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A cashless payment system promises to free delegates from the hassle of paper invoices.

American Express Global Corporate Payments has teamed up with HRS Corporate to allow guests to settle hotel bills more easily.

During the booking, event managers can automatically generate a virtual credit card from their vPayment account to pay for hotel accommodation.

American Express claims the solution offers improved transparency and security as the period of validity and the transaction value can be individually determined for every payment.

HRS Corporate’s Paperless Travel means that business travellers will no longer need to deal with paper invoices and time-consuming travel expense accounting as the hotel sends the invoice to a predefined verification address.

Planners benefit from digitally processed information that gives some indication of further savings potentials when it comes to hotel expenses.

Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS, said: “For business travellers, both booking and accounting becomes far easier. The travel manager receives detailed reports of all hotel bookings and invoiced billing amounts through the payment solution. This is done digitally, which makes the processes far more efficient and cost-transparent.”

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Event organisers shouldn’t lose sleep over registration arrangements, worry about the room layout or panic over Powerpoint presentations – a recent survey shows that an event’s success could actually be measured by the quality of the refreshments.

Conference Cambridge, the official free venue-finding service for Cambridge University and its Colleges as well as hotels and other unique properties in the city, has just released the results of a survey completed by 75 event organisers on the subject of refreshments at UK venues.

Over 80% said that the availability and quality of tea and coffee was ‘very important and could make or break an event’, but only 50% were happy with current refreshment arrangements.

Two thirds of respondents said they had received complaints from delegates on the timing of refreshments, the length of queues, tepid hot drinks and a limited range on offer.

Almost half felt the drinks served were of poor quality and a similar number referred to the disappointing snacks which lacked imagination and were not home-made or healthy options.

When asked what coffee arrangements would be preferred, 46% highlighted a coffee machine with options such as Cappuccino, Latte and Americano and a further 17% requested a Barista making fresh drinks to order. A ‘make your own’ arrangement with hot water and a selection of teas was also the preferred option.

Finally 68% said that if they had had a positive experience of refreshments at an event they were likely to use the venue again or recommend it.

Kelly Vickers, Director of Conference Cambridge said: “We had suspected for some time that the quality and choice of refreshments play a pivotal part in the success of an event but even so, we were surprised by the responses to our survey.

“What came across loud and clear was the need for venues to ‘up their game’ both in terms of range and quality, particularly in relation to coffee and tea where we are now used to ‘bean to cup’ options everywhere on the high street.

“We presented our findings at a Marketing Forum attended by representatives from our member venues and also included a coffee-making demonstration by Peros, specialists in coffee products and barista training, to show what is possible! Since then we’re pleased to say that our venues have really taken the results on board and several have been in touch to say that they have already made important changes to their refreshment provision. We had such an excellent response to this. We’d like to thank the organisers who took time to tell us their views and our venues who have responded by making changes quickly and positively.”

Conference Cambridge: telephone 01223 768740.

HBAA member, the global marketplace that brings people and meeting space together, has partnered with the award-winning publication, PA Life, to launch a customised booking tool for personal and executive assistants. The powered booking tool gives the PA Life community of 12,000 the ability to instantly find, compare and book meeting space anywhere in the world, on-demand. allows personal and executive assistants to seize control, by enabling them to book the perfect meeting place in the right location, fully equipped with the latest technology and high-quality catering.

“Finding and booking meeting space is part of a personal or executive assistant’s role – however, they’re not event organisers. To have a booking tool at their fingertips, that enables them to find rooms quickly and easily, is extremely beneficial. is well-respected in the marketplace and we are delighted to announce this new, exciting partnership to support our readers. PA Life is now a one-stop-shop for personal and executive assistants to discover tips and advice, while using the service”.

–Colette Doyle, Editor of PA Life.

