Hilton Research Confirms Face-To-Face Meetings Matter

This information originated in UK English.

October 01, 2009

LONDON -  New research by Hilton Hotels proves that the value of face-to-face meetings as effective business communication far outweighs that of the increasingly popular ‘virtual alternatives.’

The Hilton international marketing research team conducted a study in June this year looking at the impact of reduced business travel, surveying 600 executives from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.  According to 83% of the respondents, developing personal relationships remains one of the most important elements of doing business and is impossible without meetings, and almost 50% believed that video conferencing and web based meetings are a poor substitute.

Changes in company travel policies over the last 12 months have seen business trips and events cancelled or reduced and there is a major worry that business performance has suffered as a result.  More than 20% indicated that external meetings had been reduced and half of those respondents noted that staff morale is in decline. Overall, two-thirds of the 600 people surveyed said that business travel can increase motivation, performance and teamwork and raised concern re an over reliance on technology that could reduce business efficiency.

The results support an academic paper entitled ‘Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Matter’ published by Professor Richard D. Arvey PhD, Head of the Department of Management and Organisation at the National University of Singapore. Commissioned by Hilton earlier this year, the paper addresses the business and psychological values derived from face-to-face meetings. Dr Arvey concludes that meetings definitely matter to the modern business and whilst companies are increasingly relying on ‘computer-mediated’ channels such as email or the internet, they should be careful to ensure that they are still selecting the most appropriate medium for their business discussions.

Speaking about his research Dr Arvey said, “Current trends suggest that face-to-face meetings are increasingly being substituted by virtual alternatives, but research shows that face-to-face meetings provide many positive effects compared to computer mediated alternatives. It is my belief that eliminating face-to-face meetings would be a mistake for businesses because of the variety of positive psychological as well as general business outcomes that meetings can offer corporations.”

Today, the Hilton Family of Hotels is launching one of its biggest ever Meetings promotions to help organizations continue to hold face-to-face meetings at a time when budgets are tight.  The promotion allows up to 20 meeting attendees to go free at meetings held until March 31st 2010 at more than 180 participating Hilton Family hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – bookings just need to be made before the 4th December 2009.

One in every five attendees booked will not be charged the hotel’s regular meeting rate, so that for a meeting of 10 people, two attendees are free, right up to a meeting of 100 attendees where 20 are free.

According to James Farrow, Senior Vice President Sales for Hilton Family of Hotels, “Our research clearly shows that face-to-face meetings are still the most effective means of business communication, and we hope this ‘one in five’ promotion makes external meetings more affordable for our customers. Businesses should not have to compromise on how or where they hold their next meeting, and we want to offer the best value for customers, whether they need a meeting space for 10 delegates or 100 delegates.”

The offer is available for meetings and events to be held up to March 31st 2010, both residential and non-residential, and must be booked and confirmed between August 25th ’09 and December 4th ‘09.  With this promotion conference bookers can also earn Hilton HHonors Event Bonus points.

Examples of how bookers can save:
- A group of 20 attendees is booked at a Hilton Family hotel that charges a meeting fee of £50 per attendee. Two attendees are free, offering a saving of £200. 

- A group of 60 attendees is booked for an overnight stay at a Hilton Family hotel that charges a guest room rate of £180 per attendee. Four attendees are free for the night, offering a saving of £2,160.

For more information and the full terms and conditions visit www.hilton.com/1in5 or contact the hotel of choice direct.

Promotion terms and conditions include:
Number of free nights and meeting fee waivers is based on the number of attendees paying and is subject to a maximum of 20 meeting fee waivers and 20 free room nights.  Free offer does not include (connectivity, AV elements, gratuities or incidental charges.  Blackout dates apply. The offer must be mentioned at time of booking.  Offer must be outlined in hotel sales contract.  Offer is available in participating hotels in the UK, Ireland, Europe, Middle East and Africa across Hilton Family hotels.  Subject to full terms and conditions at hilton.com1in5 (http://www.hilton.com1in5)

About Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company based in McLean, VA, with more than 3,300 hotels and 550,000 rooms in 77 countries and more than 130,000 team members worldwide.  The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, the Waldorf Astoria and the Waldorf Astoria Collection, as well as the recently launched Home2 Suites by Hilton.  The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®.

Hilton Hotels Corporation is an Official Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, which will extend through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the 2010/2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and the 2011 U.S. Pan American Team.

The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.”  The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company:  be hospitable®.  The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.

For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonfamily.com.

Jules Kerby, Hilton Europe Press Office
0207 856 8471

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values to every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors mobile app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.