Shackman Associates New York was recently quoted in USA Today as an expert on a new study that found businesses that continued to send employees on the road during the recession were more profitable than those that cut back on business travel.
The study, conducted by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, shows how travel can affect a company's bottom line just as businesses are starting to once again spend money on trips to meetings and conferences.
U.S. companies generated $9.50 in revenue and $2.90 in profit for every dollar invested in business travel, which is based on an analysis of government data on 14 industries over an 18-year period.
An accompanying survey of 298 business travelers conducted in November found that 57% believed cutting their travel budgets during the economic downturn hurt their company's performance. Only 4% said it helped.
USA Today noted the importance of face-to-face meetings:
Business travelers believe that they would lose 42% of their customers without in-person meetings, the study found. They said they were twice as likely to get new customers with face-to-face meetings than without them.
Karen Shackman, founder of New York event management company Shackman Associates, which specializes in managing corporate meetings, said she is seeing meetings pick up in New York.
"The trend we are seeing in New York is more business travelers who opt to stay and meet in boutique hotels," she said. "New York is in the middle of explosive growth regarding boutique hotels and many offer amenities that reflect the individual style of business travelers."