business value of meetings,
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One+ April 2012,