Weather shouldn’t dampen the parade

I tried not to mention the weather… The recent adverse weather conditions have highlighted what I have long believed to be true: when we are faced with a problem (and only once it has been identified as such by several learned, authoritative bodies), we deal with it.

The weather this week caused chaos across the country. In London the buses were cancelled, trains delayed, Tubes suspended – but not a snow plough in sight! Four million workers stayed at home. The result: an estimated £750 million was lost from the UK economy.

In anyone’s mind, this is bad. However, I can’t help but ask the question: “What could we have done about it?” It’s all very well monitoring the weather reports, but they can’t predict the full extent of the snow’s impact or the likelihood of its recurrence. Neither can they tell us if it’s worth spending money we can’t really afford to prevent something we’re not sure is going to happen.

What we really need to know if we are to make a difference, is the ratio of possibility against affordability.

But this doesn’t just apply to me and you and bad weather. Businesses continually find themselves in similar predicaments, especially given the current economic climate.

Reports are noted, predictive analysis is rife, yet still we ignore much of it. Instead, we deal with problems like recession only once we are confronted with them.

This is wrong. Businesses need to prepare. They need to have the knowledge in advance to prepare a solution for many, if not all, potential difficulties that lie ahead.

Thus avoiding endless meetings to identify the nature of the problem, define and propose strategies to tackle them – time and energy you have engineered to have free to focus on implementing the number of solutions you have already determined best suiting your business?

At the Travel Technology Show, our exhibitors can help travel businesses prepare for the problems to which they could fall foul.

As is our multi-faceted programme of seminars, which are tailored to aid the travel sector by offering tangible business information. Issues include “How to build your start-up into a grown up”, for example, and “How to get a tangible return on your technology investment”. You need to be there to join the fascinating debate featuring Google, Microsoft and Yahoo regarding the future of technology in travel. 

Travel businesses will face some tough challenges in the coming months which, of course, will be hard to accurately predict.

Businesses which have prepared themselves, which have equipped themselves with the right information and a flexible strategy will be the ones to survive. Our advice to them all is, in the words of Tom Lehrer or Lord Baden-Powell’s brave little do-gooders, ‘Be Prepared’.


Neil Simpson is event director at Travel Technology Show

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