The Only Constant is Change… How time on the lawn in the airport terminal made me think differently!
The first two months of the year has passed, by now we might have forgotten all about our New Year’s resolutions and most of us are yet again taken longer breaks between our visits to the gym…For me the first two months of the year tends to be quieter. Less travel activities, more time spend on preparation for classes with teaching activities starting in February. However, 2018 have started differently!
In January I was in Palm Spring together with the rest of the ICHRIE board, participating in the pre-conference board meeting and inspection of the hotel- and conference facilities. I will let you know that we are in for a treat this year. The Renaissance in Indian Wells is a lovely resort that promises well for this year’s conference. Not to forget that Palm Springs International Airport is one of the most relaxed airports I have ever flown to and from…. Yes, you read correctly! Relaxed! Most of the gates in the airport is outside and they even have a lawn where you can sit and relax, while waiting for your flight to depart. This made me think! When you can design an airport that makes people relax, there are endless opportunities to how we can design conference concepts to fit the location that we are in!
Earlier in my newsletter updates from EuroCHRIE, I have been writing about the changes that our federation have made to our conference concept, not only going to new places, but also trying new initiatives relating to our yearly conference. Some initiatives were a great success from the start and others needs to be polished just a little bit more to make them successful. Some were just adjustments from the “business as usual” but made a great impact on the overall conference experience. As I have mentioned earlier, changing and trying out new things can be somehow challenging for our mindset. Many times, it is just more comfortable to stay with what you know works! But the challenge is, that things we have done for the past many years, no longer attracts new conference delegates and new members. We need to change our comfortable mindset to adapt to new demands from the next generation of hospitality researchers, educators, instructors, and industry professionals. They want more tangible take aways, when they participate in conferences, that being new perspectives and/or tools to use in research, teaching, and business development. For future conferences we need to rethink our value propositions towards a new generation of academics and professionals. A generation who has multiple interests both within research/teaching and business development. A generation who focus on professional development and new research methods simultaneously. It seems very self-centered; however, this is also a generation who are willing to give back. This is a generation who needs a clear purpose of the activities they undertake – a purpose that makes sense not just for themselves, but also for others.
The obvious question is then, how can we provide these value propositions to future CHRIE-conference delegates (that being ICHRIE and federation conferences)?
This year we are going to Dublin in Ireland and one of the new initiatives have already been presented. In collaboration with Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management (JHTM) we are presenting a PAPER HACKATHON! The purpose of this initiative is to support tourism and hospitality researchers to form partnerships with the aim to develop and pitch for a paper publication in JHTM.
The format is an intense two-day paper hackathon where teams of researchers will be formed and work towards the development of a study/paper proposal (paper-a-thon), which they will then present to an evaluation panel. During the hackathon, teams will work under the mentorship of prominent tourism scholars and they will receive constructive and valuable feedback for their research proposals. Teams with highly evaluated papers-a-thon will be invited to submit their completed manuscripts for a fast-tracked review process and a possible publication at the JHTM (within 2019).
Making a link between destination and conference is not only a thing that we are doing at EuroCHRIE conferences. After the January ICHRIE board meeting in Palm Springs it was decided to make new conference activities. One initiative I am looking forward to seeing in action is a CSR related project that we will do together with HYATT (A great thanks to our Director of Industry Services Brook Luedke for coming up with this great idea). ICHRIE delegates will be able to give back to the local community in Palm Springs and show the true meaning of hospitality and to extend our thanks to Palm Springs for their hospitality during our conference - More on that later but look forward to learning more about this.
There will be a range of new initiatives during our Summer conference and I am sure that you are going to enjoy it. Personally, I am looking forward to our time together in the desert.
2018 is still young, but this will be a changing year for our organisation!
And I truly recommend that you try out the lawn in Palm Springs International Airport.
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