In spite of the popularity of new electronic media, we expect the face-to-face meetings industry to continue to grow and to continue to contribute more to the US GDP. We also believe that were the studies available for other parts of the world, we would see similar, if not greater, increases.
It just reminded me of a few other famous quotes in history:
“I think there is a world market for as many as 5 computers.” – Thomas Watson, head of IBM,1943.
“The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty.” – President of Michigan Savings Bank, 1903, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.
“Television won’t be able to hold onto any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl F Zanuck, 1946.
As we all know there are many more like this.
My point is, yes we would all love to see f2f meetings grow, but the reality is that most of the professionals that I talk too are experiencing exactly the opposite. That be people in the meetting industry or their clients. Big corporations are talking about ‘travel avoidance’ as a way to cut costs. IKEA has an internal slogan ‘Meet more travel less’ – encouraging employees to use the electronic media for instead of traveling.
Personally I have never ever received so many offers of webinars and other online forms of ‘meeting’ that I do at the moment.
Yes we all prefer the quality of a a face to face meeting, the same way we prefer a delicious home cooked meal to industrialized fast food – but if what we prefer was equal to what we do there would be no fast food business…