“Until now, it’s been difficult for personal and executive assistants to find that perfect meeting place, on-demand, as they are juggling numerous tasks and responsibilities throughout their work day. has fixed that problem, and we are extremely proud to partner with PA Life to support its readers in delivering a first class service to executives,”

–Caleb Parker, CEO of

Founded in 2014,, headquartered in London, is the latest addition to the Search Office Space group of companies which was set up by property entrepreneur Richard Smith in 1993. For more than twenty years, the group has been a constant pioneer in the flexible workspace category, introducing a range of different search and compare services – from serviced offices (, virtual offices, day offices, and now meeting spaces ( – to support corporates, SMEs and entrepreneurs across its global portfolio of 12,000 venue partners.

PA Life is the UK’s leading title for personal and executive assistants, designed to make them more efficient and their work life less stressful. The magazine has a wide remit, covering personal development, professional growth, technology and training.  The PA Life website ( is where savvy PAs meet online to exchange ideas that are indispensable to their working lives. PA Life also organises regular educational events that offer an ideal platform for career development, as well as exciting networking opportunities.

The AA 4-Star Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Restaurant at Barnby Moor moves up another pace with the addition of two brand new Luxury Lodges, The Grove & The Rufford.  Guests celebrated with Champagne & Canapes at the opening by Jane Strawson, Senior Master of The Grove & Rufford Hunt. 

Located in The Courtyard, each executive lodge has been built in traditional brickwork with hand carved oak features by Master Joiner, Darren West, and luxurious tartan décor by Tonia Wynne Interior Designer.  Private owners, Paul & Hilary Levack have restored the hotel throughout with a passion to respect its long history to the 17th century, yet add a contemporary twist to bring it firmly into the 21st century, and the lodges blend perfectly.

Each lodge is 2-storey with a galleried bedroom, ensuite with roll-top bath and power shower, lounge and mini-kitchen.  The luxurious double or twin beds are certainly 'Fit for a King!', as they were supplied by local family firm Healthbeds of Rotherham, manufacturers of Kate & William's bed at Kensington Palace!

Kate Firth, General Manager, is thrilled with the impressive new addition to the hotel's stylish rooms and suites.  "They make a perfect hideaway for two or the interconnecting doors open up at both levels to make one large lodge - ideal for friends and family get-togethers, bridal parties, sporting groups etc."

Global Event Tech is set to arrive in Liverpool next summer as an exciting part of The International Festival for Business 2016. Being brought to you by Liverpool based Event & Marketing Specialists UKFE, who already have a large portfolio of successful exhibitions, this promises not to disappoint. Being held at the brand new Exhibition Centre Liverpool on 27th -28 June 2016.

This FREE to attend event provides an opportunity to engage with leading industry exhibitors, tech providers and countless industry experts all under the one roof. Being part of this globally recognised festival is a great opportunity to secure new connections and reach a whole new client base.

Ian McCarthy, Festival Director for IFB 2016 stated.. “We are delighted that UKFE will be showcasing Global Event Tech at IFB next year. It promises to be an insightful and innovative exhibition that will attract significant amounts of international attention. We look forward to partnering with UKFE and helping them shape a truly successful event.”

Having previously hosted exhibitions such as The Venue Expo, UKFE is able to assist organisations in reaching their target audience. Their dynamic approach has allowed them to continue obtaining attendees from all around the globe, and focus on placing Liverpool on the map as a key city for business and events.

Leading on from the success of The Venue Expo, Global Event Tech will mainly focus on both digital and creative industries. The use of tech within the events industry has continued to soar, with innovative and exciting technology fast becoming a key element of events and the expectations of attendees being consistently raised. With live tech demonstrations, Q & A sessions and seminars, this event is set to showcase the best of what the tech industry has to offer. Global Event Tech is the perfect opportunity to interact with tech and industry leaders, with the event being formatted to allow attendees to interact with suppliers one to one. This will therefore enable an increased amount of time engaging with buyers and professionals to provide unique business experience. The outcome of the event will be to stay ahead of the competition and develop within the events industry.

