By Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI)

Just like organizations everywhere, HSMAI is grappling with the decision of where and how to meet. We want to bring our community together in person but understand the time still isn’t right. While we’re committed to presenting our three flagship conferences — the Marketing Strategy Conference, ROC, and the Sales Leader Forum — face-to-face in 2021, in the meantime we’re rolling elements of all three as well as some of our other signature events into HSMAI Road to Recovery 2020.

The hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals who have participated in Road to Recovery, which mixes live and on-demand online programs in a variety of formats, seem eager to be not just with us but with each other. Right now, these virtual offerings are the correct choice for HSMAI, allowing the members of our community to engage at the level and to the extent with which they feel most comfortable. It feels good to be able to continue providing them with valuable content and experiences while still observing the realities of our pandemic economy.

Designed to give our stakeholders a comprehensive and affordable way to engage this fall, Road to Recovery kicked off with Small Screen, Big Impact and CURATE PRESENTS: Resilience Now. These takeaways struck me as particularly resonant:

  • Debra Jasper, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Mindset Digital, our partner on Small Screen, Big Impact, on the importance of building a robust presence on LinkedIn: “Often when people google you, your LinkedIn profile comes up. It’s the first site people will find. Your clients and your colleagues go there. It’s a platform for your thought leadership, and it is a go-to site for journalists. If you haven’t googled yourself lately, the first thing I’d suggest is doing that. Ask yourself: Is this the right impression? Is this the impression I want to be creating in this new virtual space?”
  • Jannell MacAulay, Ph.D., performance and leadership consultant, who is leading us through CURATE PRESENTS: Resilience Now, on the power of mindful awareness: “Are your thoughts, words, and actions in alignments? It all starts with how we think, and then it translates into how we behave and how we act…. If they’re misaligned, then especially when we apply pressure into our lives, it’s going to going to be a struggle…. It’s most important to build psychological flexibility, because what happens inside our brains is, when stress is applied, if we have not built up a psychological toolkit, our brains will go into survival mode.”

Both of these programs speak to the need for all of us to rethink how we conduct ourselves as individual professionals and within organizations. That’s a recurring theme for Road to Recovery, which continues with The Changing Economic & Business Landscape, featuring a hospitality and travel forecast from global economist Bernard Baumohl. From there we’ll have six Executive Roundtables and 12 weekly Recovery Connections sessions — plus ongoing certificate courses and credentialing opportunities.

And, finally, I urge you to spend some time with our HSMAI Hospitality Heroes, whom we’re honoring as part of this year’s Adrian Awards program. These are hospitality professionals whose actions have made a difference to their colleagues, industry, and communities during COVID-19, and who inspire us with their kindness and compassion.

We’ll see you in person when it’s safe to do so. Until then, meet us on the Road to Recovery.


Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles