In case you haven’t heard 2012 is just around the corner and the PAII Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show in Little Rock, AR. January 23-26. The B&B Team is really looking forward to attending in Little Rock, a town I for one have never been to. The Peabody Hotel looks like a fun place also, love the ducks!
As innkeepers and currently as partners with The B&B Team, we have attended dozens of conferences. The PAII conferences became an important part of Rick and my Innkeeping life. Keeping up with the latest trends and implementing them into our business was probably the most important aspect but meeting and networking with innkeepers from far and wide as well as loyal PAII vendors was and is today equally important. Another plus with conference attendance is just plain fun! Never underestimate the importance of fun.
We have asked ourselves over the years why more innkeepers don’t attend. We know there may be some legitimate reasons for not attending every conference but I believe way too many innkeepers just don’t see the benefits of professional conferences. Or maybe they don’t want to have fun!
So…for those naysayers out there let me try to change your outlook.
- Return on Investment – Yes there is expense, you can do the math. But if you view it as an investment in the future growth of your Inn, the return on this investment can be a huge benefit. View the money spent as a marketing expense not as an expensive trip.
- Networking – Where else can you find so many industry contacts and friends under one roof who face the same issues you do? These contacts, innkeepers as well as vendors and PAII staff may become lifelong friends and great sources for information and advice.
- Education, Education, Education – The conference sessions will be led by industry experts and experienced innkeepers. The opening day sessions are led by inspiring keynote speakers. Here is the opportunity to take the pulse of what is happening in our world. Your benefit is real practical professional development for three action packed days.
- Vendor Contacts – The conference will showcase vendors with the tools, supplies and amenities you can use or evaluate for future use. You have the opportunity to compare the values of competing vendors, evaluate their wares, hands on and face to face. Where else can you do this?
- Take a Break – Away from your daily routine. This can be refreshing and energizing and invigorate your calling to innkeeping! An opportunity to reflect, look at the bigger picture and go outside the box (Inn) and explore.
- Give and Share – Sharing your thoughts and experiences (war stories!) with others is beneficial to your innkeeping soul. You become aware that you are not alone. A professional conference is also an excellent opportunity to give back. You can become a mentor to aspiring or new innkeepers, become a session introducer, participate on a panel discussion or create and present your own workshop/session.
Networking, education, making friends, R & R, giving and sharing may be hard to quantify on an expense sheet but to our way of thinking these are benefits that far outweigh dollars and cents. And the fun you will have, priceless!