Editorial Board   

Mr. Motavalli

Jim Motavalli

Editor, E Magazine

Jim Motavalli is the Editor of the Norwalk, Connecticut-based E Magazine, the only independent national environmental bi-monthly. The magazine has consistently won national design and editorial awards (including the 2003 Utne award for best science and environmental reporting). He is the author of Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation That Works (2002) and Forward Drive: The Race to Build "Clean" Cars for the Future (2000), both published by Sierra Club Books/Random House. Feeling the Heat: Dispatches From the Frontlines of Climate Change, edited by Motavalli and based on reporting in E Magazine, was published by Routledge in 2004. Green Living: The E Magazine Handbook for Living Lightly on the Earth (published by the Plume division of Penguin) was released for Earth Day 2005. He has also spoken to many environmental groups and professional associations, including the Society of Environmental Journalists, the International Motor Press Association, the federal Clean Cities conference, the Center for Environmental Health, EarthSave, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii.

Mr. Motavalli can be contacted at jimm@emagazine.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.