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Hilton unmasks hidden perils of conference calls

( SINGAPORE – Next time you’re on that conference call and have a sneaking suspicion that people aren’t listening to you - it could be because they’re “otherwise engaged."

Thirty-five percent of senior executives admit to staying on a conference call while sneaking to the bathroom with their handheld phones, 81 percent sometimes or always send emails while on conference calls, while 75 percent are having conversations on the side, and 20 percent are even helping themselves to an alcoholic drink, suggesting that conference calls are not as cost effective as some people think.

These hidden perils of conference calls emerged in a survey conducted as part of some independent research commissioned by Hilton Hotels Corporation (Hilton) across Asia Pacific. A large majority of those surveyed felt that face-to-face meetings are where the real business gets done and where the biggest breakthroughs are made,” said Andrew Flack, vice president of sales and marketing, Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific.

“With 77 percent of senior executives describing offsite meetings as a necessity, not a luxury, the research clearly shows that meetings matter. Despite the advances in technology, face-to-face meetings still lead the way in areas such as building stronger teams, solving problems, and motivating individuals, which are things that really move a business forward,” Mr. Flack said.

Ninety-four percent of respondents in the survey agreed that meetings can build stronger business relationships, and 91 percent felt that meetings build stronger bonds between teams. Meetings were also perceived to provide solutions to business problems, with 84 percent of people believing that meetings result in people feeling more inspired than through other forms of communication, 85 percent stating that meetings are more likely to result in breakthrough thinking, and 82 percent that meetings can bring the best out of people when compared to other communication forms.

Recognizing the continuing importance of meetings – especially in volatile market conditions - Hilton in Asia Pacific has today launched a new industry first. Anyone making a bedroom booking from now until June 30 for any date in 2009 will be eligible to receive a complimentary meetings package including meeting room facilities, refreshments, and lunch. The offer extends across all Hilton Family hotel brands in Asia Pacific: Hilton, Conrad, and Doubletree by Hilton.

“At a time when organizations have become markedly more cost-conscious, yet still demand quality, Hilton family has come up with this inspired solution of ‘spend your nights with us, and your meetings are free’ to specifically respond to this emerging need in the market. We believe it is the ideal choice for cost-conscious business travelers,” Mr. Flack added.

Hilton family’s “Meetings for Free" applies to any conference, training, or sales event held at any one of 47 Hilton Family hotels across 14 Asia Pacific countries for meetings from as few as two to as many as 100 residential delegates. The promotion is open for bookings made during a limited period between April 15 and June 30, 2009, for events taking place throughout the year until December 31, 2009.

Faith Thoms Director PR & Communication Hilton Hotels Corporation – Asia Pacific Tel: +65 6833 9762 Email: Rachel Faulkner Senior Consultant Baldwin Boyle Shand Tel: +65 6833 4108 Email:

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