Show Manager Joseph Davies says. “We are delighted to be hosting Global Event Tech at the International Festival of Business in 2016, this event will attract high quality buyers from the UK, Europe and America. The main aim will be to seek new business which will compliment our exhibitors who will be showcasing the very latest event technology through product demonstrations and Q & A sessions”

With Global Event Tech just over twelve months away, UKFE are excited to be implementing plans to make the event a huge success. UKFE believe that Global Event Tech is an opportunity to continue to showcase what the north has to offer whilst displaying the highest quality of technology from the events industry. UKFE are looking forward to uniting exhibitors and professionals to engage in business and create long lasting partnerships. 

Global Event Tech 27th- 28th June 2016
For information or exhibitor enquiries contact:
UKFE: 0151 702 7753

Grass Roots Meetings & Events has chosen Cancer Research UK as its supported charity for the forthcoming year with members of the team running in several Race For Life events across the next month.

All three Meetings & Events offices have taken up the challenge with Team Putney completing their 10K challenge in Clapham last weekend. Team Fleet are set to take on their 5K in Basingstoke on the 17th June and Team Marlow will run a 5K in High Wycombe on the 28th June.

A target of £3,300 has been set by the teams and donations can be made at their Just Giving site (

“Cancer Research UK is a charity close to everybody here at Grass Roots so we were really keen to raise some money in the 2015 Race For Life,” comments Amanda Harrison, Grass Roots Meetings & Events’ Marketing Executive. “Team Putney completed our challenge in Clapham on Saturday but both Team Fleet and Marlow are doing their runs later this month. It’s a fantastic cause so please donate what you can towards our target and help us show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink!”

The fastest 10K by Team Putney was claimed by Dovile Kavaliauskaite with a time of 52 minutes.

Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. Race for Life is a series of women-only events raising money for research into all 200 types of cancer. You can learn more about how to support Cancer Research UK by visiting

Grass Roots Meetings & Events are one of four divisions at Grass Roots Group PLC. They provide stunning events from conception through to live production support; consolidate event spend through expert strategic meetings management; provide access to the very best venues; the slickest delegate co-ordination and registration services; and the most robust and innovative events technology. Learn more by visiting

Responding directly to attendee feedback, technology will once again feature heavily throughout The Meetings Show’s education programme.

In addition to bespoke technology sessions in the healthcare, PA, corporate, agency and association streams, The Meetings Show’s education programme will feature an entire stream dedicated to the use of technology in events.  The technology programme has been created in partnership with Maarten Vanneste from The Meetings Design Institute.

“Our busiest and highest rated sessions throughout the whole of the 2014 programme were those related to technology,” comments The Meetings Show’s Event Director, Steve Knight.  “Meetings and event organisers are bombarded with opportunities to improve their events through the use of the latest technology.  Our sessions assess the importance, value and benefit of such technologies and how best they can be integrated into successful events.”

Once again The Meetings Show is reacting to the needs of the industry through such focused content; basing education content on post show feedback, anecdotal evidence – even click through rates on regular newsletters all of which highlight the importance of technology.”

The technology stream includes the following sessions:

  • 24/7: technology innovations for meetings and events - Technology is moving fast, change is everywhere; today it’s hot, and tomorrow it’s not.  24/7 is a high-speed, educational session built around specialised technology topics.  For 24 minutes you join your preferred table and discuss 7 hot topics before moving on.
  • 7 wearable technologies for meetings - On our wrist, on our pocket and even on our head, wearable technology is becoming a serious part of daily life.  But does it play a role in meetings and events?
  • Beacons & Geo-location: shedding light on participant behaviour - iBeacons, RFID, face recognition and other tracking and tracing technology. What is possible and when and why does it make sense to use it at a meeting?
  • HYBRID: Technology to capture content - Capturing the content of a meeting is becoming a must. If you haven’t done it, you are missing out on a massive opportunity. What’s changed over the past few years and what are the latest trends and solutions to consider.
  • Activating your online community - Are we more community leaders than meeting planners? Is social media reaching a tipping point? How do you get your online participants involved? Using the FRESH conference as a case study we explore this ever changing landscape.
  • The Tower of e-Bible - And they said, go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.  A therapeutic workshop for people that feel they are technologically overstretched, cognitively challenged, and socially stressed.

