Federal workers place tremendous value on in-person meetings, conferences and events, according to a new survey by the national coalition Meetings Mean Business. The survey was conducted among 100 federal employees who organize, attend or influence meetings and travel as part of their jobs.
Ninety-eight percent of those surveyed said that in-person meetings are important for advancing their agency’s mission. Ninety-two percent said that engaging with colleagues, peers, partners and vendors face-to-face improves their ability to work effectively.
“Face-to-face meetings are vital for conducting government business in the most effective and efficient way possible,” said David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Company and co-chair of Meetings Mean Business. “The survey results show that sitting down and interacting with others one-on-one provides real-time productivity and continuous opportunities for engagement.”
Government meetings and travel provide positive value to taxpayers by increasing efficiency and productivity. Meetings enable successful information sharing, employee training and development, taxpayer services as well as collaboration with other agencies and private-sector partners. Conventions and conferences are critical education platforms, developing advanced skills and enabling workforce training.
“Government-wide, travel and in-person meetings facilitate rapid information sharing, crossagency collaboration, professional development and private-sector partnerships,” said Michael Dominguez, senior vice president of corporate sales for MGM Resorts International and co-chair of Meetings Mean Business.
“Meetings are a tool for creating personal connections and driving positive business outcomes,” Dominguez said, adding that it is “important for agencies to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and be able to distinguish legitimate meetings and travel activities from isolated instances of abuse we have seen in the past.”
At a time when many government agencies are limited by tight budgets and numerous travel restrictions, 84 percent of federal workers agreed that America’s future innovation and competitiveness require engagement, collaboration and learning with those inside and outside of government. Meetings provide a platform for innovation though collaborative environments that bring people together to learn from one another, to exchange new ideas and to develop new ways of doing things.
Virtual meetings and teleconferences are useful tools that complement in-person meetings, events and training opportunities. However, the overwhelming majority of federal workers experience increased value from in-person meetings as opposed to remote ones, noting that face-to-face interaction offers a superior learning environment for training, continuing education and networking.
When asked more specifically about the value of in-person meetings:
- Two in three federal employees said that collaborating and innovating is best done face-toface.
- Eight in ten agreed that in-person training is better for meeting and engaging with the “right people.”
- Four in five said that they have attended an in-person event that would not have resulted in the same level of success if conducted remotely.
“When people meet face-to-face, relationships are developed in a way that simply cannot be recreated or matched,” added Peckinpaugh.
The first-ever North American Meetings Industry Day is set for April 16 in Washington, DC in support of meetings and events.
For more information, visit MeetingsMeanBusiness.com
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Inaugural North American Meetings Industry Day to launch in 2015