Business travel was never the low cost alternative...But it had high #ROI #oott
My dad always said to me, he wouldn't pay $1 for something worth 10 cents, but he'd pay $1000 for something worth a $1000. Business travel will resume.
Yes...Virtual meeting is here to stay. In fact, the ability to meet online is life changing. But not for a second can it replace...
2. Looking someone in the eyes.
3. The need for people to "get out and explore"
When I was younger, I used to travel to New York for business. The cost of the trip was in the neighborhood of $3000. I often traveled there to listen to a company present and determine the value of it's investment opportunity.
On top of that I would have dinner and meet with others to discuss other things. Inside these dinners, conversations happened that wouldn't otherwise happen.
Flying and hour, staying in a hotel room for a 5 hour conversation to uncover information that might not have come up otherwise, was always worth it.
These conversations developed trust and relationships that lasted many years.
The value? Priceless.
Air travel for business has never been "cost effective" from a short sighted lens. But in hindsight, It was very often worth 3-5 times the cost.
So we feel, it's not like air travel will go away after COVID it's more like virtual meetings will increase relative to something else.
Do you know why people go to conferences? So they can go learn, meet new people, learn new things. But most importantly, it's healthy.
The conferences of tomorrow, will still have people flying around the world to attend, because they can get something a virtual conference can't provide.
Health and Happiness.
Conferences are places where people grow. They have conversations with colleagues and new acquaintances. They get away from their family for a few days. They miss their kids, they miss their spouse. They eat some different food. Yes, there are some that are on the road "too much" and that's another story.
Our point is that for a business owner, sending their team to a conference was healthy and worth the investment years ago and it will be equally so going forward. It always has been and always will
"Three dimensional experience can never be replaced by two."
Value of Investment
Any investment decision a company makes is about ROI. If company A says, no more conferences, it's too expensive and company B says, go to a conference and find opportunity for us, of course the latter is more "expensive" but if the cost is $5000 and the benefit is $50,000, you would send someone to a conference all day long.
The point is... conferences are about the money. And if they were worth it 2 years ago, then they will be worth it again.
In a virtual conference, you may not establish a relationship strong enough to build a relationship.
What we think is going to happen is that conferences and even works spaces will become far more intimate and valuable and provide richer experiences that can't be offered in virtual.
If it were about money. We would just have talked on the phone for the last 50 years. But we have not. Why?
Looking into someones eyes, seeing body language is also a huge value that you can't get without meeting someone.
If human interaction wasn't so important, why would people do business on a golf course? Golfing is a 6-8 hour commitment away from 6-8 hours of "virtual conference calls" you could have. Why? Seeing if someone cheats on the golf course, drinks too much wine at dinner or is overall a great person has incredible tangible value. In business, there will always be information we can pick up with human interaction that we cannot pick up with out.
If you think about Christopher Columbus or Amerigo Vespucci these explorers arranged EXTREMELY expensive travel. They had no idea what they would discover.
There is no doubt that these trips were criticized by many. But, people have to get out. The need to explore and learn new things. And the riches they uncovered could not have been uncovered without the experience.
The airplane has been one of the greatest inventions known to man. Who knew 100+ years after the invention, the earth would experience a flight patter like this?
We need to explore. This is a snap shot of flights over the USA on a given morning. www.flightradar24.com
There are so many reasons that we will get back on airplanes. We think virtual meetings will replace many things, but healthy teams and fulfilled team members has so much incredible value.
Get ready...the world is going to connect like never before!