Editorial Board   

Ms. Christa

Laura K. Christa

Founding Member, Christa & Jackson

Laura K. Christa is a founding member of Christa & Jackson, a leading West Coast business litigation firm. The firm advises clients on a variety of complex business disputes, including contract, business tort, consumer fraud and intellectual property disputes, and has a substantial practice in class action defense in the state and federal courts. The firm regularly represents out-of-state and international clients in disputes based in the U.S. Ms. Christa is currently Chair of the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Law Section of the International Bar Association and has spoken on electronic commerce, group and class actions, unfair competition and related matters as they affect the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry worldwide. As Chair, Ms. Christa spearheaded efforts to create a working group of industry lawyers and their counterparts in over 100 trade associations and NGOs with the goal of increasing communication about global industry issues between lawyers and industry professionals. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Brandeis University and received her law degree in 1980 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Christa can be contacted at 310-282-8040 or laura.christa@christalaw.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.