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April 25, 2007
Leading New York Research Firm Launches Revolutionary
Meeting Measurement System, MeetingMetricsSM
New York City – In today’s bottom-line oriented business world, providing a return on investment (ROI) for large corporate expenditures is no longer optional – it’s required. Corporations and associations spend millions of dollars each year hosting meetings and conventions, and now these expenditures are falling under the proverbial microscope of corporate executives. That is why GuideStar Research – a leader in customer and employee satisfaction research – has launched a cutting-edge new meeting measurement system called MeetingMetricsSM. This revolutionary online system promises to change the way corporations and associations plan and execute meetings and conventions.

“This meeting measurement system was custom-built by GuideStar’s seasoned research professionals, many of whom hold doctorates in the psychological and behavioral sciences,” said Ira Kerns, managing director for MeetingMetricsSM. “Its surveys are a direct result of over 20 years of meeting and research intelligence.”

But you don’t have to be a research professional to use MeetingMetricsSM. In fact, the system is so user-friendly, business professionals can create custom surveys, distribute these surveys and generate specialized reports directly from their desktops. The interactive system provides users with a large bank of proven research questions for easy inclusion into surveys. And, users may create their own custom survey questions specific to their particular meeting or convention.

Recognizing that even the most computer and business savvy users may find survey construction quite an arduous task, MeetingMetricsSM offers assistance from a pool of seasoned research professionals who are uniquely qualified to create the most effective meeting measurement surveys. What’s more, these professionals can assist with survey result interpretation so users get the most out of each and every use of MeetingMetricsSM.

“The intent is to enable meeting planners to easily gather pre-meeting benchmark information and post-meeting feedback from sponsors, speakers and attendees,” said Kerns. “They can use this information to better anticipate the needs and wants of these groups and ultimately produce a meeting uniquely scripted to meet these needs. And – once a meeting has been held – post-meeting research provides top executives with important information about the meeting’s impact, or what we call ‘return-on-event’ (ROE).”

And if measuring ROE isn’t enough, the MeetingMetricsSM system has a built-in ROI measurement feature – developed in conjunction with the ROI Institute – that provides further data on the business impacts of meetings and conventions.

“We believe we are setting the platinum standard for meeting measurement,” said Kerns. “MeetingMetricsSM is so well-constructed, we expect this service to become a standard tool in the meetings and conventions industry.”

And it seems the meetings and conventions industry thinks so too. In fact, once the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) learned about MeetingMetricsSM and the value it could bring to the industry, the association -- in conjunction with Starwood Hotels – struck a deal with GuideStar to offer it exclusively to PCMA members for a limited time. This year, during its annual meeting in Toronto, PCMA and Starwood launched the new service to its members.

“MeetingMetricsSM gives our members a tangible way to measure the impact of their meetings,” said PCMA CEO & President Deborah Sexton. “Thanks to our partnership with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, PCMA has been able to offer exclusive access to this valuable new service to our members which will raise the level of professionalism in the meetings industry.”

Through this exclusive offer, PCMA members are able to purchase MeetingMetricsSM licenses for a discounted fee through September of 2007. When the offer expires, licenses will be sold to all other interested parties. MeetingMetricsSM licenses are sold on an annual, single-user basis and may be used for measurement of one meeting or event per year. Additional meeting packages and user licenses can be purchased at a discounted price, as well as other services and options.

Licenses are available for purchase on-line at www.MeetingMetrics.com or by contacting MeetingMetrics at 212-426-6222.

The Value of Meeting Measurement Long before GuideStar Research had the idea for an online meeting measurement system, the company has been providing meeting research and measurement services through the traditional firm-for-hire business model to a laundry list of first-rate, Fortune 500 clients. Corporate giants like Johnson and Johnson, Audi and American Express all have enlisted the help of GuideStar’s seasoned research team and clients continue to come back for more.
Like Brooke Sommers, a certified meeting manager and Sun Microsystems' manager of events. Sommers plans two large internal field representative meetings each year and says that the research GuideStar has compiled for her and her team help maximize the outcomes of these meetings.

“I think it (meeting research) helps prepare for the meeting that you are planning, the content you are developing, and what the field is looking for,” said Sommers. “I think pre- and post-event research is imperative. That way, you can measure what you expected to get out of a meeting versus what you actually got out of it.”

Sommers also maintains that meeting measurement and research has affected the attitudes and behaviors of the field representatives who attend her meetings.

“When you design a meeting around survey feedback, the field says ‘Wow, they were listening to us,” said Sommers. “And, if you show them you are listening, they will fight harder for you in the field.”

Diane Shoemaker, director of dealer and brand communications for International Truck and Engine Corporation, is another GuideStar client who believes the value of meeting measurement is far-reaching. Each year, International Truck hosts a 650-person dealer meeting and for the past three years, the company has found pre- and post-meeting measurement to be key in creating successful meetings.

“We have used these important, key dimensions for three years now so we’re actually able to benchmark just how perceptions and attitudes have changed over time,” said Shoemaker. “Clearly, by measuring before and after the meeting, we can tie some sort of direct correlation with the meeting. This surveying methodology has allowed us to track how we are impacting dealers’ perceptions and attitudes.”

According to Shoemaker, International Truck and Engine’s executive management now has a better grasp on the financial and business impacts of each dealer meeting.

“It has helped put the meeting in a different perspective with executive management because, prior to this, there wasn’t a return on our investment or a return-on-event,” Shoemaker began. “Now, I can show them empirical evidence that the meeting and the money that was spent was well-spent, and there was a tangible benefit from it. So, I certainly think it has given the meeting some credibility.”

As for her experience with GuideStar, Shoemaker says the research firm’s service is unmatched.

“Our experience has been so positive with GuideStar Research that I would recommend them without reserve,” she said. “I’ve been nothing but impressed by them. They are very informed, they are very proactive, they are very responsive. I find their analysis after the fact to be very much on target.”

 
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