This week our Texas team dives deep and explains the importance of setting yourself apart from the competition. We ask some of our most valued partners how they stay on top in the hospitality industry. Be sure to read below!

We can all agree that our industry is fast-paced. You hear it all the time, if you aren’t being disruptive in your specialized field, you will be obsolete in a matter of years! What a scary yet profound thought. With so much of today’s world having such a significant impact on how our event experiences and trends are set – you must always be redefining yourself, your work and your business model in an effort to stay fresh and present in such a high demand industry. How do we as individuals keep up with it all? Every day there is something new to learn, someone new to meet and these demands are high no matter what side of the industry you serve. As event professionals, we should all have our pulse on what we are doing to excel personally and professionally as well as know what sets us apart from the competition. I set out to ask a couple of my most valued partners and colleagues, what they are doing to keep up with the high expectations in our industry.

1. What are you (or the company you work for) doing to disrupt the hospitality industry?
2. What are you doing to make a difference in your role in the hospitality industry?
3. Tell me about the resources you use to continue your professional development in our constantly evolving industry?

Owner & Chief Experience Officer of Interactive Experiences / Austin & San Antonio

1. What are you (or the company you work for) doing to disrupt the hospitality industry? Before Detours, there weren’t “tour companies” doing corporate work. I am part of many tour-owner groups and attend the Arrival Conference and before recently corporate tours were uncharted territory. When we started 6 years ago, conference groups and local company offsites were markets we aimed to target. We knew we were in a fast-growing city with leisure travel but a unique opportunity for corporate travel as well so it made sense to cater our offerings to these kinds of groups. A lot of tour companies don’t know how to work with these kind of groups as the logistics, demands, narrative, venues and flow are completely different from the leisure traveler.
2. What are you doing to make a difference in your role for the hospitality industry? I am heavily involved in local groups and especially volunteering. We’ve been active in ILEA and MPI since we started and host our own business networking events. There are two areas we are focusing on right now – sustainability and CSR. Detours is very concerned with sustainable travel, which to us means recognizing the power of tourism and leveraging that impact with good citizenship. We implement this through staff volunteering days, charity drives, and especially incorporating CSR activities into the events we sell. We strongly feel companies are responsible for giving back to the community they operate in.
3. Tell me about the resources you use to continue your professional development in our constantly evolving industry? As “experts” in the city we are always changing our narrative and experimenting with new places to keep our finger on the pulse of the cities we operate in. Both Austin and San Antonio are fast-growing cities and our guests want the “newest and coolest” experiences which mean constantly doing research, fomenting new relationships with local culture creators and learning the logistics of new venues. I have a great interest in tour companies in general and what the trends are. Each year, I visit the city I feel we are most competing with and check out what they’re doing. I think it’s important to not only represent your company but the city you operate in and learn the competitor cities so you can speak intelligently about a client’s options.

Destination Sales Executive / Sheraton Hotel Downtown Dallas

1. What are you (or the company you work for) doing to disrupt the hospitality industry?
Our company is at the forefront of change, staying current with travel trends and what the traveler is ideally looking for in a hotel. Our brand has developed unique spaces throughout the hotel for networking and creating a sense of community. We want to host not only travelers from afar but also our local neighbors.
2. What are you doing to make a difference in your role for the hospitality industry?
I am a part of our local community in association with our hotel to bring awareness that we are not just a lodging facility. I am actively looking for opportunities to engage with locals, travelers and even our staff on a daily basis.
3. Tell me about the resources you use to continue your professional development in our constantly evolving industry?
Networking events are huge! I love to attend these types of activities that not only have to do with the hotel industry but the market I am in.

Senior Event Manager / CSI DMC Texas

1. What are you (or the company you work for) doing to disrupt the hospitality industry? As a part of CSI DMC we are proud of our creative edge as well as our customer service. The feedback we continue to receive is about our above and beyond creative proposals and our outstanding customer service. Our clients are our number one priority and we love what we get to do each and every day.
2. What are you doing to make a difference in your role for the hospitality industry? I continue to network and stay involved in organizations such as ILEA. In order to grow, I have to keep up on the industry’s current trends and build relationships with those in the industry.
3. Tell me about the resources you use to continue your professional development in our constantly evolving industry? Education and training are key to my professional development. When time allows I am attending MPI and ILEA education events. I also lean on my colleagues, to learn and discuss more about this ever-changing industry.

Based on their responses to these three questions, it is clear that they are all doing their part to be disruptors in our industry, while making a difference through their daily work, and continuing to deepen their relationships and knowledge of this great field so many of us call “home”. As we continue our day-to-day journey of living and learning in this fast past industry, our individual contributions is what makes a difference to our business as a whole. So keep giving it your all – put yourself out there; sign up for that committee; volunteer to be on the board of an association; say yes to that speaking engagement; keep pushing the creative edge! We collectively make our industry a place where we can express our creative selves and provide solutions for exceptional experiences, every time…