Days 2 and 3 at this year's ALIS conference were filled with numerous highlights, including a very well attended presentation (or should I say, political commentary) in the Nokia Theater by "the Donald" himself, Mr. Donald Trump. Days 2 and 3 were also filled with hundreds of meetings by conference attendees in nearly every hallway and corner of the hosts JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton.
While optimism continued to be the theme most often heard in the meetings I attended, the optimism was far from unbridled. With so many unknowns remaining in the world (e.g. European debt crises, continued high unemployment, the upcoming presidential election), nearly everyone recognized that the many signs pointing to an industry rebound could quickly change.
It has been reported that the producers of the conference this year were torn between an exclamation point and question mark in the program title. As you can see, the optimistic decision was made to include an exclamation point. As I explain below, I tend to agree with that decision.
Monday marked the opening of the 11th annual ALIS here in Los Angeles. This year's attendance of 2400 makes the 2012 conference the third largest in its 11 year history. From the many conversations I had throughout the day, the optimism expressed in pre-conference survey results was shared by many.
Tuesday morning saw the end of this year's conference held at Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. As in years past, the conference provided an excellent forum to reconnect with clients and friends in the industry (many of whom were just catching their breaths from the hectic summer season).
Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.