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Leading accommodation solutions provider, esa serviced apartments, is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Directors to its Executive Management Team. Dan Creed joins the company as HR Director, Paul Roe has been appointed as Sales Director and Nell Dillistone will become esa’s Finance Director.

Dan Creed brings extensive experience and know-how to esa from within the HR profession. Dan has a track record in developing and delivering the people agenda and strategy within fast paced and growing businesses from his previous senior HR roles at Celesio (Lloyds Pharmacy), Euro CarParts and BrightHouse.

Paul Roe brings a wealth of knowledge and hospitality experience from his former roles as Sales and Marketing Director at Cheval Residences UK, Director of Sales at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, Head of Corporate Sales for Marriott International and Account Director for IHG.

Nell has an impressive track record of delivering growth and profit through a range of SME service sector businesses. Her previous roles include Finance Director at Capita Treasury, Finance Director at James Cowper LLP, Finance Director at DBM Plc and Finance Director at Spring IT Training Ltd.

The expansion of esa’s Executive Management Team comes during an important period of business growth. With over 300 esa branded serviced apartments in 19 locations and a global partner network of over 90,000 properties, the company has doubled in size over the last 3 years.

Charlie Turner, CEO of esa serviced apartments, said: "We are delighted to welcome Dan, Paul and Nell to esa. As the company continues to grow, the experience, industry knowledge and expertise our new Directors bring to esa will add real value to our business. The new Executive Management Team will provide strong leadership and ensure we can develop the strategies and systems necessary to achieve our ambitious growth targets."

Industry wide input is being sought for the Trailblazers Events Management Apprenticeship Standard.

The government-backed apprenticeship scheme is designed to offer new entrants to the events industry, with no previous experience, an entry level role within an organisation and a route into an events career. The draft Standard has been developed by an Industry Standards board chaired by First Protocol MD Mark Riches and Sarah Wright of Sarah Wright Consulting. Further input is now being sought to ensure the Standard has been developed by the industry for the industry.

Riches stated “The Trailblazers scheme is designed to make it easier for employers to find and hire an apprentice, as they are directly involved in the creation and design of the standard. To ensure we are ready to submit the Standard to Government for their final approval we are seeking wider industry input. To gain approval for a proper recognised Standard, it must have undergone vigorous testing and, with industry-wide consultation, demonstrate best value for those potential end-users regardless of the size of their company.”

The submissions deadline is the 27th August and are invited from all employers in the events industry. For further infomration or to speak to somone about the initiative contact

The draft Standard can be found here

Responses to the Standard can be made online at

The HBAA’s 2015 charity initiative, Big Site Visit, will take place from 3 – 7 September across the country. 

In what will be the HBAA’s largest logistical event of the year, the Big Site Visit is an opportunity for venue and agent members to engage with each other, gain product knowledge and most importantly, raise money for the association’s chosen charities, Meeting Needs and the HBAA Foundation.

Members across the country have already taken to the initiative with great enthusiasm, with the goal to encourage agents to visit all the participating properties over the five-day event.  

To raise charity funds, member venues will submit prize donations for auction, resulting in one lot per site visit, each raising an anticipated amount of £100. The lots will be available for online bids from 5 October and will run until Christmas. All funds will be split between Meeting Needs and the HBAA Foundation, in support of the future and professional development of employees in the hospitality and meetings sector.  

Jacqui Kavanagh, chair of the HBAA says: “The Big Site Visit is a huge undertaking and one of the largest association activities of the year. The event will reinforce our ethos of ‘doing better business, and doing business better together’ and will help us meet our 2015 objective to retain and encourage the next generation within the industry.”

Juliet Price, consultant executive director of the HBAA adds: “This initiative will benefit our members and allow them to build networks with respective venues and agents. It will not only raise a lot of money for charity, but open the doors to new business relationships, which has always been one of the major benefits of membership at the HBAA.”

The Big Site Visit will be celebrated at the HBAA Annual Dinner on 14 January 2016 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, where awards will also be presented to members, including the agency achieving the most site visits and the most innovative site visit.

Fresh from winning Best Conference Venue Customer Service at the recent Conference Awards 2015, Cavendish Conference Centre continues to raise the bar as a member of The Westminster Collection with a refreshed look too. The Auditorium along with the Whittington Suite, ideal for exclusive use for product launches and AGMs for up to 250 guests, has been undergoing an exciting transition this August.
Dermot Waldron, Operations Director and partner at Cavendish Venues emphasized: “Our clients are our future and we invest for the future. This major financial investment into what is already a state-of-the-art venue only goes to further enhance the status and service that we provide to our clients – that’s been a winning formula for the last 20 years which we look to continue for the next 20. It’s a very exciting time ahead for the team at Cavendish Venues. With this development showing our clients to be at the forefront of our ambitions, we have undertaken to make achieving their objectives smooth with the latest amenities so that every event works seamlessly.” 
To celebrate, the Cavendish Conference Centre is hosting a special evening of Thursday 1st October 2015 to experience the venue in a light you’ll never have seen before. As part of an official rebranding as Cavendish Venues, corporate event bookers should register their interest now to attend the event as it’s first come, first served. You can tweet using #CavShowcase15 and register by email to to attend the Cavendish Venues Showcase!


