2024 Industry Insights

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Join the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association for a 1-day conference learning about industry trends, federal and state issues impacting our industry, workforce development and much more. 

Tuesday, April 30 Agenda 

10 – 11 AM: State of the Industry 2024 & Beyond

Presented by Hudson Riehle, SVP Research & Knowledge, National Restaurant Association

Where is the restaurant industry heading this year, and what will this future hold for restaurateurs?  Get the latest data on current and upcoming trends critical to the industry’s growth and success over the upcoming decade and examine how these opportunities are reshaping the industry’s sales, workforce, operations, technologies, menus and off-premises markets.

11 – 11:15 AM: Break  

11:15 AM – 12 PM: Break Out Sessions 

  • Session #1: Calm, Cool, and Collected: Diffusing Tension- Essential De-Escalation Techniques
    • Mary Moore, Shafer Leadership Academy
    • Want to unlock the secrets to managing disagreements effectively and gain confidence when facing conflict?  Discover how to transform high-stress conflicts into opportunities for cooperation and understanding through the art of de-escalation. This interactive and informative session promises to equip you with the essential tools needed to navigate tense situations with confidence and grace. 
  • Session #2: The Gig Workforce: Your Secret Ingredient to Staffing Success.
    • Cristian Avalos – Director of Partnerships at Hyer
    • Short staffed? High turnover? Demand swings? Join Cristian Avalos, Director of Partnerships at Hyer, and discover how to tap into a network of pre-vetted, insured gig workers who are motivated and ready to work! From front of house to back of house to housekeeping and everything in between, learn how you can quickly react to spikes in seasonal demand or supplement your current workforce without any commitment or planning. All with the tap of an app.


12 PM: Lunch & Networking


12:30 PM: InRLA Annual Meeting

During this portion of the meeting, we will present the 2024 slate and welcome the changing of our Executive Committee and new board members. Click here to view the 2024 Slate of Board of Directors.


1 – 1:15 PM: Break 


1:15 – 2 PM: Break Out Sessions 

  • Session #1: PART 2 - Calm, Cool, and Collected: Diffusing Tension Essential De-Escalation Techniques 
    • Mary Moore, Shafer Leadership Academy 
  • Session #2: Hotel Performance Overview from STR
    • Brandon Gill from Smith Travel Research
    • Rico Louw from Smith Travel Research
    • An understanding of the industry is essential for uncovering avenues of success in your business. In this session, STR’s Brandon Gill will bolster your understanding through market insights from the world leader in hotel data benchmarking and analytics. His presentation will cover the key performance metrics, development pipeline, and forecast projections for the U.S., Indiana and the broader Midwest region. Discover the underlying factors behind declining occupancy rates, discern whether different hotel classes are experiencing similar trends, and grasp the driving forces influencing Indiana's performance trajectory. Equipped with these foundational insights and armed with the transformative potential of data benchmarking, you'll be empowered to pose pertinent questions and navigate toward solutions aimed at optimizing revenue and mitigating losses within your hotel or portfolio.


2 PM: Updates from Capitol Hill from NRA & AHLA 

    • Troy Flanagan, VP of Government Affairs & Industry Relations - American Hotel & Lodging Association 
    • Mike Whatley, State Affairs & Grassroots Advocacy - National Restaurant Association
    • What is going on at Capitol Hill that could impact your business? Hear it straight from the source as representatives from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the National Restaurant Association provide an update on issues in Washington DC. Get the outlook on what’s coming and how the political landscape may shift with the 2024 Election.

3 PM: Closing Cocktail Reception 

  • Stick around and close out the day with hors d'oeuvres and drinks while networking with peers throughout the industry.