Five Key Trends That Will Affect Event Planners and Hoteliers
By Steven Hacker Principal, Bravo Management | October 07, 2012
Few of us remember the days when meeting planners and hoteliers routinely agreed to do business together on a handshake. Today even the idea seems absurd but the reality is that until the latter part of the 20th century that was pretty much how a lot of important business was done in the hospitality industry.
That all changed in the 1970s and 1980s when Congress changed tax laws affecting hotels and venture capitalists and other investors discovered the enormous potential financial rewards offered to them by the hospitality industry. The era of local ownership of hotels was supplanted rapidly by investors, many of them overseas, who began buying up the vast majority of hotels serving the needs of the nation's business meetings and conventions.
In fairness a lot of good things did result. Enormous sums of cash became available to build, expand, maintain and renovate hotels that cater to the needs of business travelers and their events. Operating capital became available including resources with which to bring on staff with degrees in hotel management, marketing, food service, and systems engineering. The down side is that local General Managers lost too much of their autonomy and many became forced to operate only within the parameters defined for them by owners. New system-wide policies and processes removed much of the flexibility and creativity that once defined the business dynamics between hoteliers and their clients. Exceptions to corporate rules became increasingly rare and precious.
That's all history and fifty years into the new hospitality industry model we have much to be grateful for. Despite the stresses and angst it is still the place where much of the business of American business gets done. So what's ahead?
Given that we now live and work in the most complex society one could ever imagine, where predictability has become perhaps the first casualty of the new century, it is difficult to know precisely what is next. Based on emerging evidence, that some call trends, however, we can extrapolate some likely scenarios. I've picked five trends that I think will materially impact and perhaps alter the meeting planner and hotelier relationship once again. Here are my five key trends to watch.
1. Attrition Clauses: A thing of the past?