UKFE are delighted to announce that the new multi-million pound Northern Irish venue, Eikon Exhibition Centre, as sponsor for the Hosted Buyer Programme and VIP Lounge at the Venue Expo 2015. A key element in securing this overseas investment was the vision of UKFE for this unique concept. The support from UKFE specialists to provide the opportunity to develop face to face business relationships with exhibitors was an integral part of Eikon Exhibition Centre coming on board. 

As Theresa Morrissey, Commercial and Financial Director for Eikon Exhibition Centre explains; “The passion from UKFE to develop this scheme shows the forward thinking elements in place to grow the Venue Expo to European and International proportions. The location in Liverpool is fantastic and we feel that buyers will have a unique and fulfilling experience visiting the city. We are also delighted to be attending one of the first events at the new Liverpool Exhibition Centre in such a capacity, just a few weeks before we open the doors to our own multi-million pound exhibition and events venue in Ireland. 

We have created a buzz back on the island of Ireland as Eikon will be the largest bespoke venue in the country. Our team from the King’s Hall Complex will be relocating to form the backbone of our venue, providing a world-class service to event organisers. 

Sponsoring at the Venue Expo has given us a dynamic opportunity not only to showcase our innovative team to event organisers but to provide a personal connection to exhibitors and hosted buyers at the Expo from all over the U.K and abroad. We feel this will be a fulfilling experience and already hope to attend the Expo in 2016 as event sponsors and exhibitors.” 

The night before an event is always a vibe of activity and anticipation. Exhibitors scramble to complete stands, venue managers and operations teams work to the small hours detailing the final touches. However, the night before the Venue Expo will have a different vibe as Hilton Liverpool will host the inaugural “Exhibitors & Hosted Buyers Drinks Reception”, again sponsored by Eikon Exhibition Centre. 

Theresa continues; “Providing such a great platform, enabling hosted buyers and exhibitors the opportunity to meet at close quarters the night before the Expo begins is a real highlight. Our team from Eikon will be present and look forward to meeting these representatives from different event professions from around the country.” 

Bringing Eikon Exhibition Centre on board is testament to The Venue Expo’s broader reach this year. The event has secured exhibitors from all around the UK and abroad including Wembley Stadium – the UK’s largest sporting stadium, ticketea – Spain’s leading ticketing platform and Zephyr Solutions – an event supplier from the United States.

Registration to attend The Venue Expo is FREE, go to to register now

Ashfield Meetings & Events is running their annual supplier networking and education event - The Lab - on Wednesday 19 August at Ashfield’s divisional UK headquarters in Ashby De La Zouch.

The Lab is an interactive event for UK staff dedicated to delivering continued professional development through a combination of sharing best practice, facilitated workshops, external speakers and exhibit environments. The event is designed to complement the existing award winning training programme in place at Ashfield Meetings & Events. 

Luke Flett (Global Head Of Marketing) commented: “This year the theme is ‘Innovation Through Collaboration’. We wanted to encourage collaborative behaviours that will drive the creative thinking that fuels innovative solutions. We will use the educational stream to further integrate SPARK THINKING brand philosophies within the agency and to connect the expertise across the Ashfield Healthcare Communications and Ashfield Insight & Performance businesses. In addition we will be blending teams from across the agencies as part of a team-building exercise based on idea generation.”

Flett added: “The Lab’s content will also include a showcase of the latest technologies available to enhance event experiences. This will include a best practice case study of how working collaboratively with event technology suppliers can create new types of value for our clients.” 

Another important component to The Lab is the exhibition environment, built on-site, that allows key suppliers across the venue finding and engagement supply chain to have the opportunity to interact with over 160 UK-based staff. Furthermore, suppliers have the opportunity to learn about Ashfield Meetings & Events’ future strategy and brand developments. This year the agency have over 30 suppliers attending.

Nicola Burns (Global Managing Director) commented: “Our suppliers are of huge importance to our business and the continued evolution of our offerings. We coordinate events such as The Lab to recognise this, share insight and understanding, and develop more collaborative relationships and strategic partnerships. The day is coordinated in a creative manner that ensures unrivalled access to our staff.”

The day will culminate in team-building activity followed by food and drinks in the office restaurant.


The Castle Hotel, Windsor will open in September as part of MGallery, a memorable collection of boutique hotels each reflecting three key values – singularity, elegance and consideration. The Castle Hotel embodies each of these qualities and has, over the years, become something of a Windsor landmark.

The history, personality and story of the hotel is evident throughout the new design – echoes of the past are reflected in modern design features, each a symbol of its longevity. Chambermaid bells elegantly staged in the hotel’s restaurant mark the first of a series of carefully crafted details throughout the hotel that provide guests with a glimpse back over 500 years of history, experiences and traditions.

