Could the silver lining to the recession be fewer meetings? No, we're not that lucky. However, employers are looking at ways to meet smarter, if not less frequently.

WorldatWork reports a recent study from Worktopia, that finds the economic downturn is forcing companies to control the cost of offsite meetings, while not reducing the number of meetings planned for 2009.

According to Wroktopia, although 47% of respondents are not changing the number of offsite meetings planned for this year (a merciless 14% anticipate an increase in meetings), 71% of respondents report shrinking meeting budgets and 86% are taking steps to control spending on offsite meetings. The cost-cutting options include lower-priced venues (54%), a strategic meeting management process (37%) and conducting regional (versus national) meetings (32%).

Although I'm a proponent of the have fewer meetings strategy, just 39% said they expect to go that route.

Click here for EBN coverage on how avatars are being used to reduce the time and frequency (although not necessarily effectiveness) of benefits communication meetings.

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