Each year, while attending the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show here in New York, I make it a goal to walk the entire trade show floor. It is always a feat to finish and always tiring for the feet. (Would be great to have a Segway to get around!) When walking the show floor, I scan each exhibit for evidence of an environmentally product or service. Over the last five years, the number of green exhibitors has grown significantly. I have no data to prove this but especially this year it is taking me a lot longer to cover the show floor. There are vendors selling everything from organic chocolates to ozone laundry systems to low-flow showerheads. If you own a hotel or inn and are looking for ways to reduce its carbon impact, the IH/M&RS is a great place to be.
While New York is an expensive town to visit, one can easily justify the expense based on the information one can learn from just one speaker or exhibitor. At a session I moderated, three panelists from hotels in Chicago, Boston and New York talked about steps they had taken to reduce operations-related costs by millions of dollars. If you work for someone who is hesitant to send you to an event like the IH/M&RS, have them give me a call. I will glady make the strong case for attendance.
Be sure to look for complete coverage of the IH/M&RS at the Green Lodging News website beginning Tuesday morning.