This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

July 15, 1998:

Balancing Work and Family, More Business Travelers Bring the Kids Along

Since 1990, there has been a 61% increase in the number of business-traveling parents who bring their kids along, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. While the increase in the popularity of the Disney destinations of Orlando and Anaheim as convention sites has contributed to this trend, it is certainly not the whole story.

We believe that the trends towards valuing quality of life and striking a balance between work and family are strongly involved here. We know that there is a drive among today’s employees to seek a high quality of life. They saw their predecessors living unhappily, sacrificing quality of life for the sake of career growth. Then they saw those same folks injured, sometimes critically, by downsizings, re-engineerings, etc. They have resolved that they will not be victims.

We also see a significant trend towards balancing work with family. Yes, they want to get ahead in their careers, but not at the risk of hurting their important relationships with their spouses and children.

Corporations, associations, and hotels that recognize these trends ill endear themselves to their markets. Associations that incorporate kids or youth programs will enjoy increased attendance at their conferences. Corporations that offer such programs will find more enthusiastic participation from their employees.

Hilton, Holiday Inn, and some other hotel chains already offer assorted kid-friendly programs. Hotels that expand their child-oriented offerings will find that booking conferences will be easier. More enlightened hotels will offer complete age-specific kid programs with an educational component as a value-added to attract large conferences. These programs will involve the children from early morning until bedtime, so that the attendee is free to participate fully in the conference or convention.

This concept goes way beyond babysitting services. With these advanced programs, the parents know that the children are being well cared for and learning something in the process.

Organizations that capitalize on these shifting attitudes will find themselves bonding more readily with their internal and external customers.

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