As a career hotelier who has been in the industry and assisted hotels in 49 US states and 9 Canadian provinces, I have attended literally hundreds of workshops, seminars and programs. As the industry continues to grow in different directions, the number of courses also evolves which causes us to prioritize our time and funds.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest one that bills itself as “not just for lawyers anymore.” This year’s sessions do include topics focused on attorneys’ role in supporting hotels and hospitality businesses, as well as for others as noted below.
The sessions for Hotel and Restaurant Corporate Counsel have opportunities for them to meet with peers in facilitated conversations to explore common challenges, solutions and law department management. Breakout sessions and roundtable discussions allow the sharing of common problems and potential solutions as the industry continues to evolve.
I have attended the annual Hospitality Law Conference in Houston 4 of the last 5 years. While I am not an attorney, I have known the conference founder Professor Stephen Barth since 2001 and worked with him on educational and training projects over the years. I have always found these hospitality law conferences to be focused and ideal for networking because of the intentionally smaller size of the group. I find this to be a worthwhile program in that I always learn at least a half dozen new insights or approaches that I can use in my work as an expert witness, a keynote speaker or as one who helps hotel owners to identify and solve problems.
The 2017 conference has changed dates this year from February to April to avoid conflicting with Super Bowl 51 (hosted in February in Houston) and to find a schedule that allowed a broader and more diverse audience to attend.
The opening discussion of the 2017 conference features industry thought leaders who will identify the current and future consequences of current developments that hospitality businesses may face and how to manage them.
Cause and Effect: Noteworthy developments of 2016 and what they mean to Hospitality Owners and Operators moving forward:
– Joint Employer
– Erin Andrews
– M & A ‘s
– Short-Term Rentals
– UberEATS et al.
These are just a sampling the decisions, episodes, trends and transactions that affected the Lodging, Food & Beverage industries in 2016.
The General Sessions for all attendees cover a wide range of topics, including:
1. CAUSE & EFFECT: NOTEWORTHY DEVELOPMENTS OF 2016 AND WHAT THEY MEAN FOR HOSPITALITY OWNERS AND OPERATORS MOVING FORWARD
2. TRAVEL 2017: EMBRACING A FUTURE REALITY, TODAY
3. THINK TANK ON DESIGNING THE HOTEL OF THE FUTURE WITH SAFETY & SECURITY IN MIND
4. CAUGHT ON CAMERA! DEFENDING YOUR LIABILITY CLAIM THROUGH VIDEO ENHANCEMENT & ANALYSIS
5. TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS – ELECTRONIC DISCOVERY
6. TOP 100 HOSPITALITY CASES OF 2016
7. HUMAN TRAFFICKING: LEGAL RISKS AND COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES FOR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL AND THEIR ADVISORS
8. MANAGING A CRISIS FORUMS
9. TABLE TOP WAR GAME EXERCISE – MANAGING A CRISIS
The program includes different components and focuses.
1. The Owner Management Summit brings together hotel owners, hotel management groups, hospitality finance executives and attorneys in open discussions about the changing issues on branding, hotel development, hotel management contracts, as well as the financial characteristics of owning and operating a hotel. It is interesting to watch as specialists in other areas grasp a deeper understanding about what other professionals deal with in development and operational areas, as well as the legal protection needed for all parties.
2. The Hospitality Insurance and Loss Prevention Summit reviews the top claims that have occurred over the last twelve months and the best practices to prevent them from occurring at your hotel or restaurant. This segment break down the silos of the functional areas of risk management, insurance, legal and finance. This year’s topics include Understanding the Rights and Potential Pitfalls That Come With Being Designated an Additional Insured on an Insurance Policy, as well ongoing discussions on understanding the real costs of slip and fall incidents, identifying some of the common causes and steps to be taken to prevent these incidents. The goal is to find more ways to create a Culture of Safety.
The Hospitality Law Conference also features break-out sessions and roundtable discussions in Lodging, Food & Beverage and Human Resources & Labor Relations.
There are unique Hospitality Forums added this year that follow the successful approach of the popular Ted Talks. In brief, 9 minute presentations, subject-matter experts will deliver focused and convincing presentations on many of the most pressing challenges alarming hotel/restaurant owners and operators, developers, and attorneys involved in hospitality.
3. This year’s Lodging Track focuses on Management agreements, settling hospitality claims, trends in discrimination including the ADA claims arising out of FMLA, distribution and trending issues in hospitality regulation.
4. The Food & Beverage Track is produced and presented in coordination with the National Restaurant Association. The focus is on food illness and other food safety claims, liability challenges when serving beverages containing alcohol, premises liability claims, and the essential financial aspects of restaurants.
5. The Human Resources & Labor Relations Track covers changing laws in privacy and data security in the Hospitality industry, as well as detailed discussion on the US Department of Labor’s growing attentiveness to hospitality.
This event covers many complex topics, yet it is structured so that it is user friendly and easy to prioritize. I hope to see many of you this year: April 24-27, 2017, Doubletree Suites- Greenway Plaza, Houston, TX
John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a career hotelier, author and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has been affiliated in management roles with Sheraton, Hilton, Dunfey (now Omni), Park Suite (now Embassy Suites), Med Center Inns of America, Best Western world headquarters and independent properties. He taught as an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at 3 different colleges and conducted more than 5,000 classes and workshops in his career as of 2016.
He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. HospitalityEducators.com completely updated and has been facilitating the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1400 certifications to date.
As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support services. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations and as an elected Chair of a major brand Hotel Owners Council.
Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at johnjhogan.com, including
- WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL
- IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET
- 2017 HOT TOPICS ON SAFETY, SECURITY AND LEGAL ISSUES FACING HOTEL OWNERS AND MANAGERS THIS YEAR
- 15 TIMELESS STRATEGIES FOR TODAY’S LEADERS
He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.
He writes regular columns for a number of global online services, has published 500 columns and 225 blogs for industry publications. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES as well co-authoring the Supervisory Skill Builders from the Educational Institute. Hogan’s professional experience includes over 43 years in operations, service, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis.
He has supported numerous industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity for more than 15 years. He served on the AH&LA Certification Commission of the Educational Institute and as brand liaison to the NAACP and AAHOA with his long term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.
Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com 602-799-5375
 Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)