“Only when the industry goes out, shares experiences, increases confidence and meets face to face will the recovery of meetings and events gain momentum” says Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director
HBAA has demonstrated its commitment to kick-starting the meetings and events industry into life again by announcing a series of face-to face meetings and events to take place in the next few weeks and months.
The series starts tomorrow, on Wednesday 29 July, at the Holiday Inn Milton Keynes to which all of the association’s Board will travel by car and public transport from areas including Dorset and Yorkshire to be present, in person, and to meet shoulder to shoulder.
At the same time, the HBAA is launching an initiative to encourage all its agency members to re-start venue visits and site inspections and, to demonstrate this, share photos and posts on social media as part of its #HBAAFutureFit #businessready campaign.
Juliet Price says: “We’re hoping that posts where members capture agents’ visits to reopened, permitted hotels, venues and serviced apartments and experience the measures that have been put in place to ensure the safety and welfare of guests, delegates and employees, will send positive messages beyond our industry.”
In mid August, HBAA is bringing together its Agency members for an Engagement Meeting and is aiming to have the maximum permitted audience of 30 attendees in the room, whilst continuing to exercise social distancing.
Then, on 6th October, soon after large events are allowed to start, the HBAA members event – HBAA FutureFit Live - will take place in Birmingham with HBAA hoping that most of its 300 members will be represented there. As long as the industry is permitted to hold an indoor meeting of this size, this will be a ‘live-only’ event.
Juliet Price concludes: “Months ago we wouldn’t have felt the need to showcase that we were meeting face to face at a board meeting, this was ‘a given’. However, now more than ever, leading by example is essential for our industry, and the HBAA board is keen to show its commitment to re-establishing customer confidence for corporates, event planners and delegates by arranging these meetings and events. HBAA will also be supporting other organisations and initiatives that are promoting shoulder to shoulder live events in the coming weeks. Virtual platforms will not and should not replace such activities.
“Only if the industry goes out and meets face to face will the recovery of meetings and events gain momentum and drive the return of corporate customer confidence in the sector.”