Face-to-face meetings add £14bn in value to economy

The value of face-to-face meetings to Yorkshire'seconomy has been placed at £14bn, according to a recent survey.

The Measuring Face Value report demonstrates that, when a company from the Yorkshire and the Humber region does business face-to-face, it stands to gain an average income boost of £142,900 per year.

This research has found that the return on investment is excellent for all businesses in the Yorkshire and the Humber area. For every £1 spent on business travel by organisations in the area, they see a 42 per cent return on investment.

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The increased return is said to be brought about by ensuring that workers do not “zone out” during telephone and conference calls, with staff more likely to display more impressive body language and convery a sense of teamwork.

The report published today by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and Premier Inn. This contribution is based on a representative study of the total number of UK private sector businesses in the region.

The Cebr and Premier Inn 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 from Yorkshire is in line to increase revenues by an average of 36 per cent per year.

Nationally, face-to-face meetings make an annual contribution of £193 billion to the UK economy.

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. Total engagement in the moment isn’t guaranteed when your meeting is virtual.

“Body language plays a massive part in business communications.

“A subtle shrug or firm handshake can make a huge difference to the final outcome.”