The ninth annual Resort Conference scheduled for May 3-5 will not take place at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, FL as scheduled, but instead will be a virtual conference with webinar sessions scheduled for May 4, 6, 11 and 13. The reasons are certainly obvious. This industry, in particular luxury resorts, has taken a brutal beating and attendance, which sagged last year in San Diego, was surely down even more. The official explanation:
“At the request of resort executives who wanted to attend the meeting but could not allocate the time this year, HSMAI and the University of Denver have committed to making the content available to a much wider audience through the virtual format,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “Excellent content has already been developed for this year's Resort Conference and is designed especially for executives dealing with the current economic environment.”
The webinar series will be offered free to the first 100 qualified resort professionals who register. More information can be found here. The announcement thanks sponsors and the PGA National Resort, which it says will host the 10th annual event next year.
I can only imagine what it took to cancel at this late juncture and how bad attendance must have been. It will be interesting to see how this concept works and if enough people really are willing to participate online. Who knows, we may see more of this going forward.