Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Data Poet Laureate

Yesterday I talked about putting data to work for you. In my early years as a meeting professional, I never--in my wildest dreams--would have considered environmental impact data vitally important to the future of my meetings. But times have changed and so has the role of today's meeting professional.

My thanks to our Data Poet Laureate, Shawna McKinley, for patiently teaching me the significance of measuring and reporting on the conferences we manage. She is the driving force here at MeetGreen and has made believers of even the most skeptical on the team.

For example: we measure both client events and our internal practices to determine if there is continuous improvement. The first year we chose our key performance indicators (KPIs) to be consistently tracked. We then gathered the information (sometimes Shawna used a carrot and sometimes a stick to motivate us) and established baseline metrics.

Now each year, we are able to assess and report on our progress. As a result, we found an interesting statistic--by helping our clients avoid an estimated $2.5 million in costs by greening their events--the return on investment is 20 times the cost of hiring us! If we had not measured, we would have no proof of our economic value to clients.

Shawna, your value to the planet is the one thing you will never be able to measure!

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