The property features 12 conference suites and syndicate rooms of varying sizes accommodating up to a capacity of 400-seated guests, providing the largest event space in Windsor.  

For residential conferences, the property’s 108 charming bedrooms include five exquisite suites, all with plush bedding, indulgent bathrooms and quirky design references to the hotel’s past. 

Branded Hotel Management has recruited the general manager of the Pullman Liverpool.

Neil Brailsford will be responsible for the daily running of the hotel, which forms part of ACC Liverpool’s new development Exhibition Centre Liverpool.

One of his key responsibilities will be the recruitment of the rest of the Pullman team.  Neil is hoping to attract a wealth of experience from Liverpool as well as from the Accor portfolio of which the Pullman brand is a part.

Neil joins from the Mercure Southampton Hotel where he was general manager and has 20 years of experience in the hotel industry.

He said: “I am delighted to be involved in such an exciting project and look forward to both working and living in Liverpool. The completed hotel will be superb and my focus is to ensure the service we offer our guests is also of the highest quality."

The 216-bedroom Pullman hotel, taking bookings from January next year, will be integrated into Exhibition Centre Liverpool which will open next month.  The expansion will double the existing facilities at ACC Liverpool, making it the only purpose-built interconnected arena, convention and exhibition centre in Europe.  The new complex will link via a pedestrian bridge to ACC Liverpool, currently home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena.

The hotel is the second Pullman brand hotel in the UK and the first UK Pullman to be newly built. It will be a contemporary, stylish hotel and will be a fitting addition the new ACC Liverpool. Pullman is a cosmopolitan, innovative and connected hotel brand for the executive traveller and has hotels and resorts in 24 countries, in the world’s key business and tourism destinations.

Garin Davies, group operations director of hotel operator Branded Hotel Management, said: “The Pullman Hotel will bring a new level of contemporary design and service to the Liverpool hotel scene and Neil's wealth of experience is ideal for this type of project, we welcome him to Liverpool."

Jonathan Sheard, SVP operations luxury, upscale and midscale brands, Accor UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted to welcome Neil Brailsford and we look forward to the opening of what promises to be a stylish and vibrant hotel in the heart of this new development.”

Exhibition Centre Liverpool will be capable of hosting consumer and trade exhibitions; large national and international conferences; banqueting; concerts and sporting events. It will double the existing 7,125 sqm of exhibition space at ACC Liverpool to 15,225 sqm of integrated and flexible event space.

Hertfordshire independent hotel to invest £2m forecasts a major economic boost for local community

Aubrey Park, an independent hotel nestled within acres of rural woodland, was granted planning approval by St Albans District Council on the 27th July for a brand new conference and event venue. The hotel has recently undergone a £3 million refurbishment programme and was recently granted a 4-star grading by the AA.

The latest phase of development for the award winning hotel, which will proceed during the remainder of this year and is scheduled to open in spring 2016, is a fantastic investment for the local community – with a projected 30% growth in employment and trading with local suppliers for goods and services which will increase by around half a million pounds.

‘We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for our new venue, which will complete our full range of facilities in order to sustain the long term success of the hotel ’, says David Timmis, Managing Director of Aubrey Park Hotel.

Guests will benefit from the state of the art development that can cater for up to 250 guests for weddings, conferences, parties and any personalised events. The venue will feature many up to date amenities such as interactive white boards, energy efficient lights and a top of the range sound system – all set within a stunning contemporary design that will complement with the original listed building.

The hotel team were delighted to receive a unanimous positive response from St Albans District Council planning committee and the full backing from local residents, Redbourn Parish Council, Peter Lilley MP, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and many other individuals which reflects its growing importance as a local amenity, especially after the closure of two other prominent hotels in the area in recent years.

As well as preserving and securing the beautiful Grade II listed original building,  Aubrey Park will open up the once hidden Iron Age Fort to the public -  at no cost to the community therefore highlighting a historic monument and conserving Redbourn’s heritage.

‘We are committed to improving the environment we work within’, David Timmis continues, ‘and have agreed a five year plan to improve ‘The Aubreys’ for guests and local residents alike’.

Stemming from a hugely successful first year in Manchester, UKFE have brought the Venue Expo 2015 to Liverpool as the flagship Trade show to launch the Exhibition Centre Liverpool as the new exhibition hub in the UK. The Venue Expois the largest exhibition in the north of England specifically for the MICE industry. In 2014 it opened its doors to over 3500 industry professionals at EventCity, Manchester and the 2015 show will see it relocate to Exhibition Centre Liverpool. The Venue Expo will incorporate a vast array of exhibitors which will consist of venues, destinations and event support services showcasing their services across the 2 day exhibition. 

2014 Snapshot:

38% of visitors were decision makers within their business

63% of visitors came from outside the North West making The Venue Expo a national event

41% of attendees had an annual events budget of £50,000+

Nearly 27,000 events were organised per annum from our 2014 delegates

Please visit the Venue Expo website for more information:

Venue Expo Hosted Buyer Programme

Please see link below to Venue Expo Hosted Buyer Programme application:


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