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The 2014 partnership between the HBAA and The Who Cares? Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious Charity Times award. The Corporate National Partnership Champion Award recognises the active involvement of a business directly through a partnership with a charity or social enterprise that has had a quantifiably positive impact. This year, fellow nominees include major national charities and top retail brand names, such as The British Heart Foundation’s partnership with Asda. 

The innovative partnership between the HBAA and The Who Cares? Trust, raised a fantastic £16,500 during 2014. But as well as direct fundraising, HBAA members also supported The Who Cares? Trust with a number of pro bono initiatives. Through this work, young people in care in Manchester benefited from mentoring and skills opportunities, a group of young people from care received tickets to Alton Towers and care leavers setting up home for the first time received a package of luxury hotel toiletries. 

The Who Cares? Trust is extremely grateful for all the support, both financial and in kind, offered by HBAA members. The money raised continues to fund direct work to support children in care and care leavers and this public recognition of the partnership is a testament to the efforts of all HBAA members who participated. 

The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in October 2015. The shortlist and full details of the Charity Times awards can be seen here., the global marketplace that brings people and meeting space together on-demand, has announced that Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London has made its City Rooms available for customers to book via the marketplace and online booking tools. The City Rooms make up the spine of the hotel and boast fabulous views across the British capital.

The marketplace, which launched globally in March continues to grow, now boasting over 6,000 meeting and event spaces in 58 countries around the world – including 173 cities and towns within the United Kingdom. The marketplace matches its venue partner’s empty meeting rooms with demand in real-time, enabling its customers to book professional meeting rooms online 24/7 and avoid the usual hassle of making numerous phone calls and web enquiries. The company launched to accommodate a significant growth in small meetings. Last year, 400,000 meetings took place in the UK with between 10 and 20 delegates.  This trend was brought on by the significant growth in entrepreneurship and the widespread adoption of mobile technology and remote working.

“I am delighted that we have partnered with to sell our Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London City rooms. We see this move as a positive step forward in a constantly changing meetings arena where we are experiencing a more technologically driven buying environment. We have tailor-made bespoke packages to offer on the website – from one hour set rates for simple one-to-one meetings, to personalised meeting offerings for up to 16  to ensure our flexible, stylish and modern rooms offer our customers the best personalised venue space for smaller events in London.”
– Katja Smythe, UK Sales Director PPHE Hotel Group.

The City Rooms are available from £75.00 per hour and can be hired from one hour to a whole day and can accommodate up to 16 delegates in a boardroom style. Rates include free Wi-Fi and an onsite customer service team.

"We are thrilled to welcome Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London as our newest meeting room partner. There is a huge demand for these smaller meeting rooms and we’re streamlining the booking process, not only for the customer, but also our venue partner sales teams. It’s great to see the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London embrace our technology and offer their City Rooms for online bookings.”
– Caleb Parker, CEO,  

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. 


At the HBAA Forum last week, we asked the audience if they would like the HBAA to create and deliver a Technology Day to the members of our Association; that would be relevant and informative and the answer was a resounding 'Yes'.

To ensure we are listening to you, the HBAA are delighted to announce that we are now starting the planning of this event.

This event will take place in the New Year in January 2016 (date tbc). However, to ensure that the content is relevant, thought provoking and tailored to ensure your business, our members and the association get the most out of it;  we want feedback from YOUR business to help shape the event and influence the content so that everyone gets the most out of the day. 

If you are not the right person to answer the questions within the survey, these relate to your IT interests and needs, please could we ask you to forward on to the most relevant person and ask them to complete it.

Click here to take the survey


Sustainability has long been a buzzword in the business travel industry – but how much does it really matter to the average business traveller?

Leigh Cowlishaw, director of supplier partnerships at Capita Travel and Events and chair of the Technology, Innovation and Sustainability committee at the HBAA shares her insights into the growing interest in sustainability. 

Top tips to keep your carbon footprint down:

1. Avoid flying by night
In the daytime, vapour trails, although harmful, keep the planet cool by reflecting the sun’s glare. Under cover of darkness, there’s no such benefit.
2. Travel on busier routes
Research suggests aircraft at full capacity can be more efficient than cars. We suggest booking busy routes and flying economy to help increase the number of passengers per flight.
3. Travel direct
Although a less direct route may save you money, think about what it’s costing the planet. Around half of a flight’s CO2 emissions are produced during takeoff and landing, so where possible avoid making any unnecessary stopovers.
4. Newer fleet
Check which airlines are operating the most sustainably efficient aircraft. If you have an option where costs and times are the same, then you’ll be doing your bit to choose an airline that operates more efficient aircrafts.

