They say, for example, that face to face meetings will turn 40% of potential customers into customers, compared with only 16% without face to face contact. But they fail to mention that this figure comes from a non-peer reviewed US study sponsored by two industry groups, the US Travel Association and the Destination and Travel Foundation. The latter's website says it exists to "bolster the destination marketing profession and travel industry".
In addition, British Airways has announced this week that they will be offering 5000 ‘free’ flights to SMEs. Although the taxes and airport charges which can amount to hundreds of pounds, will still have to be paid by the ‘winning’ SMEs.
Powwownow is a small business with SMEs making up about 98% of their customer base. They offer a free conference call (http://www.powwownow.co.uk/
‘I think these campaigns are a disgrace. Not only are they effectively scaring small businesses into paying huge amounts of money to travel to meetings when it’s so unnecessary, the environmental impact of these actions will be with us well after I have left this planet. Whilst I understand that occasional face to face meetings are required in business, I have built four successful businesses using conference calls (http://www.powwownow.co.uk/
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Powwownow (http://www.powwownow.co.uk ) was founded in 2004, offering customers low-cost conference calling facilities with the ethos of no booking, no billing, no fuss. (The customer does not need to book a conference room and never receives a bill from Powwownow, just the cost of a 0844 call added to their bill). Turnover for 2009 is expected to reach £7m. The company operates in 15 countries including the US and major European markets.
Powwownow employs 32 people and is based in Richmond, London.