Predictions and resolutions are the stuff new years are made of. In the last days of 2016, on Facebook and other social media sites, after the deaths of beloved celebrities, many said they wanted 2016 over; that “enough was enough.”
Keith Knight, known mainly for his cartooning but to me known as a brilliant speaker on police brutality and race relations, got it right in his Jan. 1, 2017 cartoon.
Others of us, in reaction to the election results in the U.S. and elsewhere, to the horrors against humanity in so many countries, including the United States—the killing and homelessness and poverty of so many—wondered if we could just hold on to 2016 to get it right before we started again.
2017, alas, is here.
At the end of 2015, I wrote a predictions blog that I never posted. I reviewed it at the end of 2016 and found, much to my dismay, too much was still true.
Instead of revising that, I started over, seeking, before I wrote, input from colleagues in a variety of positions in our industry. My thanks to those who were able to respond; to those whose lives made it impractical, I hope, when you read this, you’ll add what you might have said if you had been able.
The questions I asked of colleagues and my responses follow. Add what you hope and predict for our industry—or more broadly, for our world—in the comments below. And please answer the poll questions too so we have a sense of what you, our readers, think.
The world is in a great deal of flux. What is your hope for meetings and our broader hospitality industry for 2017?
I hope that we…
If you choose to do so, what are your hopes for the world for 2017?
My hopes are not much different for the world as for our industry and mirror many of those expressed by my colleagues in what I call “Part 2” of the Jan. 6 newsletter.
As a child and still as an adult, I’ve always believed if we could just talk with each other and see life from each other’s points of view or experiences, we might make peace. So the optimistic idealist (or pessimistic optimist) in me wants to believe that in spite of the dictators and torture, in spite of the pretense of getting along when we don’t, we might find common ground (See the link above and here again for an example).
What is your prediction for one area of meetings or hospitality for 2017?
If the new U.S. President and his Administration make it more difficult for people who are Muslim or who reside in Muslim-majority countries to come to the United States, meetings—scientific and medical meetings in particular—will suffer the lack of broad input leading to a loss of research and solutions to serious problems. Just as the cutback in the ability of U.S. scientists and others to attend conferences when the scandals about meetings hit, a ban on those who can attend conferences will hurt us all.
Of course, the cutback on U.S. government meetings is likely to remain in the wake of budget considerations and the President-elect (or President, depending on when you are reading this) calling for agencies to shut down and people to be laid off. I can only imagine more U.S. government meetings being hit. Not good for any of us! But then perhaps it won't happen if we speak up about the impact it has on people and business.
Most of all, I will try to write about things that stimulate conversation and thought and hope you will provide input so I know what you need/want to make our industry better.
On a personal note: at the end of this year, two people important to me died: one, an association stalwart, Ed Able, once CEO of the American Association of Museums, and the other, the young husband and father of a meeting planning friend and colleague, Shira Kundinger. Other friends suffered cancer and other illnesses and were hospitalized. And we observe at the first of the year the yahrzeits (death anniversaries) of dear friends and colleagues, Laurie Meyer and Stan Aaronson.
I thus wish each of you a healthy and safe new year.
May you find purpose to act on what’s important to you, may you find a way to be inclusive in your actions and thoughts, and may you help make the world a better place.
As always, the opinions expressed here and by those interviewed may not reflect the opinions of the owner and publisher of this newsletter and blog.
Click here to access the 01.06.17 edition of the Friday With Joan newsletter.
Posted by Joan L. Eisenstodt
Follow Joan on Twitter: @joaneisenstodt