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Video conferencing systems help meeting planners save on costs

More meeting planners in the UK are turning to virtual meetings or holding events closer to home to cut costs, a new survey reveals.

The research, which was conducted by the Business Travel & Meetings Show (BTMS), questioned 220 procurement, meetings and business travel managers. Survey results indicated that 42 per cent are using more travel alternatives such as video conferencing facilities than they did a year ago.

One quarter of participants said they were managing more UK and short haul destination meetings, whilst 71 per cent of those that organised pre-meeting events such as spa and golf days admitted they are now arranging fewer of them.

When questioned about their meetings budget, 69 per cent said it had either remained static or declined in the last year, with just 23 per cent saying it has increased albeit slightly.

Dave Chapple, BTMS event director, told Meetpie: “The meetings market is not known as the final frontier in the travel industry for nothing. Despite it being viewed as the rebellious teenager for many years, meetings management is becoming more mainstream and this survey suggests that traditional travel and procurement buyers now understand the benefits of introducing meetings policy, strategy, evaluation and technology.”

“As for the meetings industry, it’s time the suppliers took note; there’s a whole new audience they can be doing business with,” he added.