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January 19, 2016

Research Study Quantifies Value of Face-to-Face Meetings




Business leaders report that in-person meetings are important to their companies, beneficial to operations and critical to career development, according to a new survey released by the national coalition Meetings Mean Business (MMB). As a result, corporate leaders are making in-person meetings a financial priority and report increasing investment in face-to-face meetings in 2016, MMB said. 

survey
Photo by Freeimages.com/Yarranz

The survey shows that in-person meetings are beneficial to several aspects of business operations, including the ability to close deals, engage a team and develop professionally. Executives report that meetings improve their ability to network, grow professional and grow their company’s bottom line. Four in five surveyed believe they have attended an in-person meeting, conference or event that would not have yielded the same success as one conducted remotely. The survey also finds that meetings enable successful and meaningful connections. The majority of executives agree that team engagement, collaboration, professional development and productivity are improved by participation in in-person meetings, conferences and events.

Survey Results

Face-to-face meetings drive positive business outcomes.

* Every executive interviewed believes that face-to-face meetings are important to their business. Four in five believe they are very important.
* Nine in ten say meetings improve their ability to close deals (93%), network (90%) and grow professionally (88%).

Face-to-face meetings produce a return on investment for executives across industries.

* Ninety-seven percent of executives say that meetings deliver a return on investment. A majority (53%) says they deliver a great return.
* Eighty-six percent believe they help improve the bottom line.
* Four in five believe they have attended an in-person meeting, conference or event that would not have yielded the same success as one conducted via video or telephone conference.

Executives agree that important business activities, such as networking and teambuilding, are best accomplished in-person.

* Executives agree that networking (89%), new business opportunities (86%), workforce engagement (80%), training (73%) and staying up-to-date on industry trends (62%) are best accomplished face-to-face.
* A majority say that team engagement (94%), collaboration (91%), professional development (88%) and productivity (84%) are improved by participation in in-person meetings, conferences and events.

In-person meetings are critical to professional development and career success.

* The vast majority of executives believe participation in face-to-face client meetings (95%), continuing education and training (93%) and industry conferences (86%) are important when measuring professional development.
* Nearly all of those interviewed (99%) believe that in-person meetings have helped them succeed in their career. 

In-person meetings are a priority investment for 2016.

* When it comes to making investments in their business, executives find face-to-face meetings to be a high priority (82%) – even more than technology (79%) or customer research (66%).
* Ninety-two percent plan to invest as much if not more this year in face-to-face meetings, conferences and other events as they did last year. Four-in-ten (37%) expect to spend more while one in two (55%) plan to spend about the same. 


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