Face-to-Face or Cyberspace: Does business travel get better results?

Now, more than ever, Canadian businesses are tightening their belts and taking a hard look at their budgets for ways to trim costs. According to a September 2009 study conducted by IHS Global insight on behalf of the National Business Travel Association, travel is now viewed as a cost to be controlled, and businesses are seeing it as an expense rather than an investment. However, business travel seems to remain on our minds. At the time of printing, National Business Travel Association (NBTA) Canada reported that its 6th Annual Conference and Exhibitor Showcase, scheduled for April 2010 in Toronto, was already more than 90% sold out.

W. Scott Selbie is president of HAS-Motion Inc., a research and development company that focuses on interpreting the biomechanics of movement for sports or clinical movement. For the past two years Selbie has logged about 110,000 air miles annually, and added about another 20,000 miles with car travel. This year he travelled close to 50,000 air miles, or travelled for about a week per month. “The recession hurt travel,” Selbie says. “There was a dramatic change at the beginning of the recession. [For us], it started to turn around June, and right now it seems as if this change didn’t happen. But for the first six months of the year, my travel was way down and conference attendance was down. It was a strange time.”

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