This bud's for you.
This month the Canadian government is preparing to legalize recreational adult-use of cannabis and cannabis products. While all the implications of this new bill are still very much unknown, including how to measure intoxication levels for driving, there are some early indicators this new law will affect the events and conference industry. How? Time will tell. The challenge is that we need to anticipate now how things will be in two-, three- and five-years out when our clients' programs come to fruition.
For some organizations this change of law may offer opportunities in the form of sponsorships while others may simply wish to stay clear of the optics altogether. Cannabis companies are actively soliciting our clients in the medical fields in hopes of being tradeshow participants to educate physicians on the medicinal uses of cannabis. It's all coming a bit fast for folks.
There is a lot to consider. Will you need to amend your insurance policy? I don't know; however, I would recommend you check to ensure you and your delegates are covered. Since it wasn't legal until this month, there is a good chance there is no mention in your previous riders.
There has also been a lot of chatter amongst venues on whether or not they will allow any cannabis-related events on their property. It’s hard to believe hotels would turn down business, however there are venues in Colorado which have done just that. While speaking recently to a hotelier, we learned they are taking the same approach to cannabis as they would to alcohol: it is a controlled substance which comes with guidelines to serving/consuming on property.
The first thing that came to my mind was who is the 'on-site neighbour' of our clients' programs. Folks will need to have discussions amongst themselves on where they stand on the issue. Are you ok with a cannabis event next to your conference? The other day while on a site visit, I saw hotel lobby pillars and elevators branded with very large marijuana leaves. It took me a moment to process the many reactions others would have, including my own.
The economics of this budding industry are significant and in no time will integrate into the hospitality industry. Curiously, will cannabis events have a larger than average F&B budget? Will we one day in the near future be looking at cannabis-infused food items on the buffet menu options? How is your organization preparing for this new frontier?
TOP 5 Things We Are Grateful for in Hotels!
As we are coming into that special season of Gratitude and Thanksgiving, I thought of all of the things big and small that I’m grateful for when working with and staying with our awesome hotels around the globe. I know just how much effort and work goes into every meeting we do. We are all in the business of creating great stay and conference experiences, so here are my Top 5 things I’m sure we’re all grateful for in hotels. To watch me share the Top 5 in a video format, visit The Howes Group Blog
- Great Hotel Partners – We have the great pleasure of working with hotel partners all over the world. Who isn’t especially grateful for partners and suppliers who understand our needs, work with us to produce balanced and fair contracts, who help us create exceptional experiences for clients and delegates? I am grateful for those partners who not only listen to our needs but empathize with us in the process.
- Comfortable Guestrooms – Don’t you love it when you walk into your guestroom and you feel instantly comfortable or impressed? Who isn’t grateful for a great bed, BIG counters (you know we love them!), a great shower or tub, windows which open and lots of outlets? I’m always grateful for a great stay experience.
- FOOD Glorious Food! – Let’s face it, most conferences are about two things: content and cuisine!! If the food is not only good, but also stays on budget and really makes your delegates happy, isn’t that a big part of the battle? When a hotel’s catering team and chef are creative, thoughtful and inspiring it just makes everything go so much better!! I’m grateful for every cup of great coffee to the memorable dining experiences. (Maybe sometimes there’s a little too much of the memorable meals!)
- Exceptional Staff – Can you think of that person who just wowed you on your last conference or check-in? The front desk person who had your room ready and made check-in a breeze? The CSM who saved the day? The true heroes in our industry are the front-line workers who pull all our great plans together to make it all happen seamlessly without a hitch! How can you thank them? Some hotel brands offer staff appreciation programs you can use, or how about creating your own? On your next site visit or conference pick someone who makes you grateful and THANK them – a hand written card and coffee card go a long way! Be grateful for these people!
- Giving Back – After an incredible lunch on a recent FAM tour, the hotel gave us a tag to fill in for a child. The tag would go on a big jar of soup mix to be used for a local cooking program for low income families. This only enhanced the experience and made us grateful to the hotel for the chance to give back in their city. I’m grateful for the opportunity to find ways to give back in this industry all the time. From breakfast programs to sending a thank you card, we as an industry have the opportunity to make change and show gratitude in big and small ways!
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