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Times They Are A-Changin'...

It was fifty years ago last month that Bob Dylan released his 'Times They Are A-Changin' song to the world.  A wonderful lady I used to know taught Bob Dylan (aka Robert Allan ZImmerman) in the 1950's.  While she admits she wasn't certain he had the chops to be a vocalist, she always encouraged him to follow his dreams.  He certainly did follow his passion and went on to become an international musical storyteller who resonated with an entire generation and more.  The song captures the confusion and emotion of social change and while it was five decades ago, it certainly feels as though we are better adept to deal with change in our modern world because we've come to expect it.    

A few weeks ago, just as everyone was returning to a new year, one large international hotel brand let a number of their global sales representatives go.  While this is certainly not new to our industry, it is a reminder of how often things change.  Corporate restructuring and job changes certainly happen amongst meeting planners, while I would wager it happens more often on the hotel side of the business.  What I have found to be most interesting is how quickly folks take on the new brand of the new employer.  It goes to show how adaptable we are.  

It was early on in this role that I came to truly understand that our responsibility is more than the intricacies of site selection.  This position also helps manage the corporate history for future retrieval.  A couple years ago, my copy of the countersigned agreement was the only document that existed at the time of reconciliation.  Thankfully our archivist insists on triple backup as one version was a bit stubborn to open.  It goes without saying (but I will anyway!), that we continue to remember to capture all the details of conversations in writing as once that individual do the terms of those conversations.   

Back in the day of Bob Dylan if someone moved away, it was much harder to stay in touch.  Today we have great tools like LinkedIn that help us stay connected and even congratulate them on their new adventures.  There are good things that can come with change...just ask Bob!

Timely yours, Brenda

PS.  Here is a link of quotes that deal with change.    

PPS.  See you @ Tete-a-Tete!  Safe travels to all those coming to Ottawa.  

101 Tips: Performance Percentage 

Every time I read in a contract that we must attain a certain performance before we receive the concessions, it feels like being a child negotiating an allowance.  (Which I never even had growing up!)  For those of you who know our principles at The Howes Group, you will know that we understand that the hotels are a business, as we too are a business.  We also understand that the risk is to be shared while having a performance percentage invites uncertainty back in to the agreement.

Every hotel and every brand has a different way to manage risk and it is up to you to determine the edge of your own risk tolerance as it is for you to understand the hotels'.  Because of our extensive dealings with hotels from coast to coast, we see trends that emerge based on the volume of business that we produce.

As you know, every detail within the contract is on a sliding scale.  If you add more requests, then adjustments are often made somewhere else.  Based on where you feel your organization is going to be at the time of the meeting, you can best assess whether you wish to base your costs on factors you may not be able to control.  For example, if you feel your attendance is going to be strong and you have a comfort in your performance, then you are better able to commit to a moving target.  

Each group we work with has a different level of risk they are willing to take.  Knowing your risk tolerance customizes these discussions.  That is 100% guaranteed. 

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Who Knew that the best time to book a flight is Wednesday at 1am (local time to the airline you are booking).  According to Peter Greensberg, the CBS Travel Editor, the airlines usually reload their computers with the latest low-cost fares that were announced the previous day before but will be cancelled if they are not purchased within 24 hours.  Click here to read his article on LinkedIn.  
Where Am I?  Lisa and I had a few laughs with our fur-rend Harvey.  Little did we know he would be plucked from the waters a few weeks later.  He was right back to the job in mere days.  Send Leslie Boomer ( your answers for a chance to win a $25 Apple Apps gift card.  Draw on February 14th - it seems like an 'app-propriate' day!  
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