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13th October 2009

Flybe winners prove "business is better face to face"

Leading regional airline gives away 20 annual Executive Lounge passes for best "Face to Face" business anecdotes

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline and the UK’s number one domestic carrier, has today announced the 20 winners of its ‘Good, Bad and Ugly in Business’ competition.

The competition was launched to support the airline’s popular ‘Business is Better Face to Face’ advertising campaign and asked business travellers to submit their best, worst and ugliest business experiences when they had relied on technology rather than speaking face-to-face with their clients or colleagues. The top 20 anecdotes, as judged by the Flybe panel, each receive a Flybe Premiercard giving the winners free access to Flybe’s Executive Lounges for a whole year.

Judging by the number of entries received, it’s official – business really is better Face to Face! Witness some of the more outlandish conferencing stories; the aggressively barking dog that led a company chairman to fear for his colleague’s postman’s safety; the corrupted blueprint that led an architect to believe he would have to cross a river daily without a bridge to get to work; and an intense US contract law discussion that was interrupted by a participant’s son announcing that he needed ‘a change of trousers’!

The online competition reinforced the airline’s new hard-hitting advertising campaign by highlighting the importance and power of face to face meetings for more effective business. It is also designed to stress the value of personal contact, with the claim that conference calls simply aren’t effective in nurturing, and winning, business.

Simon Lilley, Flybe’s Director of Marketing explains: “We want to help our customers fly in the face of tight budgets and reap the benefits of building strong business relationships.

“Research has shown that prospects are more than twice as likely to become new customers through face to face meetings* and it’s not surprising after hearing so many tales of communication calamities. Indeed, faulty audio visual equipment, misinterpreted comment or often absentee colleagues can make for a virtual business disaster.

“We believe we have reached the point now where Financial Directors are relaxing strict business travel restrictions, recognising the value of the face-to-face relationship. Organisations are now approving the movement of key managers to ensure business growth whilst remaining prescriptive over available travel budgets.”

*Sourced from Oxford Economics study on Business Travellers