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Meeting a client fact-to-face is a great way to form business relationships. Being able to see and interact with that person adds something tangible to the experience that impersonal methods of communication such as email or even phones call can’t. But travel isn’t always the most cost effective solution. And especially now with all the advancements in digital communication, the economics and advantages of video conferencing may be a more practical solution to the needs of working business professionals.
Classically in business, it goes without saying that travel is a frequent requirement. But with business travel comes all the direct costs associated with it such as lodging, eating, rental cars, entertainment, fees, etc. And all of those things combined can add up to quite a lot! In fact, in a publication of Travel Facts and Statistics by the U.S. Travel Association:
Business travel in the U.S. is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs; $100 billion of this spending and 1 million American jobs are linked directly to meetings and events.
Then of course there are the indirect costs such as employees often have to take the entire day away from their desks too, often for the sake of a couple of hours meeting. This is often impractical, especially for smaller firms who need to save money wherever they can.
This is where video conferencing may be a more economical and effective way to hold meetings and business calls without making the commitment to travel. It’s essentially travelling without having to make the trip.
The Advantages of Video Conferencing:
More Productivity: It’s not always possible to have key employees work in the office; relocations can sometimes cause some real problems for companies which rely on a few experienced members. Thankfully, the option of web and video conferencing means employees can work from home.
This negates the need for additional employees, and ensures that all that needs to be done is still getting done.
Teams in different offices are easily interconnected. Rather than waiting for the next meeting, teams can make real-time decisions; showing each other new products, materials, and ideas. The instant feedback means ideas and projects can be set in motion much faster.
Saving Time: While there’s nothing to stop an employee taking his or work on the train, anybody driving to a conference isn’t going to have the opportunity to make their time count.
With video conferencing, cutting out the travel means cutting out the time to get there. This is valuable time that can be used for other things such as making important decisions, or cementing relationships with more companies and colleagues. Not to mention being able to see each other’s faces and body language works wonders for quickly creating familiar business relationships.
A conference call can take place without you having to leave your desk, leaving the rest of your day to do other things.
Web conferencing software often also has the option to archive video conferences, which can be a real help for training new employees.
Cost Effectiveness: Lots of video conferencing companies offer packages for only a few cents per minute. Compare that with the cost of transporting key employees to the other side of the country, and the business has just made a massive leap in savings!
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