I recently read an article in Inc Magazine entitled "Signs a Leader is Burned out" and one of the recommendations was to attend conferences and industry events. I have to admit after doing this for over twenty years, I am honestly sick of doing just that. Now please do not get me wrong - the best part is seeing old friends, meeting current customers and of course, talking to new friends and new customers. But I have heard so much of the same old messages from speakers - and I usually learn very little.
But I realized two important things from attending events - and why the point in this article is spot on. First is I do learn something (maybe not as much as I used to, but something). And second, I always make old and new connections. In that is a message I think we should all embrace because we have to always get better - listen to new and old ideas - and we must always make connections with the people in our industry. And this is not only good for you as a person but good for your career.
So what should you consider?
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is holding their spring conference in a couple of weeks in Atlanta. April 12th - 14th are the dates, and unique to the industry, buyers have free registration fees. Get your year off to a good start by attending this spring event. Now I wish I could attend, but I teach my class at a local university, preventing me from attending.
The Institute for Travel and Meetings is holding their big annual event in Scotland from April 20th - 22nd. A more regional look at travel for UK and Ireland. This is a great organization that runs an awesome event. And it is in Scotland - St. Andrews to be specific - so why would you not want to go?
The Global Business Travel Association is holding their summer conference in July from the 25th - 29th in Orlando, Florida. Probably the biggest event our industry holds - I have to believe most of you have either been or heard of this event. I will be there - and you will be hearing about my attempt to meet with many of you during this event soon!
And then in the fall ACTE once again gets everyone together in Paris, France from October 14th - 16th for their European event. Again, buyers receive free registrations - and well it is Paris. So now is the time to block off your calendars and make plans to attend this great European event. I hope to attend this and meeting many of our European friends.
Now there are a host of other events to consider from each of these organizations - and many others in the world. There are local GBTA chapters all over the United States, and many other country specific organizations that may meet your needs. But in the end it is all about getting better and staying connected. Rest assured I will be doing my part by getting out there more. If you have any suggestions or ideas please reach out and let me know how we can help you stay connected!