Yes, there are some bright spots and there are some folks that are actually doing well, but by and large most are getting by with less, working longer hours because of slashed staffs and many are in fear of what the New Year will bring.
That is what happens in a recession... it has happened before, it will happen again and there will be a time in between when we all prosper (bring it on!!).
I often stand perplexed by some of the crap that I see in the news. Here is one such article that caught my attention last week here in Chicago:
Group cancels conference at 2 Hilton hotels a day before Chicago workers go on strike
American Sociological Association says it wants to 'meet in hotels where workers are treated properly.' Hilton says hotels operating 'as normal.'
Chicago's hotel industry felt the consequences of a 15-month-long labor dispute when the American Sociological Association said it will not hold its 2011 annual meeting in August at two Hilton hotels.
More than 5,000 people were expected to attend the conference at the Hilton Chicago and Palmer House Hilton.
The association's decision came one day before a one-day strike Thursday by workers at the Palmer House Hilton — members of Unite Here Local 1 whose contracts expired in August 2009.
"Nothing seems to be moving; so, we are," said Sally Hillsman, the association's executive officer.
While the association said the hotels pledged to be able to accommodate the conference, "our members have been concerned that we meet in hotels where workers are treated properly in terms of wages and other working conditions," Hillsman said.
OMG, what the hell is wrong with both sides on this issue. Both sides of this issue need to sit the F*&K down and talk and get this thing worked out before we see another round of meetings, events and trade shows leaving Chicago for greener, less problematic destinations.
TO BOTH SIDES I will say that what you do is not isolated in a bubble and it has repercussions to all of us that work in the industry. You are not just hurting each other, you are hurting us and we are all getting a little ticked off.
A meeting planner that read the article above and did a little Google search would come across this piece from September.
Unions picket over McCormick Place rules
Dozens of union carpenters carried signs announcing "strike" as they picketed McCormick Place on the last day of the huge International Manufacturing Technology Show, one of the first events in what state and city officials hope is the start of a trade show renaissance that could stimulate billions of dollars in spending in the city.
The job action was spurred by an overhaul of the convention center's procedures for enticing trade show business.
After reading both of these stories, do you think that Ms Meeting Planner is going to choose Chicago? Do you really think that they are going to risk bringing their programs to a City that has labor problems? I have news for you, they will pass us by for a better spot.
Chicago is no longer a good place to have meetings, events and trade shows and the reason is....frankly............you. Both sides are to blame here, no one has the high ground.
You both need to get off your asses and quit complaining about each other and work this out. NOW. There is a compromise, find it.
We are not asking that you do this, we are demanding that you do this.
Again, there is a compromise somewhere and we do not want to hear your excuses anymore, you are all out of excuses. I don't care about "who said what" and "who did this" and "Johnny wasn't nice to me, so I am gonna take my toys and go home".
Don't want to hear it, get it done.
It would be much better for us all if the Headline read:
With a subheading of:
Compromise wins the day for Chicago Unions and Hotel Owners
A nice picture of both sides shaking hands would not hurt either.
You do remember what compromise and shaking hands looks like don't you? Maybe you don't, perhaps it has been so long that you only know hate and hurt.
So, here is a question to all of my meeting and event planning professional friends out there and maybe this can send a message........
Does labor unrest in a city, destination or at a specific property cause you to avoid bringing a group there? Let me know.