Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bragiel

Justin R. Bragiel

General Counsel, Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

Justin R. Bragiel is General Counsel for the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association. Mr. Bragiel handles a diverse array of legal and legislative issues, including local and state hotel occupancy tax, hospitality law, regulatory issues, contract law, employment issues, and more. Mr. Bragiel joined the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association in February 2008. A member of the Texas Bar, Mr. Bragiel earned a Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2007, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. Based in Austin, THLA is the largest state lodging association in the United States, serving over 2,500 member businesses by providing operational, technical, educational, marketing and communications services, in addition to governmental affairs representation.

Please visit www.texaslodging.com for more information.

Mr. Bragiel can be contacted at 512-474-2996 or jbragiel@texaslodging.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.