Top tips for sustainable stays:

1. Waste management plan
Does the hotel you plan to stay at have a clear waste management plan? Do they set out how they are going to handle, store and dispose of waste, both on and off-site?
2. Water conservation
Has the hotel implemented any water conservation measures such as rain water harvesting or grey-water reuse? Find out whether the hotel has installed waterefficient devices for taps and toilets and water saving devices for showerheads.
3. Energy saving
Support hotels yourself in their energy saving goals by turning everything off in your room when you leave. Switch appliances off at the power source; don’t just leave them on standby.
4. Air conditioning
Ensure air conditioning and heating are not running simultaneously and that recommended temperatures are not exceeded.

Top tips for greener events:

1. Venue
Find out if they are part of the Green Tourism Business Scheme which provides a comprehensive green audit of accommodation facilities. Also, find out whether they’ve achieved any industry recognised sustainable awards such as ISO 14001.
2. Delegate travel
Understanding the requirements of delegate travel will allow you to determine whether you can organise coaches rather than delegates travelling individually. You could even consider whether travel is necessary or if a video-conference would be a good alternative.
3. Event apps
Make your conference paperless, by using an event app. Apps can hold all the information you would normally print as part of your delegate packs, including itineraries and delegate travel/ accommodation information.
4. Catering
Determine whether the venue you choose to hold your event source local produce to avoid heavy transportation costs. Find out if produce is fresh and in season, this will generally mean less energy has been used in its production.
5. Production
Is yours a repeat event? If so, why not reuse set and other event materials. Reusable display materials save on costs of producing new ones for different events.

Read the full strategy here

The HBAA welcomed over 300 delegates to its Annual Forum on 20 and 21 July. 

The headline event, hosted by the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, this year centred around a Better Business Toolkit – part of the association and current chair Jacqui Kavanagh’s aim to help members do better business, and do business better together. 

The first day saw both agent and member venues attend a session delivered by behavioural economist and strategist Roger Martin-Fagg, who explained his outlook on the economy over the next three years, and how members can learn to be even more economically intelligent. Continuing on the economy, Alistair Turner from the Business Visits & Events Partnership and Britain for Events described what is on the government’s agenda when it comes to recognising the importance of the events industry. 

The educational programme also included a central panel session focusing on procurement. Senior representatives from companies including Capita Travel and Events, British and American Tobacco and Compass Group UK & Ireland discussed how they dealt with the recession – and how it provided them with the opportunity to add value and profitability to all aspects of selection, purchasing and interaction with suppliers.

Day Two of the event began with Jonathan Bradshaw, CEO of the Meetology Group, exploring the science behind business success. The programme continued with a mix of agent workshops and seminars on crisis management, corporate pricing and social media – as well as a look at what today’s tech-savvy client really needs in terms of technology. 
Jacqui Kavanagh, chair of the HBAA, consultant executive director of the HBAA Juliet Price and HBAA Venue Chair Hayley Stokes also delivered a breakdown of what the association had achieved so far in 2015, and its vision for the future. Attendees also enjoyed multiple networking sessions and a ‘Best of British’ themed dinner.
Jacqui Kavanagh said, “We were delighted to return to Birmingham for our Forum this year and privileged to be joined by some distinguished guests and speakers. Our aim was really to raise the bar in terms of educational content this year, and with a mix of sessions on  procurement, economical intelligence, human interaction, cultural values, technology and social media to name just a few, we are thoroughly pleased to have delivered all the components of a better business toolkit that will certainly be of benefit to our members in the months ahead.”


The Prime Minister will today (17 July) announce the Government’s new 5 point plan to boost tourism right across the UK - spreading the benefits of one of our fastest growing sectors beyond the capital, helping to create jobs and rebalance the economy.

A new inter-ministerial group will be formed to co-ordinate and align action across Government to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to make it easy for visitors to discover the best of what this country has to offer.

The group, headed by the Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, and including ministers from across government, including the Department for Communities and Local Government, BIS, DEFRA, Home Office, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will focus on five key areas:

1.     A better co-ordinated sector: the sector is too fragmented - we want to see local attractions and tourism organisations collaborating to grow the sector for everyone not competing.

