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The HBAA has welcomed agents CryingOutLoud Productions and Kinetix Events Ltd to its diverse list of members.

CryingOutLoud Productions is a media content company, specialising in event production including award ceremonies, corporate events, charity gala fundraisers and live music events. 

Event management company Kinetix Events Ltd provides services for a variety of events, from small meetings to international conferences, as well as corporate hospitality.  

Both companies are set to benefit from the advantages that an HBAA membership brings, including unrivalled networking opportunities, training as well as support to achieve personal, professional and innovative development.  


Multi-award-winning entrepreneur and author Nigel Botterill will be offering his industry expertise at the HBAA’s ‘Made to Measure’ Annual Forum, taking place on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September at Twickenham Stadium.

The session, entitled ‘The Customer Experience and Me’, will see Nigel advise guests on how to implement business growth by lifting the lid on strategies used by successful companies to retain their customers, whilst encouraging  them to increase their overall spend.

Nigel’s knowledge of the industry comes from an extensive corporate career, where he held positions in several major organisations including Barclays, before founding and building eight separate businesses of his own, earning him a reputation as one of the most prolific and successful entrepreneurs in the UK.

Famed for his entertaining and high energy talks, Nigel encourages businesses to think differently about how to achieve success in 2013, as well as offering practical advice that can easily be implemented. His first business book, The Botty Rules, was published in February 2011, and reached number two in the Sunday Telegraph best-sellers list.

Chris Parnham, chairman of the HBAA, said: “Nigel is truly an inspirational entrepreneur, and his presentation is bursting with energy, insights and useable tactics that can improve your ability to retain and develop your customers. He talks to everyone at every level, and gives real life advice to help you deliver a more memorable customer experience. This session will leave you gasping for breath.” 

Registration for the HBAA’s Annual Forum is still available here, with single day attendance now offered to those who can’t make both days. 

Regional hotels had a strong July, but those in London suffered from a comparison with the Olympic Games period, two new sets of figures show.

HotStats reports that a year after successfully hosting the Games, London hotels ‘unsurprisingly’ saw July’s gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) fall by 14.6% year-on-year to £82.70.

Occupancy in the capital grew by 7.2 percentage points to 87.9%, but this was insufficient to offset a 12.9% decline in average room rate to £148.63, resulting in a 5.2% fall in revenue per available room (revPAR) to £130.59.

In contrast, HotStats figures showed GOPPAR at provincial hotels rose for the fourth consecutive month in July, by 3.9% to £33.41, largely thanks to increased demand due to warm weather in the UK.

Regional occupancy rose by 3.5pp to 80.3%, while average room rate was up 0.4% at £71.78, which helped lift July revPAR by 4.9% to £57.78.

HotStats data are based on 624 hotels across the UK, with an average size of 177 rooms, primarily in the three- and four-star sectors.

Elsewhere, business advisory and accountancy firm, BDO LLP, reports regional hotels saw average room rate slip 1.4% year-on-year to £59.09 in July, but this was more than offset by a 5.1pp increase in occupancy to 80.4%; as a result, revPAR or rooms yield rose 5.2% to £47.51.

BDO’s London figures revealed a 13.6% decline in room rate to £138.20, although occupancy was up 7.9pp at 87.1%. However, this was not enough to prevent a 5% fall in July revPAR to £120.36.

Robert Barnard, partner at BDO LLP, commented: ‘This is another strong showing by regional operators – their impressive performance during the first half of the year shows no signs of slowing down.

‘I’d caution against reading too much into the drop in rooms yield in London, because the comparison is against the month in which the city began hosting the Olympics. The fact that occupancy is almost 90% is a better indicator of the capital’s current strength.

‘Looking behind the numbers, the UK hotel sector appears to be in good shape to take advantage of the nascent economic recovery.

‘The sector’s fundamentals are strong. Some 12 months on from the Olympics, London’s position as a world class business and leisure destination is stronger than ever. Outside the capital, the lack of new development in recent years has helped operators to manage room rate and occupancy during periods of softening demand.

