Business meeting budgets fall dramatically this year

16 November 2010

16 November 2010 | Adam Leach

There has been a dramatic fall in the amount of money spent on company meetings during 2010 compared with last year, according to a survey.

The study of 220 procurement, meetings and business travel industry managers, conducted by the BusinessTravel & Meetings Show (BTMS), found 45 per cent had witnessed a drop in their budgets compared to last year.

Only 23 per cent of respondents reported an increase in their meetings budget, while 24 per cent said they had the same amount to spend, with the remaining eight per cent failing to answer the question.

Faced with reduced funds for travel, the research shows managers are turning to technology instead. Some 42 per cent said they are using alternatives, such as video conferencing, more than they were a year ago. Only seven per cent reported using it less.

Teambuilding and hospitality activities are also being sacrificed, with over two thirds of respondents (71 per cent) reporting that events like golf days are playing a less significant role in their businesses this year.

“This survey suggests that traditional travel and procurement buyers now understand the benefits of introducing meetings policy, strategy, evaluation and technology,” said BTMS event director David Chapple.

The study also found that 76 per cent of respondents were aware of total meeting costs, including travel, accommodation and extras. Worryingly this still leaves almost a quarter unaware of them. Some 40 per cent also believed that sustainability and environmental issues were more important than a year ago, while 44 per cent said they were just as important.

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