Hospitality students often participate in professional events
to increase their opportunities for learning and networking. Kendall
College students are no exception, and several attended the July 9
Industry Xchange at Navy Pier.
How valuable was their experience? Here are comments from Cathrine
Almqvist, Miranda Kidd, and Jeff Walker about the program:
the keynote address by Nan Marchand Beauvois interest
Miranda: Yes, learning about how the United States can do a better job
with our travel infrastructure and the direct correlation this has on
the travel effect was very interesting.
Cathrine: Yes, I love to travel and they talked about the travel
industry experience, how it was and is.
Do you agree with Beauvois’ observations that not keeping
up with airport modernization and transportation infrastructure
improvements will negatively impact tourism and jobs?
Cathrine: In a way, since we live in a very straight forward
technological world it should be easier to travel than what it is.
Modernizing would help to improve the quantity of travelers.
Jeff: I thought that Nan’s keynote speech was quite interesting. Having
traveled abroad many times, I appreciate how Europe has made travel
accessible not only within a specific country, but throughout Europe. I
agree that the United States really needs to step up their game with
updating airports and infrastructure. This could not only discourage
foreign travelers who are used to easy transit systems to get them from
the airport to city center, but our domestic travelers as well.
Chicago‘s El is a great way to get downtown and other areas of the
city. A traveler doesn’t have to rent a car or pay for parking, which
saves on travelers expenses.
Did she explain this impact well?
Cathrine: I understood what she said. A small tip is to go into more
depth and have examples of traveling in Europe.
Panel Discussion - The audience voted that the two most
pressing hospitality industry issues are increasing expectations and
doing more with less. Based on your education so far, would you agree?
Miranda: Completely. Almost everyone’s budgets have shrunk over the
years, yet with the evolution of social media and everyone wanting
instant results, the push to do more constantly increases.
Jeff: The instructors at Kendall are teaching us how to maximize the
meeting experience with less. Technology is a big focus at Kendall.
There are so many phone apps or free registration websites that
planners can use to help keep meeting expenses down.
The panel commented on a number of other areas,
marketing and branding, meetings still recovering from the bad economy,
and the importance of content. Were there any particular comments that
Cathrine: Before going to the event I was unaware of what was
happening, and I feel that there should be more marketing of how we
want to modernize our way of traveling.
What were your takeaways from the meeting?
Miranda: There are a number of opportunities available in this
industry. As a student or new member of the industry, you need to be
proactive and not afraid to get involved in an association or simply
attend networking events.
Cathrine: From the whole event, I definitely appreciated the
professionals that I met and our conversations. Having a mentor within
our industry is really beneficial, to have someone to guide you with
knowledge and experience.
Did the event's format meet your needs?
Cathrine: Yes, it was an excellent idea to have a panel with a
Jeff: Industry Xchange was my first association networking event. I
enjoyed meeting other featured associations as well as networking.
Kendall really expresses what a great opportunity it is for students to
join an association. I couldn't agree more. These events help to get
your face and name out in front of meeting professionals when looking
for your future job opportunities.
Do you have any suggestions for improving the format?
Cathrine: My student colleagues at Kendall and I thought that it would
be interesting next year to have students participate in the panel to
present Millennials’ ideas.