It’s show time. Just about every weekend now, one state or another is holding its annual association conference and trade show. In less than two weeks, the lodging industry’s largest event—the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS)—will take place at the Javits Center in New York City. I plan to attend this year’s event and will report back to you on the latest green product news and trends. I will also be attending and speaking at the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association’s annual conference on November 20. Thank you to the organizers of that event for inviting me to participate.
How many annual trade shows do you attend? I attend several each year and probably will attend even more in 2007. If you own or operate a hotel, motel or resort, or are thinking about selling to hoteliers, it is imperative that you visit these events. Each can easily be a worthwhile investment. Here are just a few of the reasons you should attend.
• Green Technologies—Anyone who has bought a computer in recent years knows how quickly they can become outdated. The same applies to many other technologies. Wouldn’t you like to be the first to know if there is a new product that can save your company more in heating and cooling costs than any other? It is likely that the first place you will see that type of new technology is at a trade show.
• Networking—Trade shows are great places to establish new friendships and business relationships. At what other time of the year can one meet and greet industry peers from all over the world? At most trade shows there are after-show events that promote mixing and mingling. If you are looking for a new supplier, employer or even employees, trade shows are great venues.
• Education—In conjunction with most trade shows are conferences that offer opportunities to learn about industry trends and best practices—a perfect opportunity to find new ways to motivate your employees to improve operations and guest satisfaction. After listening to hoteliers and industry experts tell their stories, you will be less likely to repeat their mistakes—sometimes very expensive mistakes.
Leading up to this year’s New York show, I have heard from many vendors who will be exhibiting their green products for the first time. Even if you are not planning to attend this year’s event, you can still use the show’s exhibitor list as a starting point for greening your hotel operations. Click here to access that list.
One final bit of advice: When attending a trade show with hundreds of exhibitors, be sure to start with a plan of attack. (Maybe even a GPS system would help in a place like the Javits Center). Without a plan, one can easily walk extra miles needlessly. Time is money and one could easily miss an opportunity to discover an important new product or service—one that could save you tens of thousands of dollars a year.
Have a productive—and green—show season.
Odds and Ends
Green Lodging News welcomes Project Planet as a Green Product Directory sponsor. Project Planet is the lodging industry’s leading provider of promotional materials for linen and towel reuse programs.
Project Planet’s colorful in-room materials have a significant impact on guest participation. The Dawsonville, Ga.-based company’s materials can be found in more than 5,000 hotels worldwide. Project Planet’s programs reduce energy, water, labor and chemical costs. The company sells a variety of products including pillow toppers, door hangers and more.
Go to Project Planet Corp. for more information.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (440) 243-2055. I look forward to hearing from you.