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 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.