How One Hotel Company Is
Wowing Planners With Robots
8 Ways to Limit Alcohol Liability
at Meetings and Events
Consumption of alcohol sometimes eems like a foundation of meetings. After all, who doesn’t want to have
glass of wine and relax after a day in meeting sessions? And oftentimes, the alcohol
flows freely, in terms of liberal quantities
and at no cost to attendees.
Nothing is free, however, so here are
eight tips to help planners limit liability.
1. Remember that the liability for alcohol
falls upon the entity that sells or serves the
alcohol, so beware the hospitality suite!
2. Planners should always ask that servers
and bartenders working be trained and
certified in alcohol safety awareness training. Most companies will tell you they train
all their staff, but there is usually a 90-day
window to complete the training.
3. Open bars can be dangerous. Budget is not
the only reason that some groups choose to
have a cash bar or to give attendees a limited
number of tickets for free drinks.
4. Have food. Food is a mitigation measure.
Not salty snacks, but protein-laden snacks
that will fill attendees up.
5. Provide seating. Studies show that people
consume fewer drinks if they are seated
than if they are standing and milling around.
6. Have a strong indemnification clause in
your contract with whomever is providing alcohol. You want to be sure that they
indemnify, defend and hold harmless you
and your group from any and all liability
related to the sale or service of alcohol.
7. Talk to your insurance company. It’s important to find out if you’re covered for alcohol
related incidents or whether you need an additional rider for events that include alcohol.
8. Send a message. I often see contracts that
reads, “We may refuse service to a person
that is underaged or intoxicated.” I change
that may to will.
Tyra Hilliard, Ph.D., Esq., CMP, (http://
tyrahilliard.com) is an attorney and professor whose expertise is in legal and crisis
preparedness issues for the meetings, events
and hospitality industries.
If you think robots take the personal touch out of an interaction, think again. Hotel robots are popping up left and
right, and Interstate Hotels and Resorts is
eliciting quite the warm and fuzzy reactions
when making special deliveries with this
The company, which manages more than
480 properties and counting worldwide, is
deploying robots to seal the deal on group
business, make a memorable impression
during events and provide the overall wow
factor for guests, your attendees included.
“In the 35 years I have been working in
the hotel industry, it’s probably one the
biggest guest satisfiers and points of differentiation,” said Michael D’Amodio, regional
general manager of four Interstate properties in the Los Angeles area that are using
robots developed by Savioke, a startup.
Two versions of Hannah, the Relay Robot,
operate at the H Hotel at LAX, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection.
Over at the Embassy Suites by Hilton
LAX North, Residence Inn by Marriott LAX
and Residence Inn by Marriott Beverly
Hills are three Relay Robots: Winne, Wally
and Beverly, respectively.
The hotel robots have won over guests,
including meeting attendees, with deliveries
of everything from additional towels and
toiletries to coffee and snacks.
“Guests are always taking selfies with the
robots and posting on social media and review sites like TripAdvisor,” D’Amodio said.
Meanwhile, the robots have a starring role
when it comes to site inspections.
The robots have also been used for events
to deliver things such as champagne and
flutes for a group toast and the possibilities
are endless, D’Amodio said. As an added
perk, they can be programmed to deliver
amenity gifts to attendees in their rooms.
Interstate will soon implement Relay Robots at other hotels, including Rose at Hotel
Trio, opening soon in Healdsburg, Calif.
HANNAH, THE RELAY ROBOT, H HOTEL AT LAX
DID YOU KNOW? // Meetings-related travel expenses represented 13.2% of travel and tourism spending in the U.S. in 2016.
OXFORD ECONOMICS 2018 ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE STUDY
By Lori Tenny
By Tyra Hilliard