The hospitality industry is a powerful force that must stay strong during these trying economic times. If we live in fear, allowing it to operate the decisions we make, we're simply adding to the problem, NOT attempting to fix it!
The Opening General Session on Sunday, February 8, 2009, was for me, the best part of Meet Different. The keynote speakers addressed the issues at large, primarily the cancellation of thousands of meetings and events that planners around the world are experiencing due to clients operating out of fear, and told us that we can work together to correct them.
A few suggestions I took away from this week:
- Cancellations. Work with clients to inform them of the effects the cancellation of their events/meetings has on the economy. Hotels lose money, have to cut staff, unemployment rates increase due to loss of jobs.
- Perception. Didn't your parents teach you not to let other people influence the decisions you make? Why are Fortune 500 companies allowing public opinion to determine whether or not they're going to hold meetings? Call me crazy, but with the current state of our economy, one would think that executives at companies around the world need to meet to determine their course of action to stay afloat. Work with your clients to find a happy-medium.
- Fear. Don't let fear rule the decisions you make... and don't let fear rule the decisions your clients make. Listen to your clients concerns, but be creative and show them solutions and ways in which they can accomplish their goals and objectives through strategic meetings and events.