According to a post on the Gulliver blog on The Economist website, the expense of air travel, hotels and all that for business meetings is money well spent. The reason is simple, you can’t drink beer together via email. Obvious! The real issue is that face-to-face meeting accomplish so much more than email, video conferencing, phone calls or any other non-contact medium. The post is based on a Harvard Business Review by Stephen Greer, who mentions the gelling and bonding only brought about by face-to-face meeting. Once these bonds are in place, then email and phone calls can be used. My own experience makes me agree totally. I have resolved quite a lot of business problems in restaurants and bars – not by getting drunk, but by building trust in a less formal environment and getting to know the people better. Try it, but don’t go too mad! But, seriously, read the blog post, it is sound advice.