KPMG: Innovation Via Technology

Budgeting for Event Technology

Event budgets haven’t really increased to meet some of the innovative ideas that come through the pipeline.

"We consult with our internal stakeholders to prioritize and determine the importance of the different buckets related to their overall events," Benedict says. "If there's a higher focus on innovation or technology, can we make cuts in the other areas that do not necessarily diminish the overall experience?"

Some of her stakeholders are willing to invest and add to the budget, especially when it's based on recommendations and solutions that make an impact. Also important is the ability to produce metrics and reporting.

KPMG is also working to integrate a new system to help attendees manage their continuing education more efficiently. Currently, students input an instructor-shared check-in code. Benedict's team is evaluating beacons and RFID technologies to streamline that process.

"We are heavily focused on this," Benedict says. "It is a priority for us to deliver on. It is a differentiator and a game changer and it will feed our ability to reward credit."

Early Adopters

KPMG was an early user of StarCite meetings management software in the 2000s and implemented its first event app in 2012, when the company's event team helped drive product development for partner QuickMobile.

"It's really been quite nice to watch the functionality evolve," Benedict says. She remembers when almost no one downloaded the technology onto their barely-smart phones. "Adoption of technology tools to help us run our business is a total game changer for us."

Migrating to a new strategic meetings management (SMM) tool over the past two years has also brought ways to drive efficiencies and savings. Integration with KPMG's internal CRM allows the team to capture additional data. They're better able to collaborate with their marketing partners. The new system works end to end from sourcing to close-out for the accounting team.


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From MPI's Research
  • Develop contingency budgets just of event technology to absorb unexpected costs.
  • Create budgets specifically for event-technology experimentation.
  • Grow the event-technology budget each year by making sure there is always a line item in place for event technology, compare expenditures from year to year and base subsequent budgets on the current year expenditures.
  • When selecting a specific technology for the first time, evaluate as many candiates as possible, create spreadsheets and scoring mechanisms and is that information to become educated about the technology itself.
  • Invite vendors to demonstrate technology even it it's not currently in the budget or in the purchase funnel. Doing so keeps staff members up to date on offerings and keeps vendor relationships active.
  • Select technologies based on whether benefits can be extended to the entire organization or to other meetings instead of just one event.