by Michael J. Shapiro | December 03, 2014
Business trips are largely successful, and even more so when travelers add more meetings and spend a higher percentage of their trip time in meetings, according to new research from the CWT Solutions Group. The consulting arm of Carlson Wagonlit Travel surveyed 10,000 business travelers to compile the results into The Value of Business Travel: The Travelers' Perspective, to gauge traveler return on investment. The vast majority of respondents (88 percent) reported that their last business trip was successful, while 9.5 percent deemed their most recent trip average, with no significant benefit compared to the cost, and just 2.5 percent said their last trip was unsatisfactory. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of that last group had anticipated that their trips would be unsuccessful. A number of patterns emerged from the respondent data, suggesting the following tactics:
• Arrange more meetings. A trip with just one meeting is deemed unsuccessful 19 percent of the time. Each additional meeting reduces the likelihood of an unsuccessful trip by about 10 percent.
Devote more time to meetings. The probability of an unsuccessful trip is 28 percent when the cumulative meeting time is less than one hour. When meetings take up two or more days, that probability is reduced to 8 percent.
Plan and book early. The longer in advance a trip is planned, the less likely it is to be unsuccessful. A trip booked less than three days in advance runs a 21 percent risk of being unsuccessful, while those booked more than two weeks out have just an 11 percent chance of being unsuccessful. "We're looking forward to working with our clients to reduce the number of unsuccessful trips and increase the value delivered by their travel programs," said the report's lead author, Catalin Ciobanu, the director of innovation and big data analytics for CWT Solutions Group. "Looking to the future, we believe that quantifying and tracking the impact of every business trip will help companies to better manage travel as a strategic activity supporting corporate goals."