Meeting Manager is 100% demand driven in anything we do. It is a platform designed for procurement purposes and as such differs from all the other online platforms that we know in a number of key areas:
First of all, it means that you get everything on a net-net basis (whether it is your own contract rates or our MM Net Rates) and that the data about your spend are complete and exhaustive. That gives you the best possible starting point for future vendor negotiations.
The idea for the platform was partially derived from our experience with corporate travel and aviation where the Internet turned the market place upside down, changed business models and service configurations. In many ways, we see that the meetings market looks like the corporate travel market 10-15 years ago:
- Highly fragmented market with a large number of suppliers
- Virtually all business transactions take place via mail, phone and personal contact
- There is little or no transparency, which makes accurate benchmarking almost impossible
- Personal relations between meeting planners and venue staff are strong
In Denmark companies spend over DKK 5bn per year and most large companies have volume based supplier contracts. Very few companies enjoy insights into their own spend in the shape of consolidated data - both on the supply side and the demand side:
- How much money are spent in total on external meetings (all companies, we have met, found out they spent more than they imagined)
- How large a portion of the total spend is spent outside contracts (we see too many agreements not being utilised to their capacity)
- How large are the savings? How many savings are missed? (we often see that the initial proposal is accepted and no negotiations take place)
Planning the annual Management Strategy Seminar is infinitely more complex than buying an air ticket to London online - not doubt. But reality is that 80% of all meetings are based on standardised meeting packages and combinations of those. That's why it's more than likely that some of the many advantages and savings achieved by moving travel procurement online may be achieved for meetings, too. And our customers have proved this statement to be true.
Meeting Manager is built to address the challenges facing category managers. The key prerequisite is data and since data are created with the individual meeting planner, we had to create a platform that also addressed the meeting planners' needs - taking the need for direct communication and personal contact into account.
Have we been tempted to adopt the same business model as everyone else and receive 10-15% commission on your spend? Sure it as - it's 5-6 times more revenue than our current price level. But we aim for long-term relationships sustained by mutual interests. That objective is incompatible with being dependent on income from our customers' suppliers.