When economic recession hit the world two years back, it affected businesses very badly. In order to tide over this financial crisis, companies and organizations took some drastic measures such as layoffs, pay cuts, salary freeze and so on. All measures were taken to cut down superfluous spending in all possible ways. Thus, business travel budgets were also reduced as it was considered as an unnecessary spending. Even when the economy recovered, the travel budgets were not restored. Moreover, companies and organizations started preferring virtual meetings to face-to-face meetings as it was considered as a means of saving more time, money and effort. Now with fears of another global recession in the offing, business travel budgets would be further reduced. But is it a smart move to cut business travel budgets? Can virtual meetings take the place of face-to-face meetings? The answer is no.

Research has shown that business travels play an important role in accelerating performance of companies, which in turn helps in developing the global economy. With foreign business markets opening up due to globalization, meetings have become essential for expanding businesses. Though financial crisis has forced several to cut down face-to-face meetings and depend more on virtual meetings, the fact of the matter is in-person meetings is still and would continue to play a greater role in building and fostering relationships.

Importance of Business Travels
Let’s look at some of the factors that make face-to-face meetings more successful than other forms of communication such as mails, emails, voice mails, web meetings, teleconferences and so on.

New Business Relationships
Face-to-face meetings provide opportunity to build market share and develop new customer relationships. It is definitely necessary for businesses to grow and flourish.

Client Contact
In a slow economy, it is very much necessary to maintain mutual trust and faith. It can be nurtured only through in-person meetings.

Human Elements
Though virtual meetings help in faster dissemination of information, it still cannot bring in the human elements possible only with face-to-face meetings.

Morale Booster
Incentive travels helps in boosting the morale of the employees. This brings in job satisfaction, which translates into enhanced employee performance.

Economic Growth
Business travels play a positive role in growing economies, increasing incomes and creating more jobs.

Considering the above aspects, it can be summarized that face-to-face meetings are a necessity and not an extravagance. Instead of cutting down business travel budgets, enterprises must invest in travel expense management software for effective business travel management. It provides better travel spend analysis and helps your business to obtain end-to-end visibility and control of business travel management and expenses.  

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