Despite the galloping pace of technology and social media we can still gain more from face-to-face meeting with our peers, says Ciarán Fahy
Our world has been transformed by advanced technology, and at a speed which is almost frightening. Nowhere is this better evidenced than in the meteoric rise of what is now described as "social media". Our cultural norms are being so transformed, however, that we are in danger of forgetting that our best ideas derive from human interaction, which is also essential for our personal and professional development, especially where we are responsible for managing and leading teams.
One way to ensure we stay in touch is to meet regularly with our peers, for there is no better method than to use such collective gatherings to promote team spirit and to get the creative juices flowing. Over a number of years the Master Innholders General Managers' Conference has fulfilled this role and has become a "must attend" event in the industry's calendar.
The 2013 conference takes place on 14-15 January in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House hotel in London.
While our ability to leverage social media to communicate, promote and engage our customers is a key strategic issue for hoteliers, the conference theme this year is "people engagement". It is about how we, as hoteliers, inspire and engage our people to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Successful hoteliers have always understood how critical service delivery is to sustainable business growth. When our people are truly engaged and understand how they contribute to the hotel's success, they create fond memories for guests, which, in turn, generate referrals on the myriad of social media platforms our customers use.
With its title, Stretching the Boundaries, the conference will focus on the continuing challenges facing the economy, both nationally and globally, with a particular emphasis on how leaders can apply tools and techniques to enhance their ability, and that of their teams, to maintain a competitive edge. Drawing together a broad range of excellent speakers and presenters, the conference offers an exceptional opportunity for delegates to learn how they can stretch their own boundaries to achieve business excellence.
CiarÁ¡n Fahy is chief executive officer, hotels division, at Ellerman Investments