Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Allen

J.Carter Allen

Managing Director, HVS Houston

J. Carter Allen, MAI, is the Managing Director of the Houston office of HVS, a Designated Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and a state-certified general appraiser. While Mr. Allen's expertise is focused on markets in Texas and the Southeast, he has consulted on hundreds of hotels and resorts throughout the country.

Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management with an emphasis on Hospitality Finance and Development and a minor in Finance from the university's Bauer School of Business. He has also completed an advanced set of courses in the analysis and valuation of real estate through the Appraisal Institute.

As an undergrad, he served as President of the University of Houston's student chapter of Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals. Mr. Allen also served as President of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Houston and went on to consult for Pi Kappa Phi Properties in Charlotte, North Carolina, before joining HVS.

His experience also spans front-line work at The Houstonian hotel and operations and management internships with JW Marriott and CenterPointe Hotels. As part of The Abilities Experience, Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropic arm, Mr. Allen biked 4,000 miles across the country in 2007 to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. He continues to support the charity and has since run the Marine Corp Marathon and participated in Summit Vision, a four-day excursion in the mountains of Colorado focused on reaching some the highest peaks in the state and proving the inability to see does not affect one's vision of possibility.

Mr. Allen can be contacted at 713-252-5595 or callen@hvs.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.