During this season of looking back and looking forward, of thanking friends and family, and just enjoying the season, I thought it was time to tone the rhetoric down and just write you something from the heart. Now, please take note, I am writing this to the association, not the board, not the president, not the director. Rather it is to all of us that we embrace collectively the goals that our association should be pursuing. Goals that I hope work for both suppliers and buyers. We may not make everyone happy, but at least we attempt to make some happy!
Creation of Transparency: Our world is becoming more and more transparent every day. When we wonder about a price, we Google it to see where we might find it for less. We strive to understand pricing and the logic behind it. We want to know everything. For our travel association we want to know more - so it is time to open up the curtain. Let us understand the pricing, the expenses, everything. This is not your association, it is ours.
Culture of Innovation: Let's have our association step up to the plate and be innovative with regard to what service you provide. Engage your customers to create a new model for a trade show and showing off products and services. Engage your customers to create a new education model. Engage your customers to create a new way to listen to innovative speakers and messages. Stop hiring politicians and celebrities, and hire people with messages that will allow your customers to grow and be better at what they do.
Collaborate and make friends: I feel sometimes our association is more about making enemies than they are focused on making friends and collaborating. Imagine working with our friends at Business Travel News, or PhoCusWright, or even ACTE to create the best program in the industry? Collaboration will elevate this association more than beating down the enemies can ever accomplish.
If I imagine what this would create it is an association that is stronger, bigger, and most important better. The time is now for the leadership to make changes and embrace new goals - and make our industry the best it can be.