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September 15, 2008

Businesses set to waste billions on meetings

To highlight the importance of businesses taking more care over the planning and organisation of key meetings during National Meetings Week, which starts today, VisitBritain has released figures revealing that almost a third of meetings are unproductive, costing UK businesses a staggering £27.5 billion a year in wasted man hours.
According to the study, the average executive spends eight working weeks a year in meetings – almost double a typical holiday allowance. However, 29% of these meetings are considered unproductive, meaning four working days every year are frittered away unnecessarily, a wasted resource costing billions of pounds.

Commenting on the research, Joss Croft, head of business visits and events at VisitBritain, said: “The majority of people agree that although they may seem like a necessary evil, meetings are part and parcel of working life and can be one of the most productive and financially quantifiable ways to do business. However, it seems that meetings are not always undertaken in the most industrious way.
“Nothing will be able to replace the value of effective face-to-face communication; however, it can be as pointless as it is beneficial. Taking time to ensure a meeting is constructive and focused can save as much money as spending hours trawling through the accounts looking for ways to cut costs.”
The average meeting costs approximately £50 per person, and with businesses increasingly looking to ways to cut costs in light of the credit crunch, the research demonstrates that one of the simplest of business activities is turning into one of the most wasteful.
“There simply isn’t enough awareness of the business tourism industry, and hopefully this campaign will serve to gain a greater understanding of the importance of meetings and events to this country and the value to business that they can bring if managed properly,” concluded Croft.
For more information, visit: http://www.nationalmeetingsweek.co.uk

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