Face-to-face meetings make an annual contribution of £11 billion to the South West region’s economy according to a report published today.
The Measuring Face Value report demonstrates that, when a company from the South West does business face-to-face, it stands to gain an average income boost of £85,800 per year.
This research has found that the return on investment is excellent for all businesses in the South West. For every £1 spent on business travel by organisations in the area, they see a 19 per cent return on investment.
The report establishes that when it comes to securing new business, just by walking out of their front door and going to meet prospects in person, a company is in line to increase revenues by an average of 35 per cent per year.
Karen Plumb, director of business to business at Premier Inn, said: “Premier Inn commissioned this latest report as part of our ongoing research into the needs of our business guests. Human interaction has long been recognised as important in business but I am pleased that we can now pinpoint precisely how much it’s worth to UK companies.
“These figures may encourage some businesses to reflect on their own balance of virtual and face-to-face interaction, and to consider how getting that balance just right can have a positive impact on their bottom line.”
Nationally, face-to-face meetings make an annual contribution of £193 billion to the UK economy. The research also demonstrates that the average UK company stands to gain an average income boost of £147,200 per year as a result of meeting face-to-face.
Nina Skero, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “Whilst our research does not prescribe a single, optimal balance of face-to-face and virtual communications, it clearly demonstrates that businesses should be striving for a blend of both. The proven financial contribution of face-to-face meetings to our economy is considerable and shows no signs of diminishing.”
Denise Taylor, chartered psychologist and career coach, said: “It’s often the case that on phone or video calls, attendees can zone out. They may respond to emails mid-call, or flick through their notes – 100 per cent engagement in the moment isn’t guaranteed when your meeting is virtual.”
She added: “Body language plays a massive part in business communications. A subtle shrug or firm handshake can make a huge difference to the final outcome.”