Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Keating Jr.

Richard J. Keating Jr.

Partner / Chair Retail and Hospitality Practice Group, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP

Richard J. Keating, Jr. is a partner and chair of the Retail and Hospitality Practice Group at Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP in Chicago. Mr. Keating represents restaurants, concert venues, amusement venues, health clubs and retail businesses throughout the United States. His practice focuses on tort litigation, premises liability defense, general liability matters, incident investigations and security claims. Before entering private practice, Mr. Keating was a criminal prosecutor for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for nine years. Mr. Keating also worked in an investigations unit where he supervised a team of attorneys investigating crimes in conjunction with police authorities. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Keating spent four years in the corporate sector working at AT&T in the small business market. Mr. Keating routinely combines his litigation and criminal prosecution experience with his understanding of corporate business objectives to advise his hospitality clients about various potential and existing legal concerns. Mr. Keating is a member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, Defense Research Institute's Retail and Hospitality Defense Committee, and the Illinois Restaurant Association. He received his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and his B.S. from Indiana University.

Please visit www.smbtrials.com for more information.

Mr. Keating Jr. can be contacted at 312-222-8568 or rkeating@smbtrials.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.