2.     Skills and jobs: Driving and retaining talent in the sector to encourage growth

3.     Common sense regulation:  Reforming regulation sensibly to drive competition and improve the tourism offer for visitors

4.     Transport: Forging innovative links between the transport and tourism sectors to help visitors travel outside of the capital

5.     An improved welcome: Delivering a world class welcome at the Border

Ministers from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments are also invited to join the group when relevant.

The Prime Minister will also announce:

·        A £1 million ‘Rail for Tourism innovation competition, which will call for ideas to transform the travel experience for visitors to the UK and make exploring the UK by rail more attractive to tourists. The competition will be run by the RSSB’s Future Railways Programme, and winners will receive funding to develop their ideas and carry out trials.

The plan will build upon the enormous success of the 2011 tourism strategy, which culminated in a record year for overseas visitors in 2014 and now sees the industry contribute £60 billion to the UK economy a year.

By opening up new experiences to tourists, we can build on this and ensure more visitors travel outside London and experience the very best of Britain.

Continuing his visit to the South West today the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

"Millions of overseas tourists visit the UK every year and most take in the sights of London. But Britain has so much more to offer, from the Cornish Riviera to the Scottish Highlands and everything in between.

"For many areas tourism is a key industry bringing jobs, growth and security for working people. Tourism supports almost one in 10 jobs in the UK and we want to rebalance the economy to make sure this boost is felt right across the country.”

Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, said:

“Tourism is a vital industry that brings jobs and growth to local economies across Britain. There are so many world-class things to see and do in the UK, and we need to make sure visitors are experiencing as many of them as possible.

I am delighted to chair this new group which will put tourism at the heart of government and help to ensure that every part of the UK benefits by co-ordinating action across Government. We want every visitor to the UK, whether from home or abroad, to have a brilliant experience and shout about it, encouraging even more tourists to choose Britain.”

The plan and funding announced today is in addition to new funds announced in March to boost tourism in both the South-West and the North. The £5 million fund for the South-West will position the area as a must-see destination, generating an additional £60 million in additional visitor spending, creating up to 1000 jobs and incentivising local partners to work together on improving the experience for visitors to the region. It will also be used to promote the South West in the USA and encourage greater connectivity to the region from the United States.

There is a £10 million fund to support Northern destinations to attract international visitors from around the world and ensure the North is on the map as a top tourist destination - a key part of our plan to build a Northern Powerhouse.

Also today, 112 sites around the UK to receive £10,000 for a Coastal Communities Team will be named. These teams will work with local people, councils and businesses to unlock the enormous potential of seaside towns, boosting the local tourism industry and the economy.

Tourism has grown quickly since the government’s previous tourism strategy in 2011. The direct contribution of the tourism sector to the economy in 2014 was almost £60 billion – up a fifth since 2010.  Last year, international visitors spent a record £21.8 billion in local economies across the country, with nearly every region seeing a rise in visitor numbers or spend. In 2013, it was estimated that 9% of jobs in the UK were in tourism-related industries and jobs in the sector were growing at almost double the rate of other industries.

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts unveiled their ambitious re-launch of the group’s meeting and conference product at The Meetings Show in Olympia, London last week.

The evolution of the group’s current offering is the result of a year of in-depth research and data collection from conference organisers, booking agents, direct corporate bookers, event management companies and industry experts.

The aim is to define and launch a Macdonald Meetings concept and MICE product to position and strengthen the Macdonald Hotels brand in the UK MICE market. The group has defined five critical touch points which will ensure that the key objectives for any agent or corporate booker are met with a series of promises that will incorporate the element of ‘time’, offering dedicated account managers and booking consultants, speedy and efficient enquiry turnaround times – with the promise of a 30 minute response time for agents, and the very best rates from the initial onset.

Gill Jackson, Sales Director at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, highlights: “Everyone attending a group meeting or event is an individual and Macdonald Hotels commits to personalising their experience. To achieve this, we are redefining our core brand standards to provide delegates with an element of choice throughout their time with us, catering to their personal tastes. We have been in the business of hospitality for 25 years and wanted to mark our celebratory year by launching Macdonald Meetings, a product of our 25 year track record of delivering successful meetings. It's our knowledge and experience that gives us an inherent understanding of delegate needs and exceeding expectations.”

