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British Airways backs face-to-face meetings

3 Dec 2009

British Airways (BA) is helping business get personal again, launching the British Airways Business Opportunity Grants competitions in Hongkong, UAE and India. The initiative follows directly the 2009 Harvard Business Review Analytical Services study, where 95 percent of the 2,211 corporates polled revealed that face-to-face meetings were key to building long-term relationships.

A total of 30 small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the hubs mentioned will each be awarded 10 return British Airways Club World tickets valid for travel within a year. Regus, provider of serviced offices and virtual offices, is pitching in with five Regus Businessworld gold memberships for each company as well.

Applicants need to complete the entry form at either www.ba.com/hongkong-grants or www.ba.com/uae-grants or www.ind.grants.ba.com and answer three questions:

    •    What are your company’s specific goals and objectives for 2010?

    •    How would the opportunity and continuity of business travel for a year support and benefit your company?

    •    What specific business objective could travel and face-to-face meetings help your company achieve that remote communication (ie, phone or video conference) could not?

Companies need to have 150 employees or less to qualify. Deadline for submission of entries is by 2359 on January 15, 2010.

The entries will be reviewed by a panel of BA executives and independent judges. Prizes are awarded based on the aptness and originality of answers. Winners will be notified by February 8, 2010.

Kevin McQuillan, BA regional general manager, said: “Our hope is that the British Airways Business Opportunity Grants help these businesses increase their revenues, and help with their strategic growth plans.”

BA is not the only airline in the region coming to the aid of SMEs, United recently rolled out its PassPlus programme in Hongkong after success in the US (see news).

Jarrel Tan

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