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
“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.