A new report by Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts has found that British businesses could be losing out on over a fifth of potential revenue due to not dedicating enough time to face-to-face meetings.
The global report, called "Business Meetings in a Modern World", surveyed more than 2,000 business men and women across the UK, USA, UAE, China and India, about how they use both virtual and face-to-face meetings.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of British business men and women surveyed believed they had lost a contract or client simply because they didn't have enough face-to-face meetings.
This was estimated to equal a revenue loss of 21% per year.
Almost nine in 10 (87%) of business men and women in the UK felt that face-to-face meetings were better for building client relationships, but over half (54%) of those surveyed in the UK said that the number of virtual meetings they attend has increased in the past five to 10 years.
The report also suggested that a meeting on Tuesday morning would be the most productive in the UK and USA, while Monday morning would be best for those in China, India and the UAE.
Global vice-president of Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts IHG Janis Cannon said: "The findings are clear. Virtual meetings can save time and money, but there are times when sealing a deal requires a handshake and ‘seeing the whites of the eyes' of a business associate.
At Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts… the scale and diversity of our family of brands means that our hotels can meet our guests' needs whatever the occasion. We listen to our guests closely to ensure we continue to do this and this research has helped us to further understand the needs of business travellers."
Business psychologist and body language expert Hazel Carter-Showell, added: "Although developments in technology allow business men and women to make achievements in meetings that would have been impossible a few years back, meeting face-to-face continues to bring significant benefits that are much harder to obtain through virtual channels."
Part of IHG, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is part of a wider portfolio of more than 4,600 hotels worldwide, of which almost 400 bear the Crowne Plaza brand. Its properties all offer 24-hour business services, including free Wi-Fi to loyalty members, conference rooms, fitness suites and the "Meeting Rewards" loyalty scheme, Elite IHG Rewards Club.