This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 8, 2002

Sabbatical Experience Designers

More people are taking sabbaticals. Some go for a month. Others go for several months. Some take a year off. Would you like to take some time off from work- and life-to go do something you've always wanted to do? Or to do something you've never done before, but may not even know about? A learning adventure? Just an adventure?

So how do you plan this sabbatical? There are so many arrangements to be made if you will be away for an extended period of time. We envision a new specialty occupation forming. Just as concierge services emerged during the last decade to help people who just couldn't get everything done, another convenience service is on the horizon. Let's call these professional personal service providers "Sabbatical Experience Designers."

How does one prepare for such an occupation? Where will the pioneers come from? We see this new field growing from the travel agent industry. Professional travel agents have specialized for years in personalized service to help their customers design extended vacation trips. They arrange various kinds of transportation, accommodations, and a wide range of special services. In short, they construct most-if not all-of the itinerary for domestic and international trips. Some of those trips are short; others may extend for months. Just like a sabbatical.

Travel agents will get creative, researching new and different trips that their customers might enjoy. As the specialty grows, these tourism professionals will begin researching unusual and the unique experience opportunities. It will not be difficult, because the tour guides and destination management companies will aggressively promote their ideas.

Now the concierge services come back into the picture. These are the people who can take care of things at home while their clients are traveling, attending classes in some distant place, or engaging in the unusual and perhaps unexpected. They will monitor home security, check the mail, and may even take care of banking and other personal matters.

Put concierge services and travel services together and watch a new industry blossom. Magazines, newsletters, and websites will not be far behind.

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