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HBAA adding value to Independent Venues

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The HBAA is of course an agent association with valued venue members to support the mix and together they hope to shape the future of our sector. 

But how can small independent venues be a part of this?  Well firstly and I suppose it goes without saying, become a member.  The HBAA welcomes all types of venues, big, small, privately owned, part of chain or large group, Academic, Sporting,  all shapes and sizes create a medley of experience and learning.

Yes the HBAA offers a great platform for networking.  The twice yearly members meetings, the annual forum and the annual dinner all well attended by agent members offering a casual relaxed forum to socialise and create relationships.  And this is where for some the value of membership seems to start and stop.  There is so much more to get from membership than this.

As an independent venue one of the great benefits for us is the quality assurance that being part of the HBAA brings; we know that if we work with an agent they have been vetted for membership and have the Code of Practice by which to do business.  It is the Code of Practice that allows us to work with agents, big, small, new and old in an open way with no hidden agenda or costs.  We don’t have to spend time and money creating our own T&C’s, we have them and we all agree to them, they are the back bone that supports membership and the agent – venue relationship.

We know networking is key to us all, and as such it seems that traditionally the Business Development teams are the ones who tend to show up to events.  However, the HBAA is for all venue departments and has a lot to offer for those willing to be involved.  Operations are the big winners with recent key sessions on venue security, risk and response and live events.  Senior leaders have been informed with sessions from PWC and other association bodies.  A separate business leaders forum is also held, to tackle key issues.  Marketing (and that’s my bag) have oodles of opportunities to profile the brand, enhance the venue communications and also get learning, recent sessions on GDPR and social media marketing were some of my highlights.

Training is also something the HBAA do really well.  Several members of different teams from Wyboston Lakes attended the training sessions this year and responded really well.  It’s focused training dealing with issues that are specific to our challenges and at great rates that Independent venues can afford.

So to all those independent venues out there, I say get involved and be part of this great association, get the wider team involved and taking advantage of what the HBAA has to offer.  Let the networking be the bonus, the fundamentals should take the lead.


Louisa Watson

HBAA Venue Chair

Director of Marketing, Wyboston Lakes

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