7 Ways to Support the Hospitality Industry Through Advocacy

What is the Social Tables Huddle?

Welcome to the Social Tables Huddle, our weekly video blog series where you’ll find us interviewing a hospitality industry leader on a breadth of topics that pertain to meeting and events professionals. Each video blog is presented as part of a three-post series.

Why are we doing this? What’s our objective? It’s quite simple: make the thoughts from the brightest minds in the hospitality world accessible to you, anytime, anywhere. Our hope is that you find one, two, forty or maybe even seventy-eight ideas that you can apply to your career in the hospitality industry, today.

In part 2 of our series with hospitality thought leader Roger Rickard, he stresses the value that meetings have to organizations and the need for those in participation in these meetings, to remain engaged. He connects this engagement in today’s post, The 7 Ways to Support the Hospitality Industry Through Advocacy.

Today, Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day in the United States. So it got me thinking, ‘How can those of us in hospitality advocate for our industry? How can one have a voice in how our government operates, and how it affects the future of meetings and events? What actions does one need to take to become engaged and create greater influence in the political process to support our industry?’

Now that you have a better picture of the importance and value of having meaningful, engaging meetings, how can this principle be applied to support the hospitality industry? Consider these seven actions that will give you a greater influence and make you a more engaged and better equipped citizen – both for your personal political views and for our industry:

1. Stay informed.

Read newspapers and magazines, join social media groups and find blogs (like this one) that help you stay abreast of issues concerning the hospitality industry. Check websites of organizations that produce studies on these issues to supplement the information that you receive from the media – Meetings Mean Business is a good place to start. Use your search engine for more in depth research or new sources about the impact that hospitality has on the economy, such as the Convention Industry Council’s Economic Significance Study.

2. Discuss the issues.

Share the information you find amongst peer groups and friends. Talk with them and listen to their views about these issues. Start a discussion in your social media groups, your workplace, school, social circle, etc. Sharing opinions and insights will help you shape and refine your own beliefs. Even those people whose opinions oppose yours have valuable points of view.

3. Get on record.

Write letters or emails to your elected officials on the hospitality industry topics that impact you. Voice your opinion to the media by writing to editors of the press you read. Use multiple social media platforms to reach other interested parties. For example, if you live in Clark County (Las Vegas), and hate the fire code submission requirements for meeting and event space, contact your local politician and schedule a conversation with them about what you can do to help change the past to accommodate an efficient future.

4. Vote.

Register to vote and keep abreast of local issues affecting you. Many people vote in the presidential election every four years, but issues such as safety, transportation, property taxes and zoning laws are decided in local elections and impact the hospitality industry significantly.

Planner tip: Sponsor a voter registration table at a regularly scheduled hospitality industry meeting prior to election(s), which could coincide with an educational program on government affairs or advocacy.

5. Volunteer.

One of the best contributions you can make to a political campaign is your time. You can answer phones, post yard signs, and disseminate. Contact your local political party office for volunteer opportunities. Go to your search engine and key-in your ‘county name’ followed by ‘party name’ and you’ll find links to their local office(s). Events and meetings include fundraisers and political rallies. Use your talents to help make them all they can be.

6. Put your money where your mouth is.

If possible, consider contributing financially to a candidate, your state or national party, or special interest cause that supports the hospitality industry.

7. Believe.

Cynicism is for the hopeless. Belief is for the hopeful. Only through speaking out on the issues you support and encouraging other people to do the same can you really make a difference. Remember that in 2008 many companies were writing off meetings and events as extraneous expenditures: it was only through the hard work of those of us in the industry that believed in it that it is the global giant it is today.

What other actions do you take on to support the hospitality industry?

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