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The Industry’s Future: Trends and Conditions Impacting Our Industry

Posted on October 18, 2006

By the always reading Joan Eisenstodt

What have you read this week that opened your eyes to future trends and conditions impacting our industry?

On October 17, it is said the population of the United States reached 300 million.  This may or may not be accurate since I read that the US territories like Puerto Rico were not counted.  We thus might be well over 300M.  Regardless of numbers, the populations of all countries are changing rapidly.  In a global society where people move about more easily, we are seeing greater diversity in who lives where.

Who will attend meetings in the future?  Who will work in our industry?  What will the jobs look like?  What populations will be dominant in what countries?  If the “baby bust” continues as it is in many countries (except France– read www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7935921/site/newsweek/ ) who will fill the jobs currently being vacated by the Baby Boomers? How will hotels and other facilities be designed to meet the needs of aging populations? of diverse religions? of a different gender mix at meetings and in the work force?

“Hospitality 2010: The Future of Hospitality and Travel”, by Marvin Cetron et al (which can be purchased at amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Hospitality-2010-Future-Travel/dp/0131475797 ) looks at the trends impacting our industry’s future.  In addition, a white paper with the same title and interesting content, co-authored by Dr. Laila Rach at NYU’s Tisch School, can be found at http://www.nyu.edu/public.affairs/releases/detail/1116.  In the 23 October 2006 issue of The New Yorker is an article entitled “The Last Drop: Confronting the possibility of a global catastrophe” about water usage and the current shortage in many countries and specifically in India.  (An interview with the author can be found at http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/articles/061023on_onlineonly02 )

While in Dallas last week on business, I read that water use has been curtailed.  This included asking hotels to only serve water on request and cut back on any use to water lawns or to do laundry.  How long will it take before cities like Las Vegas– already facing a shortage in 2002 before more people moved in to take the jobs at the increasing number of hotels (http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2002/Jun-23-Sun-2002/news/19020549.html ) - curtail the use of water for residents and hotels?  How will we manage our meetings and serve guests when there is no water?

This week I’m in Detroit and looking at the buildings occupied by the car manufacturers that helped create a different US that had an impact on travel and tourism.  In the 23 October Business Week is an article about the impact of a change in what cars are manufactured on the rental car industry and the prices we pay to rent cars.  (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_43/b4006072.htm?chan=search )  If there are fewer rental cars and the prices are much higher, what will the impact be on meetings?

Terri Hardin wrote, on 18 October’s MiMegaSite Soap Box about the Frankfurt Book Fair.  In her last line, she asked “Hey, what was the last book YOU read?” http://www.misoapbox.com/2006/10/alive_reading.html I wonder what was the last anything you read – in print or on line – that gave you a clue about the industry’s future?

If you follow the trends, you’ll be more aware and thus smarter about how you work.  Go read something now.


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Joan - Such good questions as always. I will have to think about some of these for a while. I can answer the one about the book I am reading. Generations at Work. It has been very interesting to read and has helped me to gain greater insight to those around me (both at work and in my personal life).

Eli Gorin

I think one important thing to take into consideration with future trends is the rapid pace we move at now. For example, I would love to pick up the books and everything that Joan has recommended but I most likely wouldn't find the time to do so (sorry Joan!!). However, if there is something that comes out that I feel would be interesting reading that would peak my personal interest as well, then I may take a look. One book that I am looking at reading is Danny Meyer's "Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business" which doesn't just focus on how he has developed his restaurant empire (Union Square Cafe, Grammercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Tabla, etc) but also how he does business through "enlightened hospitality".

I want to expand my knowledge base as much as I can but I focus now on the items which are most pertinent to my daily work life (such as emails and postings on the MiForum/MIMlist) which many times bring up important topics that are affecting us at that moment.

We live in a society that if the emails dont come in immediately (read within 14 seconds) then we throw a fit. Why do people like Crackberries? Because the technology allows the emails to come through immediately. Why are blogs becoming so popular? Because the postings are immediate and do not go through various editorial committees or formats before being approved for publication.

There are so many issues and trends going on in regards to industry advancements and innovations that we could write a whole book on the topic. The question is, will people have the time to read it, and will it become obsolete the moment it is published? What do you say Joan? Care to co-author? :-)


Joan Eisenstodt

Eli .. use plane travel as a time to read books you might not otherwise make time to read. (I'm reading Danny's book too.) People make time to do many things, Eli - whether it's reading or playing sports or "hanging out" - it's a matter of how (or if) you want to learn.
About the book..sure.. why not?


..it has an affirmative duty to prove that the attrition or cancellation damages billed to the meeting sponsor are actually owed and are accurate.

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