Business Minister Anna Soubry is keen to engage with businesses on the issues they face with regulation and listen to their ideas for cutting red tape. To this end, she has announced a new twitter account that will be used to listen and engage with business on regulation.  
The Better Regulation Delivery Office has asked if we can circulate this information to as many businesses as possible.
How you can get involved:
•    Follow @CutRedTapeUK for mentions/retweets/discussion on Twitter
•    Remember to use the hashtag #CutRedTape in your tweets 
•    Share your ideas on how small business can grow by tweeting suggestions to #CutRedTape 
•    Tweet BIS your experiences or email them through #CutRedTape
•    Share @CutRedTapeUK with your business contacts, Government want us to tell them which regulatory issues hamper your business #CutRedTape
And don’t forget to spread the word – through our contacts with BVEP, BIS and other Government Departments, we can lobby in support of ideas that will help our industry.     

Meeting & Events agency Conference Care has appointed Stephen Usher in the newly created position of Head of Finance.

He will be based at the company’s Coventry head office, and will have overall responsibility for the whole financial operation. His previous roles include working for Aubrey Allen, Trinity Event Solutions, and his own agency House of Usher. Usher was also Chair of the HBAA in 2010 and has held senior Board positions with the industry association, including several years as Treasurer.

Usher said “I have always respected Chris and Andrew and I am now delighted to join the award winning team at Conference Care. With almost twenty years’ experience in event agencies I am looking forward to working with the team and giving a fresh approach to the finance department. Conference Care has an impressive portfolio of clients, an amazing knowledgeable team, and has developed cutting edge technology, I can’t wait to start working with them and develop effective accounting solutions.”

Chris Peacock, Director commented “Stephen brings with him a wealth of relevant experience and an in-depth understanding of today’s market. As a growing company, the time is right for us to add a senior management position in finance, which will improve our overall offering and allow the Directors more scope to strategically develop Conference Care, our products and our services. Stephen is a respected and trusted figure in the events industry, and will prove to be a huge asset.”

For further information, contact Chris Peacock on 02476 369720,, or visit

A staggering £3,610.69 was raised at a recent Charity Fun Day organised by Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Restaurant in Barnby Moor, near Retford for AgeUK Rotherham in their 30th anniversary year. 
Over the last few years Ye Olde Bell has earned a reputation for not doing things by halves and this event was certainly no exception with a 'Be Prepared to be Amazed' Theme! Over 300 visitors were treated to an array of different activities and attractions including a giant Helter Skelter (taller than Ye Olde Bell itself!), an elaborate Vintage Carousel, performances from Harworth Brass Band, Retford's DeBurnay’s School of Dance and the Lynx Academy of Martial Arts – plus a special guest opening by long time friend of Ye Olde Bell and Grandfather of One Direction star Louis Tomlinson, Len Poulson. 
There was a choice of food all day ranging from an extensive barbecue, the ice-cream van courtesy of Manfredi's plus traditional afternoon tea and an all-day bar.
One of the unexpected highlights was the Tug-Of-War Competition, seven teams battled it out in front of a large and noisy crowd to earn the title of "Ye Olde Bell Tug-Of-War Champions" with East Retford Rugby Club not surprisingly eventually reigning triumphant. The Bake-Off competition, sponsored by Amanda’s Cakes was a more civilised affair and was won by Pauline Higgins of Rotherham.
“There was so much happening throughout the day, everywhere you looked people were having fun and enjoying themselves,” said Kate. “Our aim was to host an event that would give local families the opportunity to come and enjoy a wonderful day out together, share some great memories and at the same time support a really worthwhile cause, which helps the very precious older generation of our families. I am really proud of the effort everyone put in to make it happen and would also like to say a particular thanks to all the exhibitors, display performers and the generous donations of prizes from many of our suppliers and friends.” 
Lesley Dabell, Chief Executive of Age UK Rotherham added "Ye Olde Bell Charity Fun Day proved a fabulous day for everyone, with all the fun of a vintage fair. We are staggered by the amount raised of £3,610.69 which will support our 'Befrienders' scheme of 80+ volunteers.  I would like to thank everyone who came along and contributed wholeheartedly to the day including those local businesses who donated fabulous prizes for the charity auction, raffle and tombola."



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