Why Reading Is Fundamental to Professional Success

Why Reading Is Fundamental to Professional Success

I’ve been a reader all my life and I believe it has helped me succeed in my professional life.

My parents subscribed to two daily newspapers and to many periodicals. What didn’t come to our home, I read at the library, especially if it had an interesting cover.

I also made a habit out of reading the magazines I sold during fundraiser season to make money for my school. I would think up the reasons behind why people subscribed to them.

No matter the type of media—books, periodicals, newspapers—my preferred way to read is in print though I do read many articles and interviews digitally. I’m a life-long learner who can find value in and application for almost everything I read, passing along to clients and colleagues and posting in social media for discussion some of the articles I find most useful.

Yes, it’s sometimes difficult to keep up.

Next to a favorite chair in our living room—or is it an all-purpose room in an apartment if it’s living/dining?—by my side of the bed, and in stacks on the desks and floor of my office, are books and periodicals I’ve read and want to reference or to be read.

I’m always finding interesting things to read and I truly believe it is an easy way to benefit your career and sharpen your mind—and maybe even unwind, depending on what you choose to read. Staying current on the news can certainly help you in your event planning.

This blog post provides some of the useful information I’ve recently read. On June 7, 2019, you’ll have the second part of the official Friday With Joan newsletter about the intersection of life- and end-of-life events and hospitality. You can read part one here.

[Related Content: Check Out More Musings From Joan Eisenstodt]

Interesting Articles for Meeting Professionals

All About 5G: Either at newsstands or online if there aren’t paywalls, find the June 3, 2019 edition of Time magazine, and the May 27, 2019, issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

In Time, be sure to check out “The Battle for 5G” by Charlie Campbell and the related environmental sidebar “The coming mountain of e-waste” by Alana Semuels (to be read before buying yet another electronic device to accommodate 5G if you can get that at all).

The main article discusses the impact of the government’s blocking of Huawei services in the U.S. (and some other countries) to supply 5G.

The implications in rural areas is especially critical.

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Trump Puts Tariffs on Pizza Toppings written by Jeannette Neumann with Bryce Baschuk, about the cost and availability of black olives is a short article that may seem inconsequential at first glance.

Sure … until your CEO wonders where the black olives are!

In that same issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, read “Where The Money Is” that has lots of information on economics and wealth inequality. There’s a good segment on The Plaza Hotel in New York and how its ownership changed hands, more than once.

Creating Welcoming Conferences: Sherry Marts is a colleague and role model. She’s a recipient of the MIT Media Lab “Disobedience Award,” a higher compliment I can’t imagine! Here, on her website—at no charge, not even a need to get on her email list—are guidelines to create safe and welcoming conferences. Here’s a more direct link to the information.

Build Your Own Bliss Station: This is a watch/listen/read suggestion about how to build a bliss station, an episode of The Pinkcast moderated and created by Daniel Pink, the author of one of my still-favorite books, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future.” Dan Pink interviews Austen Kleon on creating bliss stations.

It is captioned making it accessible.

And there are lots of applications for creating bliss stations for use at meetings. I’m thinking about applications; detail yours in the comment section below.

A Very Important Read: Politics must be part of our reading. We’ve tweeted via @meetingstoday many of the links to articles about changing taxes and policies in U.S. cities and states that impact what and how we spend money and where we decide to meet.

In this article about the Texas Legislature’s actions before departing there is reference to issues for our industry. Holding a meeting there? Give it a read!

Food & Beverage Trends: A number of food/F&B related articles pulled me in, all of them relevant because F&B is integral to hospitality. Two are about the experiences and experiences, we are told, are what travelers including meeting-goers, desire most.

What will make the experience of a destination notable and not cookie-cutter—what I call an “any convention city” experience—if those quintessential experiences are gone?

The F&B articles I found most interesting include:

  • Carrot “hot dogs” because so many vegans and others with dietary requests want to have a similarly looking/tasting experience at our events and these “dogs” may be the way to have the picnic or ballpark experience look, taste and feel more inclusive.
  • The final straw on how England will ban plastic beginning in 2020 and what that means to tourists, planners and others for planning ahead.
  • One Last Cup of Coffee to Go, My Friend, authored by Stefanos Chen, about how New York’s diners are disappearing. Broke my heart and when we think about experiences, aren’t they part of why we take meetings to New York?
  • The search for “authentic” ethnic food is a dead end,” was another one that made me also think about what we have and don’t have or want and what participants ask planners, concierge staff and DMOs when they want an “experience” in a city.

    I did chuckle at the descriptions of what makes many think a restaurant is authentic. (Hint: more about the ambience than the food). I’m grateful that John Paul Brammer stepped aside from his work at The Trevor Project to write this.
  • In The Age of Seamless, Is the ‘Regular’ A Dying Breed? by Helene Stapinski made me think of the dying breed of local restaurants that, if you’re a frequent business traveler to a city, you want to “make yours.”

    In the print edition of The New York Times in which this appeared is a short follow up story with quotes from individuals who have had to change restaurants when “their favorites” closed. It’s well-worth considering when selecting a destination and for hotels with their own special restaurants to think about when training staff to recognize regulars … and well, even semi-regulars.
  • ICYMI – Washington Post food critic, Tom Sietsema wrote that now he’ll “Add accessibility to his restaurant reviews” to which I say BRAVO! After noodging Tom via email after each awful experience in DC restaurants when using my mobility scooter, he’s asking for us all to advise him of challenges for anyone with a disability.

    I strongly recommend you sentd this to your DMO to suggest they too add accessibility in guides for their local restaurants (You too, @DestinationDC).

Travel Is Just Not Fun: We’re all watching and waiting with bated breath to see if the 737 Max planes will fly again and watching to see how many flights and passengers will be impacted until they do. Check out the latest on the situation as reported by CNN.

Heading to DC?: If you’re coming to the Washington, DC Metro area, you really want to read this. Metro, the main way many get around, is shutting down six Blue and Yellow line stations for the summer in 2019. Expect more traffic on the roads whether you work in the area or are visiting for meetings or business. Be sure put on your “patience hat.”

So there you have it, a fraction of what I’ve been reading.

There is a stack of many more articles and online bookmarks for another time. Tell us all about articles you’ve read or why you can’t keep up and need others of us to help you keep abreast of the news that may impact your life and your work. We’ll help.

Stay Tuned for More Recommended Reads

Upcoming this summer: books we’re reading. If you’d like to participate in an interview, email me at FridayWithJoan@aol.com only with “Books” in the subject line.

Editor’s Note: The views expressed by contributing bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Meetings Today or its parent company.

Posted by Joan L. Eisenstodt

Joan Eisenstodt Headshot

Follow Joan on Twitter: @joaneisenstodt

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