Chapter 2: Trends in the Recreation and Leisure Industry
A trend is a prevailing common preference within a group for something that is transforming or moving in a direction. The movement of a trend can be upwards, lateral, or downwards. It is ‘what’s hot’ now and into the future.
Trends can point you toward new opportunities, inform your job search and career-planning activities, and establish new directions for organizations to meet the changing needs of their clients. By identifying relevant and changing trends, and forecasting future trends, you can detect patterns. This enables you to make better choices in a career path and assists you in predicting the education and training required to maintain a competitive edge in the job market. It also helps industries and organizations to stay relevant to their clientele, anticipating their needs and being able to plan for meeting those needs.
Determining if a trend will stay relevant means looking into the future. It means analyzing people’s behaviour today to try to accurately predict if this behaviour will remain constant or change tomorrow. Humans have always been eager to look into the future. In many ways it is part of our survival instinct and leads us to be proactive in directing our way forward. As an example, in business class you learned how strategic planning and SWOT analysis are key components to running any successful business. However, planning for what may occur in the future is very difficult. At best we can only make educated guesses on what might occur. Therefore, we need to be cautious in what information we use to do this. We need to ensure that our information is based on current facts, statistics, and evidence-based research. The more quality information we have the better chance our predictions will be accurate, leading to more successful outcomes.
Trends research and analysis is not a one-time thing, but something you must embed into your daily professional activities. You need to constantly pick up information from various sources, create a picture of patterns relevant to you and/or your organization, and then use this data to move forward. Personally, trend research is one of the best ways of future-proofing your career and securing your job and income (we will talk more about career planning in Chapter 5). For an organization, trend research is a vital component to staying in business.