Hotel California

19th Aug, 2019

Summer has finally arrived in the city where I live. Everyone feels completely revived and sees life in a much brighter light. I, too, share this feeling, and it prompted me to write an unusual text:

Hotel California. 

No, I’m not going to take credit for this famous song, but it’s inspired me an unexpected comparison. When the Eagles sung this in 1976 it gave me goosebumps and a longing to stay in the aforementioned hotel for a very, very long time. Just listen:

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face.
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (any time of year) you can find it here

While hearing this, it all made sense: that attractive hotel, that large, desirable place, what else does that remind me of? The meetings community, of course! Indeed, how often do I hear people say that they can work in a fantastic environment? Travelling, talking, making friends, enjoying a drink together, discussions, new experiences… It sounds so amazing that it’s as if they’d never want to work anywhere else again.

Or as the Eagles would put it:

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before "Relax" said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!”

I’ve been around the block now, and I have seen lots of familiar faces leaving, with regret carved on their faces. I can still hear them say: I will never forget my time here. The result of this community-minded way of thinking, so specific to our industry, you might ask? This is it: you may have to move on one day, but once you got in this industry, it will get under your skin, and never leave you.  

Knowing this, you won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve known 15 retired meetings industry leaders, all of whom have returned as consultants. The explanation is simple: life is simply too good at Hotel Meetings (Hotel MICE to all others). So when it’s time to retire, or when you are obliged to choose a new job, I cannot help but remember those unforgettable words: “I can check out any time I like, but I can never leave”.

I wish everyone a bright and happy summer. In autumn we will return with a new song.

Text by Marcel A.M. Vissers 

Editor in Chief of HQ Magazine 


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