I am preparing to leave to attend the New England Hospitality Eco-Expo. (Look for coverage at Green Lodging News.) The event will begin tonight and conclude tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14. I am looking forward to attending this first-time event. The Northeast has been a hotbed of green lodging activity and there should be a good turnout. The organizers have put together a good lineup of speakers and there is a trade show as well. A regional event like this one is quite unusual but it does make sense. How many other regions in the United States will follow New England's lead? It seems to me that the Pacific Northwest and California would be likely candidates—possibly the Chicago area. As with any successful event, it takes someone with good leadership and organizational skills to make it happen. Having a solid business plan is also important.
I recently learned that the Second Annual Green Lodging and Hospitality Conference, organized by the TREEO Center at the University of Florida, will be held December 9-11 in Orlando. For the first time, this year's event will be open to hoteliers from outside of Florida. The organizers' attempt to make their event a regional one is a smart move.
From an environmental standpoint, regional events can potentially leave a much smaller carbon footprint than national and international events. Should organizers of events such as the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show have reason to worry about regional competition? Yes. At the very least, organizers of these types of national or international shows need to make their events more appealing to those interested in green lodging. Otherwise, regional events such as those described will become the meeting places of the future for learning and purchasing.