Hilton Unmasks Hidden Perils Of Conference Calls

Survey shows face-to-face meetings still lead the way in break-through thinking for businesses

This information originated in UK English.

April 15, 2009

SINGAPORE -  Next time you're on that conference call and have a sneaking suspicion that people aren't listening to you - it could be because they're ‘otherwise engaged'.

35% of senior executives admit to staying on a conference call while sneaking to the bathroom with their handheld phones, 81% sometimes or always send emails while on conference calls, while 75% are having conversations on the side, and 20% are even helping themselves to an alcoholic drink, suggesting that conference calls are not as cost effective as some people think.

These hidden perils of conference calls emerged in a survey conducted as part of some independent research commissioned by Hilton Hotels Corporation across Asia Pacific. A large majority of those surveyed felt that face-to-face meetings are where the real business gets done and where the biggest breakthroughs are made, said Andrew Flack, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific.

"With 77% of senior executives describing offsite meetings as a necessity not a luxury, the research clearly shows that meetings matter. Despite the advances in technology, face-to-face meetings still lead the way in areas such as building stronger teams, solving problems and motivating individuals, which are things that really move a business forward," Flack said.

94% of respondents in the survey agreed that meetings can build stronger business relationships and 91% felt that meetings build stronger bonds between teams. Meetings were also perceived to provide solutions to business problems with 84% of people believing that meetings result in people feeling more inspired than through other forms of communication, 85% stating that meetings are more likely to result in breakthrough thinking, and 82% that meetings can bring the best out of people when compared to other communication forms.

Recognising the continuing importance of meetings - especially in volatile market conditions, Hilton in Asia Pacific has today launched a new industry first. Anyone making a bedroom booking from now till 30th June for any date in 2009 will be eligible to receive a complimentary meetings package including meeting room facilities, refreshments and lunch. The offer extends across all Hilton Family hotel brands in Asia Pacific: Hilton, Conrad and Doubletree by Hilton.

"At a time when organisations have become markedly more cost-conscious, yet still demand quality, Hilton Family has come up with this inspired solution of ‘Spend your nights with us and your meetings are free' to specifically respond to this emerging need in the market. We believe it is the ideal choice for cost-conscious business travellers," Flack added.

Hilton Family's Meetings for Free applies to any conference, training or sales event held at any one of 47 Hilton Family hotels across 14 Asia Pacific countries for meetings from as few as two to as many as 100 residential delegates. The promotion is open for bookings made during a limited period between 15th April and 30th June 2009, for events taking place throughout the year until 31st December 2009.

Conrad Hong Kong's Suite Bedroom Doubletree by Hilton Beijing's Suite Bedroom Bookings for Hilton's Meetings For Free packages can be made from 15th April 2009 to 30th June 2009, for any meeting that is held from 15th April 2009 until the end of 2009. The promotion is applicable across 47 Hilton Family Hotels across 14 countries in Asia Pacificiii. For more details see www.hilton.com/meetingsforfree for more information along with direct telephone and e-mail contacts for all hotels where the promotion is available. An immediate verbal quote will be provided.

i The survey was conducted by Prophisee, an independent research house based in Sydney.

ii The survey was conducted in Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai with a sample of 233 people.
Criteria for respondents was that they were mid or senior business people, regularly or occasionally
participating in conference calls, video / web enabled conferences, have attended an offsite meeting at a
major hotel in the last 12 months and regularly or occasionally travel for business.

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