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UKFE Marketing is delighted to announce the introduction of its latest profile – PA Expo. 

The two day event on November 8th & 9th 2016 will become the only show in the North tailored towards PA’s, Executive Assistants & Office Managers.

UKFE Marketing have chosen to co-locate the event with Venue Expo 2016 as it will be a perfect fit for both exhibitors and delegates and only enhance the experience for both parties.
This fit was evident at Venue Expo 2015 with the popularity of the brand new PA Hub seminar theatre, where PA’s were able to learn, network and gain expertise from leading industry figures as well as peruse the show floor to meet with potential suppliers for the events they organise.
Jon Lawrence, Director at The PA Hub had this to say about Venue Expo 2015:
“It was great to be part of this year’s Venue Expo in Liverpool giving us the opportunity to bring PAs to the exhibition, join our networking events to learn and develop at The PA Hub Stage. With a variety of relevant topics, The PA Hub were responsible for running the PA seminar programme where top speakers could deliver high quality related sessions within the show. 

With a fantastic variety of exhibitors, The PA Hub were delighted to bring top PAs to the event from various regions. We are all about collaboration, networking and bringing PAs together to share good practice and develop.

The show gave further opportunity to introduce the assistants to some of the best venues and suppliers that are relevant to help them in their roles and the quality of the exhibitors was second to none.” 

Whether it is managing diaries, organising a team building day for the office or booking meetings for the following week, PA’s are the backbone of an organisation and a key decision maker who hold company budgets and play a pivotal role in organising over 95% of events for their organisation according to research.

Venue operator Late Night London quizzed personal and executive assistants about events in October 2013. Of the surveyed, 96% were responsible for their company's events with 16% managing budgets in excess of £90,000. (Executive PA Magazine)

The PA Expo aims to the fill the current gap in the market for a show of this profile in the North of England. 

The PA Expo will bring together industry professionals from both the North and around the UK to take advantage of the right balance of educational streams, networking opportunities and face to face meetings with high profile exhibitors who can assist when it comes to organising their next event.

Key Features of the PA Expo will include a Keynote Theatre featuring high profile speakers and celebrity guests from the UK and abroad, a dedicated PA Networking Area which will have an array of open sessions offering networking opportunities and face to face catch ups and a PA Seminar Theatre which will include education, training and tips for attendees. 

An array of exhibitors tailored to PA’s will also be available from categories such as Health & Wellbeing, Corporate Gifts, Business Travel and Personal Development along with many more. Of course, attendees can also benefit from the high profile exhibitors as part of the co-locate with The Venue Expo such as Venues, Hotels, Destinations, AV & Sound.

The PA Expo website will be launching soon. In the meantime, if you would like to participate at the PA Expo or require further information please contact the sales team on 0151 702 7752 or  

You can also follow PA Expo on Twitter @PA_Expo #PAExpo2016

The entire division of Grass Roots Meetings & Events has been awarded the sixth generation Standard of the Investors in People accreditation, demonstrating their commitment to realising the potential of their people for high performance.

The accreditation, which has to be renewed every three years, is an internationally recognised standard which has been in operation since 1991. It sets the benchmark for excellence in people management and recognises those performing to a high quality in their field. Grass Roots HBi had held the Investors In People accreditation since 2003 but now the entire Meetings & Events division has been awarded the sixth generation Standard. The pilot was officially launched at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester earlier this month. Key speakers for the evening included Paul Devoy, Head of IIP, Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD and the British cycling hero Sir Chris Hoy MBE.

“People management is a vital concern for us so to achieve the sixth generation Standard as an entire division is something we are truly thrilled about,” comments Sue Massey, Operational Director of Grass Roots Meetings & Events. “The accreditation is given to those who are considered great employers, provide a strong workplace and are committed to sustainability. It is something we have actively worked towards over the past year and will continue to improve upon in years to come. Our employees are part of a larger team dedicated to making Grass Roots a success and this accreditation is recognition of that philosophy.”

Pilot organisations, including Grass Roots Meetings & Events, were thanked for their commitment to Investors in People at an exclusive dinner held at the Churchill War Rooms, London, on 8 September 2015.  

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “Meeting the sixth generation Standard is something that Grass Roots Meetings and Events should be extremely proud of, it is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. I would like to thank every person at Grass Roots for their involvement in the pilot and their collaboration with Investors in People at this important time. Most of all I would like to congratulate them on their fantastic achievement.” 

