The state of the economy is forcing companies to look at expenses related to air travel, meetings, conferences and events more critically. Companies that are recipients of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) are under pressure from the US Census Bureau and President Obama to spend wisely. Even companies not receiving federal funds are beginning to scale back on their meetings and events. This trend has caused many businesses to consider advanced technology services as a way to cut costs while still holding productive meetings.
Around 75 percent of respondents in the National Business Travel Association's Impact of Economic Downturn Survey stated they would use more teleconferencing this year. Polls by Smart Meetings Magazine predict that 51 percent of companies will consider trying virtual meetings for some, if not all, of their meetings in 2009.
For many companies, however, the solution is not so cut-and-dried. Many businesses can not afford to invest thousands of dollars into teleconferencing and / or videoconferencing equipment for their offices. And even fewer have the necessary skills on staff to operate and solve technical issues that arise.
The Hub, a premier meeting and event destination in Philadelphia, helps alleviate the stress of obtaining technology services needed for meetings and events. In addition to The Hub being an affordable meeting space with hourly rates, it also offers clients audiovisual services as well as a fully equipped staff with years of technology and customer service experience. Each meeting room is equipped with a "Total Tech" call button that dispatches to the tech team and immediately sends someone out to solve any issues that arise. The Hub also offers a "Technology to Go" service, which enables companies that prefer to hold meetings on-site to rent audiovisual equipment along with the necessary set-up and operational support.
"One way to save money on tech for your event or meeting is to ask the gateway to provide all-inclusive package pricing (eg, if you rent a room at a facility that price includes the basic meeting technologies of an LCD projector or plasma screen , conference phone and screen), "explains Bill Decker, President and COO of The Hub. "This can be a real value in a world that tends to charge high rates for ala carte technology."
These conferencing alternatives are also helping companies reduce their carbon footprint. According to a report mandated by Regus, videoconferencing can cut travel costs by as much as 75 percent. As the nation's only LEED Silver meeting and event facility, The Hub is conveniently located near all major modes of public transportation.
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