‘It’s important not to get carried away, but the sector has reason to be increasingly optimistic about its future prospects.’

The HBAA’s ‘Made to Measure’ Annual Forum, taking place on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th September at Twickenham Stadium, will provide venue and agent members the opportunity to gain valuable insights into the procurement of business from corporate clients.
Hosted by this year’s chairman, Chris Parnham, the HBAA will present a panel of industry experts with previous corporate experience, poised to reveal how agents and venues engage with buyers to maximise business wins from the sector. Chris will introduce informative topics to the panel discussion, with questions such as:
•    Which tender responses go straight in the bin, and which ones go to the top of the pile?
•    What makes a winning tender response stand out?
•    Is the tender really for sale, or is the winner already in place?
Confirmed panellists include Paul Andrews, whose 25 years’ marketing experience has covered work within the BMW Group, CompAir, Kawasaki and Barclays Bank. Paul will be joined by Andrew Gilkerson, who is responsible for the commercial effectiveness of a group incorporating W&O Event Management and Choice Healthcare Solutions, Alison Searle, global sourcing manager-hotels and MICE, Agrega, and former head of events at Barclays Sarah Wright. 
Replacing Alison in the streamed venue member session will be Martin Searle, senior category manager – Travel Services, Xchanging, who has 25 years of extensive knowledge and experience in Global Strategic Sourcing.
Chris Parnham, chairman of the HBAA, said, "I began my industry career as head of global events at Barclays, and I set up my first company, ILLICO Events, on the principles of what I used to like as a corporate client, whilst eradicating what I used to hate. I have carried these lessons through Zibrant and into Absolute Corporate Events. Experience of the corporate sector really does give you an insight into what makes corporate buyers actually buy. These insights, and more, will be shared with this year's HBAA Forum audience, and our panel has corporate experience from huge corporates, including Barclays, BMW, and Pfizer."
Registration for the HBAA’s Annual Forum is still available here.

Grass Roots has unveiled its new event management board, ahead of plans to re-brand in September.

Grass Roots' four events businesses – HBI, DMS, Eventcom and Live – will be realigned as one legal entity and re-branded as Grass Roots Meetings and Events.

Grass Roots restructured its event businesses in March this year.

The management board will consist of chairman David Hackett, group managing director Des McLaughlin, group sales director David Taylor, DMS business development director Giselle Ripken and Charles Moyle, managing director of Live.

Board members from Eventcom include managing director Jeremy Brown, creative director Chris Axe, technology director Andy Cartwright and Julie Phillips as finance director.

Chairman David Hackett said: "Grass Roots' event businesses will have one brand, one go-to-market message, one website and one sales structure so there isn’t four separate people knocking on clients’ doors." 

HBAA venue members can now enter this year’s Event Top 20 venues annual poll. In no more than 300 words, venues must explain why they deserve to be in the Top 20 list, which will be published in the November/December issue of Event.  

Within the 300 word application, venue members will need to discuss: 

•    Location (ease of access)
•    Facilities (number of rooms, including the maximum capacity of the venue)
•    Aesthetics
•    Value
•    Service
•    Number of events held (from August 2012 to August 2013)
•    Best event (in this period)
•    Revenue generated (in this period)
•    Number of awards/accolades won (in this period)
•    Plans for the future

In addition to the written application, a recent quote from a corporate client suggesting why they think your venue is the best is required. 

The number one spot will then be determined by readers voting for their favourite venues, shaping the order of the Top 20. 

The Top 20 provides a definitive guide to some of the UK’s top events venues, with ExCel voted as 2012’s number one venue. To see a full list of last year’s finalist’s click here
Further details about taking part are available here. Entrants must include all the information requested above; otherwise entries may not be counted. Submissions will close at 5pm on Monday 9 September 2013.

Accor's four-month search to replace former CEO Denis Hennequin ends with the appointment of former Colony Capital executive Sébastien Bazin.

The Board of Directors of Accor that convened on August 27, 2013, chaired by Philippe Citerne, decided to appoint Sébastien Bazin as Chairman and CEO of Accor.