As well as the sixth generation standard, Investors in People also unveiled the first ever real-time ‘People Management Dashboard’, giving open access to their performance data. Anyone can now access a unique set of common metrics, showing the management performance of workplaces across the UK. 
The international people management Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results. For more information about Investors in People visit

Grass Roots Meetings & Events is 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

Topland Group demonstrates confidence and investment in the UK hotel market by announcing the next phase of their plans for their mid-market hotel portfolio. Following the acquisition of Hallmark Hotels and Menzies Hotels, Topland Group is bringing all twenty properties together under the newly extended Hallmark Hotels brand, from September 2015.  
Uniting the portfolio positions Topland as one of the fastest growing owner-operators in the UK mid-market hotels sector, with 2,700 rooms per night, across the UK. To complement the expansion a new website will be launched, where all the hotels can be directly booked at,

Sol Zakay, Executive Chairman and CEO of Topland Group comments: 
“I am delighted to see the continued growth and development of Topland’s hotel investment with the expansion of The Hallmark Hotel Brand. Whilst ensuring consistently high standards are maintained across the existing portfolio, Topland will continue to operate with a mandate to seek out properties of similar quality with the objective of building a £1bn hotel business.”

Topland has committed to investing millions in the portfolio, including a refurbishment of bedrooms, with an aesthetic and facility refresh, clean lines and a contemporary palette. However, in line with the diversification of the portfolio the individual flair of each property will be encouraged to show itself. The Hallmark London Chigwell Prince Regent will be the first hotel to undergo the new look.
Lionel Benjamin, Director of Hotels, at the Topland Group: "This announcement is key for our growth strategy and further supports Topland's commitment to developing our hotel business. We are driven to ensure Hallmark Hotels is a preferred choice for guests. As the Hallmark group continues to grow, operational efficiency and a consistently high quality of service will remain the primary focus. 

We are supporting this development phase with additional investment in new technology, guests will now enjoy complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi across the portfolio and state of the art gym equipment. We will offer a cohesive and solid brand, which our team, our guests, suppliers and partners can rely on to deliver. We are looking forward to expanding the Hallmark Hotels portfolio and plans for the next phase are underway."
Topland’s extended Hallmark Hotels portfolio offers business and leisure guests good quality accommodation and food, in a wide range of locations from City Centre’s, rolling countryside, manor houses and well-placed airport locations. The Hallmark portfolio is solely owned by the Topland Group of Companies. Day-to-day activities across the portfolio are overseen by the operator, Bespoke Hotels.
The Hallmark Portfolio comprises:
Hallmark Aberdeen Airport – formerly Menzies Dyce
Hallmark Birmingham Strathallan – formerly Menzies Strathallan
Hallmark Bournemouth Carlton – formerly Menzies Carlton
Hallmark Bournemouth East Cliff – formerly Menzies East Cliff Court
Hallmark Bournemouth West Cliff
Hallmark Cambridge – formerly Menzies Cambridge
Hallmark Carlisle
Hallmark London Croydon Aerodrome
Hallmark Inn, Derby
Hallmark Derby Mickleover Court – formerly Menzies Mickleover Court
Hallmark Derby Midland
Hallmark Flitwick Manor – formerly Menzies Flitwick Manor
Hallmark Glasgow – formerly Menzies Glasgow
Hallmark Gloucester
Hallmark Hull
Hallmark Irvine – formerly Menzies Irvine
Hallmark London Chigwell Prince Regent – formerly Menzies Prince Regent
Hallmark Manchester Airport
Hallmark Stourport Manor – formerly Menzies Stourport Manor
Hallmark The Welcombe Stratford upon Avon – formerly Menzies Welcombe Hotel & Spa

Topland Group also owns The Feathers Group of Hotels, The Royal Crescent in Bath, five Thistle hotels in London and one in Edinburgh, Hilton Glasgow, Hilton Brighton Metropole, and Ramada London Gateway.

A party of ten UK Agents who specialise in seeking out unusual venues for their clients, spent a day in Cambridge to see what the city has to offer for conferences and events. 

Conference Cambridge, the official venue-finding services for the University of Cambridge, the Colleges and other unique properties in the area, co-hosted The Cambridge Experience in conjunction with Trident Hospitality.

The Agents sampled dinner at Robinson College in its new Crausaz Wordsworth building and overnight accommodation before a packed day’s itinerary visiting: The Møller Centre for breakfast and a panoramic view of the city from the Tower Deck; the National and Commonwealth Memorial to Sir Winston Churchill at Churchill College; a chauffeured guided punting tour on the River Cam with Scudamores; a walking tour with See Cambridge Differently; lunch at King’s College; visits to Gonville & Caius College and Peterhouse College, ending at the Doubletree by Hilton for afternoon tea.

Kelly Vickers, Manager at Conference Cambridge said: “We were delighted to co-host this delegation and to have the opportunity to showcase what Cambridge has to offer. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the places we included on the programme and we hope the Agents have taken away lots of inspiration for their clients’ future events. Special thanks go to our venues and suppliers who really went the extra mile to welcome the delegation and help us to tell the unique Cambridge story”.

