New research released by American Express Meetings & Events reveals sizeable gaps in established policy, and also between policy and practice, when it comes to companies’ management of meetings and events (M&E).
The study examines the risk that organizations can be exposed to when M&E expenses and activities are not managed through a clear and comprehensive program. The survey compiled the opinions of both meeting planners and leaders , uncovering the differences between company policies and actual behavior. Key findings include:

•           51% of meeting planners believe that risk is not properly mitigated in their organization

•           52% of planners do not receive a budget when meeting planning begins

•           23% of planners sign contracts but only 6% of leaders state that planners are allowed to sign contracts

•           68% of leaders said transparency of all data is a top priority; however, 85% of meeting planners still simply use spreadsheets for their budget tracking

•           64% of planners do not currently have a method to track meeting attendees in a time of crisis

“In an environment of increasing regulatory scrutiny and heightened awareness around security and safety issues, complacency in the meetings and events planning process can have serious financial, legal and reputational consequences,” said Milton Rivera, Vice President, Business Development, American Express Meetings & Events. “This research highlights the disparity between the precautions and procedures meetings leaders and planners feel should be or believe to be in place and actual current activity. It demonstrates how crucial it is for companies’ meeting planning processes to be formalized, documented and controlled as a means to minimize risk.”