Maarten Vanneste, from The Meetings Design Institute said: “Technology evolves fast, new possibilities emerge and new technologies are examined ever more closely.  To be able to innovate effectively it is always good to get The Meetings Show update.”

Organised by Centaur Live Media, The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 7-9 July 2015 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has urged new ministers to implement, without delay, the Government’s Events Strategy, launched prior to the General Election by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

BVEP chairman Michael Hirst told CN: “The BVEP was quick to write and congratulate both Secretaries of State on their appointment and we have been delighted to hear back from both over the last couple of weeks. We are now in touch with the offices of both the ministers, and are looking at meeting them in the next month. Our main priority is to see the implementation of the DCMS strategy; one of the authors of which were at IMEX last week and attended the Politicians Forum. They were very encouraged by what they saw and we hope to see more progress in the coming months.”

The strategy report had recommended the establishment of an Events Industry Board to be co-chaired by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), BIS and the meetings and events industry.

The strategy also envisaged the board would have the specific task of facilitating a more competitive environment for the industry in Britain and identifying and supporting international and domestic events aligned with the government’s economic priority sectors.

John Whittingdale, the new Secretary of State at DCMS, has acknowledged the importance of business tourism and expressed a wish to work closely with the industry.

Tracey Crouch, the new tourism minister has also said that she looks forward to maintaining the good working relationship and discussing the next steps on the Business Visits and Events Strategy.

The new Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, who launched the strategy while Secretary of State at DCMS, is now in a potentially strong position to ensure the benefits of trade growth, inward investment, scientific research and knowledge exchange from a stronger business events sector are delivered. His department has indicated it is considering building on the strategy report, in discussions with Officials and with the No 10 Policy Unit, to focus on relevant economic sectors and regions of the country where the greatest opportunities exist.

BVEP chairman Michael Hirst added: “I am reassured by the feedback I have received that the strategy is very much on ministers’ radar. Obviously new ministers need some time to consider all the various policy areas in which they are involved. However it is clear that with the new ministers already having a strong understanding of the benefits from business tourism, through their past membership of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, and with Sajid Javid, as the new Secretary of State at BIS and the original architect of the Events Strategy, we should be able to expect the full support of the two government departments on which we most depend to move our industry forward”.

Ashfield Meetings & Events is delighted to announce that it has been re-appointed to deliver Bayer UK’s event production services.  

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas and Bayer’s products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life.

This re-appointment follows the delivery of successful production and live event services to Bayer since 2012. Ashfield Meetings & Events were also re-appointed as sole provider for venue finding services in 2014.

Stuart Walker (Bayer Senior Sourcing Manager UK & Ireland) said: “We are pleased to announce the re-appointment of Ashfield Meetings & Events to deliver event production services. Ashfield Meetings & Events are one of our key suppliers adding value to our event and communications activity by providing fit-for-purpose production strategies, creative content and message delivery methods and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the team.”

Luke Flett (Global Head Of Marketing for Ashfield Meetings & Events) commented: “We are thrilled that Bayer have decided to re-appoint Ashfield. This is a result of a tremendous amount of hard work from our rapidly growing engagement team. They have developed relationships, consistently delivered to the highest service levels and demonstrated our insight and understanding of Bayer’s business - often beyond the meeting scope - to ensure that the reach and impact of the event is extended and drives change amongst the audience. The re-appointment means we are working with Bayer across event production and venue finding services. We are finding it is more commonplace for clients to connect our different standalone services together in this way due to the efficiencies we can deliver.”


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