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Consistency for Efficiency

Global manufacturing company saves 28 percent of annual meetings spend by centralizing processes


A global manufacturing company hosted a variety of events each year, including large sales meetings and incentive programs for dealers. A group of meeting planners managed sourcing and planning for big-ticket meetings, while administrative assistants took on the work for smaller events. Each team member created their own processes – this lack of standardization meant that, although individual planners created successful events, the company didn’t have full visibility into their annual events calendar and meetings spend, and their program couldn’t operate at peak efficiency.


The company had managed their travel program with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) since the 1990s, and travel counselors sometimes handled ad hoc event planning logistics. In 2002, the company’s GBT client manager recommended expanding their relationship with us, and having American Express Meetings & Events help them consolidate and optimize their meetings program.

To start, we created a dedicated onsite team that interacts with internal meeting planners and event sponsors on a daily basis – since 2002, that team has grown from two American Express Meetings & Events employees to 10. The company’s internal meeting planners stayed in role, and with the support of extra hands from our team, could focus their attention on the highest profile events.

Standardizing processes was an important next step, particularly when it came to sourcing and contracting. We segregated sourcing and planning activities so that team members could become experts in their area. Because we organize more than 37,000 meetings each year across our entire client base, we have the knowledge and negotiation savvy to help the client contract rates that save them money. We also regularly train all of the meeting planners – the client’s team and our own – on any new processes and best practices to help them plan even better, more cost- effective events.


We’ve worked constantly over the years to evolve and improve the way the client plans and executes meetings, and to bring more and more events into the centralized program. We supported 253 meetings in 2002, and now 730 meetings go through our shop each year. When the client first consolidated their meetings program, they saved 8 percent on their annual meetings expenses. Thanks to ongoing work to standardize processes, the client saves even more today, cutting costs by 28 percent in 2013.