This quote from lodging pioneer Conrad Hilton says it all: we all make some mistakes along the way, but the successful people do not let that disturb their plans to continue to improve.
As I was looking earlier this year at the hospitality industry programs and conventions I have attended in my career, I was amazed at the number and range of events I have attended. In making a list, I discovered the following:
- More than 15 AH&LA national conventions, plus regional programs
- At least 12 AAHOA annual conventions, and many district and regional meetings
- 10 or more International Hotel & Restaurant Shows in New York
- One or more of each of following: the Lodging Conference, the Hunter Real Estate Conference, American Bus Association, National Tour Bus Association, various University sponsored programs, assorted state government tourism related activities, diversity conferences and more
- More than 35 annual brand conventions, including Sheraton, CHOICE, Wyndham, Best Western, Hilton, La Quinta, Vantage, Clubhouse Inns, ShoLodge (former Shoneys Inns), G 6 (Motel 6)
- Regular annual meetings of the Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute, the AH&LA Multicultural Advisory Council, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, the Commission for Accreditation on Hospitality Management Programs, the AAHOA and AH&LA Education and Training Committees ,the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (CHRIE) and Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers, (CHART)
- 15 or more of my home state(s) annual hospitality industry conventions and at least 25 other Canadian or American State hotel associations where I was able to share some ideas and strategies for success with attendees.
When deciding to attend a business event, I considered these important things:
- the cost of attending
- the commitment of time, which becomes even more valuable over time
- what I hope to gain by attending the event contrasted with the offset of my time away from my regular business.
- how I can improve my connections through networking and interaction with others.
As I looked at this list, I realized I had answered those four questions with different responses depending on the event. The Return on Investment (ROI) of attending an event should always factored in, whether it is being paid for by me, an employer or 3rd party. The ROI is not only a financial one, as the other three components include a personal stake as relates to our time, goals and professional gain.
Each of those events mentioned above held value for me, and I recognize today that those values evolved over the years. Some events were more structured towards the communication and standards of a brand, while others focused more on industry issues. Some were more local oriented, while others were globally based. Some dealt with learning and educational venues, while others related more to social issues and needs.
I have chosen at least five events I plan to attend this year, including several from the categories mentioned above as I can respond positively that I will find significance in their activities and that I will be able to positively recommend them to others.
A recommendation .
One of my recommendations, not often considered by many of us, covers a subject matter that affects each of us in hospitality everyday: Safety and Security. The Hospitality Law Conference is in its 18th year under the leadership of Professor Stephen Barth of the Conrad Hilton School of Hospitality at the University of Houston. Barth is well known to many hotel executives, managers, owners and brands from the many keynotes and workshops he has presented at different hotel brand meetings.
The format has changed this year and is now a shorter day and half, reflecting a sensitivity to both the cost and time elements. The HLC series has added one day options on both coasts to better share the magnitude of legal issues facing hoteliers.
I have attempted in the past to provide an overview of the conference, but this year has blossomed to include such a range of topics that I am only going to provide a listing with a link.
There are a series of Forums and Roundtable Discussions (small groups) on a number of topics including the Owner Management Summit, and sub-group options addressing Lodging, Food & Beverage and Human Resources/Labor Relations.
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 in the future.
There are also Sessions for Corporate Counsel to meet with peers in facilitated conversations.
While I have no official role in this conference, I have attended the annual Hospitality Law Conference in Houston 4 of the last 6 years as a paying attendee.
By my count, there are more than 50 opportunities for small group discussions in forums and roundtables in the day and a half session, as well as 5 General Session presentations of interest to everyone.
Overview -The HLC Series 2.0 Houston — DAY 1
- Edibles in Wonderland: Regulatory and Toxicology Problems with Cannabis-Infused Edible Products
- Harassment in the Hospitality Industry How to Avoid Being the Next #MeToo
- The Science of Human Factors in the Evaluation of Hospitality Claims
- Reservation for Exploitation: Recognizing, Preventing, and Confronting Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry
- Teaching Hospitality Law
- How EU Data Protection Impacts Your Business
- Deeper Dive: Edibles in Wonderland: Regulatory and Toxicology Problems with Cannabis-Infused Edible Products
- Deeper Dive: Harassment in the Hospitality Industry How to Avoid Being the Next #MeToo
- Deeper Dive: The Science of Human Factors in the Evaluation of Hospitality Claims
- Deeper Dive: Reservation for Exploitation: Recognizing, Preventing, and Confronting Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry
- Deeper Dive: Teaching Hospitality Law
- Deeper Dive: How EU Data Protection Impacts Your Business
- Deeper Dive: The Unique Challenges of Data Security for the Hotel Industry
- Deeper Dive: Prepare Your Property for the Worst, but Hope for the Best – Are you Ready?
