For as much talk and application the principles of Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) have in the workplace, there’s one category of use where most meeting professionals fall down.
SMM is your best career buddy because it provides quantifiable, clear progress to goals, and everyone should realize that in order to know how much you are worth, you have to know the value you have provided to the organization.
According to the definition from Meeting Professionals International, “Strategic Meeting Management drives meetings to achievable and measurable outcomes, aligned with viable business objectives that drive business success.”
In short, SMM encourages both suppliers and planners to keep track of on-the-job metrics.
But what you need to know is that you should keep this information as a record of your own personal accomplishments in order to tell your career story.
You need to take those SMM principles and then apply them to yourself.
- How have you improved business performance?
- How have you boosted the effectiveness or efficiency of meetings/events?
- What business outcomes have you achieved?
There are so many different ways to measure and think about how your work has made a difference to your employer.
Whether you are increasing visibility, mitigating risk, ensuring compliance or generating cost savings, there are usually numbers attached to those initiatives, and that’s where the real gems in terms of the value of what you bring to the table are to be found.
Boil it down even further, and the results you need to track are pretty simple: Did you make money, save money or save time? Or, for non-profits, try to think about what your goals are: Did you expand services, reach more people or create better exposure?
The devil is in the details, as they say, and this applies to SMM and your career.
Time flies by very quickly, and it is easy to lose track of prior accomplishments under the grind of current tasks. Many people can’t even remember what they did yesterday, let alone what they worked on five years ago!
So it is your job to start a file (electronic or printed), which will serve as your repository (or memory bank) so you can have a standing record of how you have performed against the metrics upon which your work has been judged.
Sources for finding this information include post-event recaps, BEOs (banquet event orders), staff reports, company reports, sales reports, performance reviews, client kudos letters and email correspondence.
Retain information and data and use that as a basis on which to base your career story.
SMM is used by companies to gauge progress and growth of their vision and goals; it should be used by you to assess how you have helped organizations move from Point A to Point B.
The best part is that the meeting industry has already created some great measurement tools for establishing and tracking metrics, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
But what you do need to do is take the information from SMM and apply it towards yourself so you can see what a big difference you truly make.
And that’s where SMM becomes your best career buddy.