Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Brown

Banks Brown

Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Banks Brown is a partner in the New York office of McDermott Will & Emery. He has served as outside General Counsel for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. for 22 years. He helped to found the Travel Business Roundtable and served as its General Counsel until it was merged into the US Travel Association. He is co-author of a recognized treatise on hospitality law entitled “Understanding Hospitality Law” (4th Ed. Educational Institute, AHLA). He is the 2006 recipient of the Anthony G. Marshall Award for Pioneering and Continuous Contribution to Hospitality Law and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He speaks yearly at the Hospitality Law Conference of HospitalityLawyer.com, where he hosts the hotel inside counsel segment. Early in his career, Mr. Brown represented the American Stock Exchange in shareholder actions under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act, numerous consumer class actions under the now-defunct Department of Energy price controls on oil and gas, and a decade-long series of class actions arising out of Gulf Oil Corporation's tender offer for the stock of Cities Service Corporation. He continues to represent parties involved in complex litigation. As a result of his extensive litigation experience, Mr. Brown has a deep working knowledge of cost, fee and risk analysis. Mr. Brown was admitted New York State Bar in 1978. He was graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1977 and Harvard College (cum laude) in 1974.

Mr. Brown can be contacted at 212-547-5361 or bbrown@mwe.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.