British Airways sponsored a report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to review the effect of business travel economic reductions and business effectiveness.
2,211 business executives said face-to-face meetings remain a critical part of selling new business as well as building key partnerships. 79% view in-person meetings as a highly effective way to meet new clients to sell business. 87% agree such face-to-face meetings are the key to success in building long-term relationships.
52% of those surveyed said restrictions on the numbers of flights they take for business would hurt their business. 69% reported a reduction in their travel budgets over the last six months.
Across the board, face-to-face meetings were seen as the most effective method for conducting business with key stakeholders, compared with videoconferences, teleconferences and webinars. Specifically, face-to-face meetings are seen as most effective for negotiations on important contracts, interviewing for key positions, listening to important customers and bridging cultural gaps.
Edited from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, 7/16/2009 preliminary results; full report will be published August 2009.