To take on this new role, Sébastien Bazin has ended all his duties at Colony Capital, which he had been heading since 1997.

Philippe Citerne has been appointed as Vice-Chairman of Accor's Board of Directors.

Philippe Citerne declared: “following the selection procedure, the Board has considered Sébastien as the best choice for Accor, among all high quality candidates that have been examined. His perfect understanding of the Group, his experience in the hotel sector and his strong international culture are all assets to successfully lead the ongoing transformation of the Group, to ensure its development and assert itself as a world leader in the industry ".

Gerard Pélisson and Paul Dubrule, co-founders of Accor, said: "We have expressed our support to this appointment during the meeting of the Board. We have known Sébastien for over 10 years. We have always had frank and direct relationship with him. He has proven his commitment to this group that we founded more than 40 years ago, and to its values. We are convinced that he will be able to give the fresh impetus Accor needs to continue to develop over time”.

Sébastien Bazin declared: “I take on this new role with great ambition for the Group, to which I am deeply committed, and acute awareness of the challenges it currently faces. I want it to find the boldness, dynamism and desire which it has always been led by. And I wish us to work all together, employees, franchisees and partners, directors and shareholders, and that we will work confidently towards a common goal: to develop the Group to the very highest level with commitment and stringency”.

Yann Caillère, CEO of Accor, is to leave the Group. The board warmly thanked him for his action in the service of Accor for seven years. The Board also expressed its gratitude for his commitment over the past few months during which he fully assumed the responsibilities that were his.

Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire has now joined The HBAA’s list of members.

The Brocket Hall estate has three luxurious venues for corporate events, weddings and special occasions, as well as two championship golf courses.  

The venue is now able to enjoy all of the benefits that come with being an HBAA member, including unrivalled networking opportunities, support and training. 

The HBAA’s increasing directory of revered venues shows the associations unquestionable significance within the industry as a facilitator of personal, professional and innovative development. 


The HBAA has expanded the way it communicates selected event updates and news items to members with the introduction of SMS messaging and a mobile App.

Provided in association with mobile communication experts Interacterable, the HBAA has chosen this personal way of connecting with members, delivering a channel for immediate personal engagement before, during and after September’s Annual Forum. 

Members who register for the HBAA’s ‘Made to Measure’ Annual Forum will be able to provide their mobile telephone numbers in order to receive timely and specific event information about the two-day conference at Twickenham Stadium, as well as engage in real life rating of sessions and speakers.

Ole Bo Larsen, Founder & MD, Interacterable Ltd., said: “SMS is a very personal way for companies to connect with their audiences, and the introduction of direct text messaging by the HBAA will help foster relationships between the association and its members. We’re delighted to be working with the HBAA on this new initiative.”

Chris Parnham, chair of the HBAA, commented: "The smart phone today is becoming as relevant and necessary as the laptop was ten years ago. We recognise how many uses it now has, the part it plays in business today and its impact and influence on the events industry. This new channel of communication is just one of several initiatives that we are introducing to ensure our members can make the most of their relationship with us.”

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has awarded the Nottingham Conference Centre the Accredited in Meetings (AIM) Gold standard award. 
Nottingham Conference Centre, which is part of Nottingham Trent University, is one of only 26 Gold standard venues recognised in the AIM scheme, which includes 530 accredited venues in the UK.
AIM is the nationwide ’kitemark’ for venues and service providers in the meetings, conference and events industry. Administered by the mia and endorsed by Visit Britain, Visit England and the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, AIM is awarded to venues that have met or exceeded 50 criteria including customer service, quality of facilities, compliance with codes of conduct and corporate social responsibility.
AIM Gold is the highest level of the accreditation and demonstrates a venue’s compliance with a more stringent set of criteria, completing a self-assessment, producing a portfolio of evidence in support of its application and receiving a visit from an independent assessor.
“We believe this is an important accreditation within the industry, showing customers the level of standards we are operating at,” says Nottingham Conference Centre Business Development and Sales Manager, Jennifer Canto.


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