Got the latest dirt on the floods, the oil spill, hurricanes, the tornadoes, the fires, murders, strikes, earthquakes? Does news need to be sexy, shocking or shameful to attract your interest? Will you read a positive message that lacks a little sizzle? It is no secret that our economy is struggling, there have been some horrific natural disasters and now more than ever we need positive, uplifting, inspirational, spirited information that strengthens our bonds to one another.
I attended a meeting this week on the preparation that Florida businesses are dealing with the potential threat from the BP oil spill. First, the beaches are magnificent and we have not seen any impact in the state. Neighboring states have not been so fortunate but the areas of impact are in the wetlands, which is even more difficult to clean up. Each area is trying hard to keep the news productive without sensationalizing the story. I am proud to be a member of the meeting and tourism industry in the state of Florida. In order to keep the Florida meeting and tourism industry up to speed on key developments and important information related to the Gulf oil spill, VISIT FLORIDA has created the following format for a weekly update. For more up-to-the-minute details, go to www.SunshineMatters.org – VISIT Florida’s official corporate blog.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to change your meeting site based on a natural disaster regardless of the destination, I would be happy to work with you to be sure all parties are managed in a way that limits liability and damage and the losing party has the ability to recover at a future date. When we treat each other with care, we all win. Contact me at www.a2zmeetingsandevents.com.
I can remember when I first decided to leave the great white north and live in paradise that I searched several islands before settling on the SW coast of Florida. Each area I visited paled in comparison to the dream of living on a Caribbean island. When I discovered Sanibel Island I knew I had found my home. I enjoyed the serenity of that wildlife sanctuary for 22 years while working for 2 of the most famous Florida resorts on the gulf coast. I remember when Hurricane Andrew came through and drove business from the east coast and I really believed it could never happen to Sanibel. Eight weeks after selling my home on that island, Hurricane Charley came in quickly and stopped time in the busy lives of everyone in that area. Tourism suffered for 2 years with devastating storm one behind the other. Four quiet years later, everything has been refurbished or rebuilt and new construction has replaced some of quaint memories of days gone by. New companies have come in to do things their way and some of the changes are great and many will mourn what they once were.
The point is that change comes whether it is planned or forced by nature and sometimes good things come from the greatest despair. Take a look at Punta Gorda, FL six years later. The old barn like convention hall has been replaced with one of the most magnificent state of the art structures with incredible light, sound and production capabilities in the state. Two beautiful, new beautiful hotels grace the waterfront and the town is bubbling with energy, live music, shopping and activity. Support our industry friends when times are dark and know that you and your meeting attendees will feel good when they can return with good news rather than the sensationalism that sells. You will find the hospitality warm and sunny as usual!