No doubt the current economy is forcing some companies to rethink their travel policies. To make matters worse the cost of travel is increasing faster than inflation. According to the American Express Global Business Travel Forecast, the average cost of a domestic business trip — including airfare, lodging and car rental costs — will rise 6% in 2008 to $1,110. The average cost of an international business trip will rise nearly 7% to $3,171. The projected increases in travel costs are likely to far outpace general inflation, which the National Association for Business Economics forecasts will be about 2.3% next year.
However,businesses still need to maintain relationships with their customers, suppliers and remote employees and audio and web conferencing services are filling this gap. Compare the average cost of a domestic business trip (as stated above)with a web conference.
10 Person 60 Minute Web & Audio Conference
|Audio||10 x 60 x .04||$24|
Quite the difference. The technology for web and audio conferencing has matured to such a point now that if your company is not using some combination of conferencing and travel, they are missing out on significant cost savings. Granted, there are some times when nothing beats a face to face meeting, but you should certainly be using web and audio conferencing for everything else.