In our competitive global economy, we all must strive to do our very best if we want to succeed and thrive. I think this is particularly true in the meeting, incentive and hospitality industries. It isn’t acceptable to rest on laurels of past accomplishments. It is necessary — and even expected — that we top our previous endeavors, and/or enhance our already impressive services or facilities.
In short, we should never settle for just being “good.” We constantly need to strive to be “great.”
But what does that mean?
Reach For New Heights
In our exciting industry, where we are in the “experience business,” there always seems to be a way to improve. This doesn’t mean that anything was wrong with the prior meeting or venue. It may have been just as was planned. But that still leaves “opportunity” to improve. With a passion for excellence, it is admirable to challenge our achievement levels with each program conducted or hosted.
So, how is this achieved for meetings and incentive travel programs?
Start with the basics. Effectively communicate with your specific (and varied) audiences, and address their particular needs. Be sure to note that different audiences (and generations) may respond in dissimilar ways, so take this into consideration when choosing the mode and manner of communication, with tailored messages. And if you are not creative then you may be boring.
Also, collaborate with colleagues and attendees on ways to enrich future programs. Take advantage of helpful and effective resources, such as your trusted Global Sales Organization (GSO) contacts that advocate for your interests.
Choose Wisely & Be Concise
Next, choose unique, high-quality venues and destinations that properly reflect the quality and character of your company or organization. Again, boring is not an option. This choice is essential so that your program projects a distinctive image – to clients, members, employees, potential customers, and colleagues – that is consistent with the market positioning and overall image of your brand. When your organization is, or strives to be, a leader in its field, then reflect it in the venue.
For the meeting content, make sure you are providing meaningful topics, presented concisely. Looking to the example of the very successful TED Conferences — presented in 18 minutes or less — can serve as inspiration for maximizing your attendees’ time, while maintaining attendee attention. Information in today’s rapidly moving society is often best-received in a fast, direct, dynamic, fact-based format that gets to the point and does not waste the audience’s time. Or, worse yet, becomes boring. After all, length does not beat content.
With that said, be sure that you also provide some “white space” on the agenda (i.e. not “overstuffed”), so that participants are able to establish a camaraderie with others, take advantage of the offerings at the distinguished venue, and make fond, lasting memories of their experience.
While it can be easy to settle for the status quo of “last year’s program,” it is much more rewarding to strive for greatness. I’m very proud to be part of an industry that always reaches for, and achieves, new heights, and is so creative. It definitely isn’t boring to watch (and help) so many fantastic programs reach their targets and evolve into “Best Ever” year-after-year!
David Gabri is CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the North American Meetings & Incentive marketplace for its membership of over 250 luxury-level hotels and resorts around the world. ALHI’s portfolio also features Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in more than 100 locations worldwide, plus 23 luxury-level cruise ships. Contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-2544, and visit alhi.com .