Recession, Internet Responsible For New Age of Business Meetings

A combination of a difficult economy, growing health concerns over SARS, and a high comfort level with the Internet has resulted in a significant change in the way in which businesses conduct meetings that will likely continue into the future, no matter how much the economy might improve.

Those business people who must travel regularly now use the Internet to shop for the lowest airfares and hotel expenses. But beyond providing a marketplace for bargain shopping, the Internet has provided companies with the breakthrough ability to conference online with webcasting and web conferencing.

Virtual conference rooms mean people from all over the world can meet with little notice and no travel expense. WebEx, Net Messenger, and similar conferencing services have replaced the need for people to be in the same room. Shorter, more efficient meetings can occur without the need to schedule travel arrangements and incur the additional expense of travel.

In a recent USA Today article, Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that travel spending has not increased over last year, but videoconferencing has increased 5%-10% in a year. A Wilson Sporting Goods executive provided additional information about the value of Web conferencing. "I was able to sign up for the first three months of WebEx for 10 people for the same cost as sending two people to China for one trip," said Wilson's Karen Walerow.

An August, 2002 study of the U.S. Airline industry by the Business Travel Coalition, Inc. predicts that a portion of business travel that has left the major airlines will not return for at least several years. Corporate cutbacks have resulted in fewer business people being dispatched to meetings, fear of flying has reduced the number of people willing to fly, and some companies have reverted to company-owned jets and automobile travel in lieu of flying the major airlines.

You may like these other stories...

For the first time since 2006, more than 50 percent of CFOs believe the US economy will show signs of improvement over a six-month span rather than remain the same or worsen, according to a new study from Chicago-based...
By Jason Bramwell, Staff Writer CPAs in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania believe economic conditions in the United States will likely be the same one year from now, and while they predict higher business revenues...
By Jason Bramwell Managers in accounting, finance, and IT are cautiously optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2013, according to a new hiring outlook survey from staffing firm Brilliant. ...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 16
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
Jul 17
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.