Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Devlin

Lisa Devlin

Attorney, Devlin Law Firm

Lisa Sommer Devlin has practiced law since 1984, and has concentrated in hospitality law for over 25 years. She negotiates contracts, provides legal training for sales staff and handles convention and meeting related litigation nationwide for major hotel companies, and many independent hotels.

In 2002, Ms. Devlin was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meeting industry by Meeting News magazine. In 2006, the magazine gave her the honor her again, stating: "More than anyone else, she is the legal voice for the industry."

She has served as a member of the Legal Advisory Counsel and on the Contracts panel for the APEX Initiative sponsored by the Convention Industry Council, and was President of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys 2012-2014. In 2015, Meetings and Conventions magazine included her in its "M&C's Top 25 Women in the Meeting Industry."

Ms. Devlin has published numerous articles on hospitality related topics, including being the primary drafter of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's meeting planner brochure, "Meeting in the Middle."

Ms. Devlin is a sought-after speaker and trainer. She has spoken at events sponsored by Meetings Professional International, Professional Convention Management Association, Exhibitor Show, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International, Society of Government Meeting Planners, Conference Direct, Experient, Collinson Media (now Connect Meetings), Elite Meetings Alliance, and many others, and served as adjunct faculty for Arizona State University's Professional Meeting Manager's Partnership program. PCMA named her one of its "Best in Class" speakers for 2012.

The State Bar of Arizona has asked her to serve as faculty for many years at a number of its Continuing Legal Education seminars, including its Trial College and Professionalism events.

Ms. Devlin attended the University of Iowa where she received her B.S. in 1981 in Anthropology and Journalism with High Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa; and her Juris Doctor in 1984, also with High Distinction, and Order of the Coif.

Please visit http://www.devlinfirm.com for more information.

Ms. Devlin can be contacted at +1 602-522-2793 or lisa@devlinfirm.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.