One of the benefits of having years of experience is you see the patterns of change.
First you see a trend you remember from the beginning of your career, and then another and the pattern starts to appear. It’s the kind of awareness that makes you glad for your years of experience! Right now there is a definite pattern emerging I want to share with you marketers.
In a recent edition of the New York Times there were two stories, on different pages, by different writers – that show me one very similar pattern – if history tends to repeat itself every 30 years then hello 1980’s!
One of the New York Times stories, and it has already been repeated in every hotel trade email – is that Austin Texas has 8 major hotels coming out of the ground right now. For those of you who know Austin this could double the size of its skyline and will include a JW Marriott complex, the largest in the US, that will take up one full block. A Westin and a Fairmont are two of the other hotels in progress – those are some serious hotel brands!
Now the second story was all about the phenomenally successful South by Southwest festival also an Austin-based phenomenon. The festival is adding a new element to its portfolio – sports. To be called SXsports, this three-day event in March will host panels, movies and even sporting events to its offerings.
The pattern comes into view when you add a third element (one near and dear to my heart) and that is the whole concept of special events. I am a big lover of special events as a communications and connections tool. I chair a committee at a local university that is graduating thousands of “Special Events” majors.
These 20-somethings who know about connecting electronically are moving into the face to face kind of connecting as they enter the workforce and merge learning, networking and fun.
So what do we have here? The planets are aligning for Austin to elevate its reputation for being off-beat, cool and taking it literally to a higher level. If I wanted to expand my company or managed any luxury brand, I’d be looking for commercial space in Austin, Texas!
In the 1980’s I lived in Austin while attending graduate school and it was considered the up and coming place to be then. Looks like that 30 year cycle is coming around again – keep your eyes on Austin they are going to be thought leaders in a bigger and more serious sense – and I can tell you from personal experience that it will be done well and in a big way!