Strategic Event Management vs. Strategic Meetings Management: Understanding the Key Differences

SEMP is a comprehensive approach to managing an organization’s events and meetings, from planning to execution to evaluation. It encompasses all types of events, including large-scale conferences, trade shows, product launches, and smaller meetings and workshops. The goal of SEMP is to align events with organizational goals and objectives, and to measure the success of events in terms of their impact on the business. SEMP focuses on creating a strategic approach to events management, with an emphasis on achieving specific business outcomes and ROI.

According to the Meeting Professionals International (MPI), SEMP is defined as “an enterprise-wide approach to managing meetings and events that strategically leverages meeting and event data across an organization to improve procurement, drive savings, mitigate risk, and create more engaging meeting experiences.”

On the other hand, SMMP is a specific subset of SEMP that focuses specifically on the management of meetings, rather than all events. The goal of SMMP is to optimize the meetings process, from planning to execution to evaluation, with a focus on reducing costs, improving efficiency, increasing compliance, and standardizing meeting planning and execution. SMMP is cost-driven, with an emphasis on achieving cost savings and efficiencies through measures such as consolidated purchasing, standardized processes, and the use of technology to streamline meeting planning and execution.

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), SMMP is defined as “a disciplined approach to managing enterprise-wide meeting and event activities, processes, suppliers, and data. It focuses on reducing costs, improving service levels, mitigating risks, and driving continuous improvement and value in meetings and events.”

The key difference between SEMP and SMMP is that SEMP is a more comprehensive approach to corporate events management that focuses on achieving specific business goals and objectives, while SMMP is a specific subset of SEMP that has a specific focus on achieving cost savings and efficiencies.


MPI, “Strategic Meetings Management: A Foundation for Success” (

GBTA, “What is Strategic Meetings Management?” (