- Deeper Dive: How Legal and Internal Audit Departments Can Work Together on Investigations of Employee
- Developing a Comprehensive Ethics and Compliance Hotline Report Intake and Response Program
- Can I get a Boom? How Baby Boomers and Millennials are Affecting the Hospitality Industry
- As The Pendulum Swings: What to Expect From OSHA in Year Two of the Trump Administration
- Not All Fun and Games: Sweepstakes and Contests in the Hospitality Industry
- Robotics and Artificial Intelligence in Hospitality
Forums: Owner-Management Summit: Deals + Finance+ Technology + Agreements
- Key Issues in Revenue Management
- Hospitality M&A Improving Value to Hotel Owners and Operators
- Challenges in Hotel and Restaurant Management Agreements + Solutions
- Cybersecurity: Linking Spend to Risk
- When the Government Wants Your Property: Eminent Domain – How It Works and How to Be Prepared
Forums: Hospitality Insurance & Loss Prevention Summit (HILPS)
- Most Frequent Hospitality Claims and How to Prevent Them
- Maximizing Recovery from Property Damage and Business Interruption Losses
- Navigating Insurance Coverage in the Wake of a Natural Disaster
Forums: Corporate Counsel Only
- Alcohol Advertising in the Digital Age
- Kitchen Confidential: Structuring the Celebrity Chef Relationship
- Weed Tourism: What To Know Before Holding Cannabis Functions at Your Premises
Roundtables: Corporate Counsel Only
- Deeper Dive: Alcohol Advertising in the Digital Age
- Deeper Dive: Kitchen Confidential: Structuring the Celebrity Chef Relationship
- Deeper Dive: Weed Tourism: What To Know Before Holding Cannabis Functions at Your Premises
- Deeper Dive: Websites and the ADA: A Crash Course on Accessibility Compliance
- Deeper Dive: Lessons Learned: The In-House Legal Function
Roundtables: Owner-Management Summit – Deals + Finance+ Technology + Agreements
- Deeper Dive: Key Issues in Revenue Management
- Deeper Dive: Hospitality M&A Improving Value to Hotel Owners and Operators
- Deeper Dive: Cybersecurity: Linking Spend to Risk
- Deeper Dive: When the Government Wants Your Property: Eminent Domain – How It Works and How to Be Prepared
Roundtables: Hospitality Insurance & Loss Prevention Summit (HILPS)
- Deeper Dive: Most Frequent Hospitality Claims and How to Prevent Them
- Deeper Dive: Maximizing Recovery from Property Damage and Business Interruption Losses
- Deeper Dive: Navigating Insurance Coverage in the Wake of a Natural Disaster
- Hospitality Security: Post Vegas (OMS + HILPS)
- Facilitated Conversation: Corporate Counsel/Peer Discussion
- A Fireside Chat with Jeff Holdaway, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Marriott International, Inc., About His Experience Working on Marriotts Acquisition and Integration of Starwood
The HLC Series 2.0 – Houston — DAY 2
- Hotel Related Arbitration and Other Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
- Distribution 201: An Update on the Changing Distribution World
- Crafting Better Dispute Resolution Provisions in HMAs
Forums: Food & Beverage
- Dram Shop Liability Review 2018
- Welcome to the Jungle: Negotiating Restaurant and Bar Leases with Landlords who Just Dont Get Hospitality
- Building Success for Brands in Retail Without Violating Cooperative Advertising Rules
Forums: Human Resources
- Tip Pooling in 2018 – What’s Next?
- Restrictive Covenants – Protecting Your Assets and Trade Secrets
- Navigating the Intersection of the ADA, FMLA, and Workers Comp
- National Labor Relations Board Developments and Their Implications for the Hospitality Industry
- Deeper Dive: Hotel Related Arbitration and Other Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
- Deeper Dive: Distribution 201: An Update on the Changing Distribution World
- Deeper Dive: Crafting Better Dispute Resolution Provisions in HMAs
Roundtables: Food & Beverage
- Deeper Dive: Dram Shop Liability Review 2018
- Deeper Dive: Welcome to the Jungle: Negotiating Restaurant and Bar Leases with Landlords who Just Dont Get Hospitality
- Deeper Dive: Building Success for Brands in Retail Without Violating Cooperative Advertising Rules
Roundtables: Human Resources
- Deeper Dive: Tip Pooling in 2018 – What’s Next?
- Deeper Dive: Restrictive Covenants – Protecting Your Assets and Trade Secrets
- Deeper Dive: Navigating the Intersection of the ADA, FMLA, and Workers Comp
- Deeper Dive: National Labor Relations Board Developments and Their Implications for the Hospitality Industry
- Interactive Exercise – Responding to a Hurricane/Flood
- Top 100 Cases in Hospitality 2017
While I am not an attorney, 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 identify and solve problems.
I hope to see many of you this year: April 12-13, 2018, JW Marriott Houston Downtown
About John J. Hogan, CHA CHMS CHE CHO 
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 facilitated the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1800 certifications through spring 2018.
As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Associations 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
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 has a new, regular, blended learning series of articles beginning in late March, titled:
What Ive Discovered
 Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)