Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is a membership association comprised of companies that provide technology services to hotel groups around the world. I was invited to speak at their European Members meeting in Lisbon on the wider implications of Social Media.
My biggest frustration with social media commentary is that it’s almost always focused on the latest functionality from Twitter, Facebook, Google and the plethora of other Web 2.0 platforms, gadgets and services. Very few industry pundits provide an insight into the impact of social media on business and society, and even fewer explore the end game. So the purpose of this presentation was to provide some thought leadership in these areas backed up with some practical insights drawn from personal experience in deploying social media platforms with British Airways and Mornflake. The key theme is based on what I describe as the biggest untold story of the 21st Century being played out right under our noses – the increasing irrelevance of command and control organisation as a the default structure for the production of goods and services, and why social media is most transformative inside the company.
I’ve done a lot of public speaking over the years and I have to say that HTNG is easily the most well organised event I’ve spoken at. Spanning three days located at the Lisbon Marriott (a hotel of course!) it combined the best aspects of an exhibition, a standalone networking event, formal presentation and knowledge exchange (by way of break out and workshop sessions).
HTNG just struck me as being a particularly good example of a Community of Practice, led by CEO, Douglas Rice with a small army of highly competent technicians and administrators. I was well looked after by Sara Pardo and Merry Marwig before, during and after the event and was really touched by the personally written card pushed under my hotel door the evening I arrived, wishing me luck with my presentation the next day. This is customer service. Big thank you to everyone at HTNG. I enjoyed the experience immensely.