AV + Connectivity

Face Time. It Matters. Sometimes, I Guess.

Last week, American Express Business Travel launched a new online travel management scorecard, and the results of a survey, Managing Travel in the New Normal.

The 169 respondents polled for the survey are directly involved in managing corporate travel policies and budgets across 30 industries. The research sought to gauge “attitudes and actions companies have taken to scale back travel and plan for the future.”

Here’s one result I found especially telling: While companies have been scaling back on travel costs, many are investing in virtual meetings technologies. According to the summary:

Survey results showed that more than 40 percent of C-level executives are willing to spend on new virtual meetings technologies. This finding indicates that top decision-makers likely view the concept of virtual travel as a beneficial investment and supports the idea that companies are transitioning from targeting cost reductions to a strategy built around more thoughtful spending to connect employees.

  • 74 percent said their companies use or plan to use audio-conferencing as an alternative to travel.
  • 15 percent of respondents are currently researching broadband collaboration options.
  • 10 percent have no alternative technology strategy to replace in-person meetings.
I don’t know about you, but that last bullet point raises a few questions for me. Does it mean that 90 percent do have an alternative technology strategy to replace face-to-face meetings? And how do organizations decide whether a particular meeting is best held in person or not? If face time is still considered the best way to do business, is there a matrix to determine when second best is good enough?

Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.