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ON24 survey: 92% of executives fed up with business travel

December 15th, 2011

Atlanta named worst airport, Houston named worst conference destination

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – December 15, 2011 – ON24, Inc., the global leader in webcasting and virtual events, today announced the findings of its survey of 3,756 registrants for this year’s VUE2011, the world’s largest virtual events user conference. The survey revealed that an overwhelming 92% of executives think that business travel is failing to improve, with almost half saying it is getting worse or even much worse.

When asked which cities they would choose to avoid for a convention or trade show if a substitute virtual event were available, Houston topped the list, with almost half (49.3%) of the respondents preferring not to travel to the largest city in Texas. In fact, respondents said they would prefer attending a virtual conference over actually visiting several American cities, including:

  • Houston – 49.3%
  • Los Angeles – 41.7%
  • Orlando – 37.5%
  • Miami – 33.3%
  • Chicago – 27.8%

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson was ranked as the nation’s worst airport, followed by Washington D.C.’s Dulles and Los Angeles’ LAX.

The survey respondents cited a variety of reasons for the woeful state of business travel. The worst part about flying was the possibility of sitting in the middle seat (53%), followed by potential delays (50.6%), security lines (40.9%) and rude airline employees (25.6%). Executives also noted the possibility of sitting next to a “nightmare passenger” as a concern, with three quarters (74.2%) of respondents saying they do not want to sit next to a sick person, followed by a baby or annoying child (42.9%), an arm rest hog (42.9%), a snorer (35%) and a couple who can’t keep their hands off each other (26.4%).

Hotels fared no better, with a surprising 52.8% of executives concerned about the risk of bed bugs, along with dirty linens (44.8%) and noisy guests (42.3%). Responses about trade shows and conventions reflected the usual criticisms about boring presentations (60.7%) and getting behind at work (60.1%). However, an interesting 19.6% of respondents said that the so-called “booth babes” who often staff trade show exhibits are sexist relics.

“These results demonstrate that virtual communication is more ‘in sync’ than physical events with how people today prefer to work,” said Denise Persson, ON24’s Chief Marketing Officer. “In today’s digital age, professionals increasingly prefer virtual events and webcasts to traveling to in-person events. Virtual event attendees can consume content conveniently and efficiently wherever they are–at their desks, on their laptops or with any mobile device. With virtual communication, there are no logistical barriers interfering with getting the information you need.”

About ON24, Inc.

The recognized global market share leader, ON24 provides webcasting and virtual environments for corporate communications and demand generation. ON24 offers fully integrated, enterprise-wide solutions for applications ranging from partner expos, user conferences and trade shows to training and company town hall meetings. More than 750 organizations, including IBM, Cisco, CA Technologies, Merck, AstraZeneca, Fiserv, Credit Suisse, GE and Oracle, rely on ON24. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices throughout the world. For more information, visit