Gavin Pereira from, one of London’s leading serviced apartment agents, has been invited to join the fourth year of a scheme launched by Travel Trade Gazette – the industry’s leading travel trade magazine – and has the heavy-weight backing of TUI Travel.  This initiative shines the spotlight on the travel industry’s most inspiring young people who have made an outstanding contribution to their business. 

Daniel Pearce, Managing Director, TTG Media: “There are countless networking events in travel, but there aren’t many opportunities for the younger stars in the business to meet, to network and to be inspired by some of travel’s current leaders. Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders not only celebrates these individuals but also gives them a real opportunity to learn from some of the most senior people in the industry as well as each other.  I’d personally like to congratulate Gavin on making it to the final 30.”

The competition for the initiative was extremely fierce, with nominations across a wide spectrum of industry sectors. A panel of distinguished judges met recently to choose the 30 successful candidates. As part of the final 30, Gavin will receive free membership to the Institute of Travel and Tourism, and will be invited to a series of networking dinners and events, with speakers drawn from the most senior levels within travel.

Gavin Pereira, Managing Director, “It’s a special feeling to be selected as one of tomorrow's travel leaders and I am very grateful that my industry peers have considered my profile and accomplishments to be part of this year's distinguished group of professionals. I am really excited about this unique opportunity and particularly looking forward to getting inspired by and exchanging ideas with other young achievers in the travel world.”

The Belfry Hotel & Resort excelled over some of the country’s finest hotels to be named England’s Leading Resort at this year’s World Travel Awards, held in Sardinia.

The World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the hallmark of quality, rewarding and celebrating excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry since their inception in 1993.

Gail Webb, Marketing Director at The Belfry, who picked up the award on the night, commented: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious award and would like to thank everyone who voted for us. This recognition underlines the first-class leisure facilities on offer outside of our renowned golf heritage and to know that we are the leading resort in the country is a great feeling and something we are very proud of!”

Set against the backdrop of 550 acres of North Warwickshire countryside, yet still just 20 minutes outside of Birmingham City Centre, The Belfry Hotel & Resort first made its name in golf as the world’s only four-time Ryder Cup host venue. The last few years however has seen the resort become just as well known for its world class leisure facilities than it is for its three iconic courses and golf academy.

The Belfry boasts 319 signature rooms that include 15 suites, its world-class Leisure Club and spa echoes the grand décor of the hotel with a wide variety of treatments provided throughout 11 luxurious treatment rooms, which can be complemented by their unique Fire & Ice experience through 12 bio-thermal rooms.

Exquisite dining is also a staple of The Belfry, with gastronomic excellence on offer at their signature restaurant; The Ryder Grill, where diners can view The Belfry’s chefs preparing their meal from the showcase grill and a variety of bars and onsite nightclub ensure that guests are well entertained into the early hours.

Complementing the leisure amenities is the resort’s event facilities, with more than 20 conference and event spaces accommodating up to 400 guests, making The Belfry an ideal location for tying the knot, ensuring a wedding day to remember.

In addition to these facilities across the board, David Edwards, Resort Director at The Belfry points to the importance of customer service that was no doubt instrumental in ensuring the resort claimed this prestigious title, as voted for by the public; “Our staff at The Belfry Hotel & Resort are committed to providing our guests with exceptional service and hospitality. I am very proud of all our staff who continue to strive for excellence and have helped us become the Leading Resort in the country.”

The Belfry Hotel & Resort will be hoping for even more glory at The World Golf Awards in November where they are up for England’s Best Golf Hotel and England’s Best Golf Course.

ExecSpace secures sole supplier status for Conference and Meeting Venues Bookings under Scottish Procurement Multi-lot Travel Services Framework Agreement.

Scottish Procurement deal builds on strong 2015 for fast-growing venue finding and accommodation agency.

Following a competitive tender process, ExecSpace, the Edinburgh based venue finding and accommodation provider for the commercial and public sectors, has secured sole supplier status for Conference and Meeting Venues Bookings under the Scottish Procurement Multi-lot Travel Services Framework Agreement.

The appointment to the ‘Lot 3 - Conference and Meeting Venue Bookings of the Scottish Procurement Multi-lot Travel Services’ Framework Agreement will run alongside the ‘Scottish Procurement Travel Services: One Stop’ Framework Agreement. Both Framework Agreements are open to the Scottish Public Sector, with the exception of the NHS, and commenced on 1st September 2015.

ExecSpace CEO and Founder, Emma Little, said: “The Scottish Procurement framework is potentially transformational for ExecSpace and builds on a strong 2015 for the business during which we have bolstered the team with a number of business wins and key hires. The fact that we received this appointment in the face of a competitive tender process against a number of bigger industry players speaks volumes to the progress of the business in recent times.”

With the start date of 14th September looming, the four intrepid riders at Conference Care are putting the finishing touches to their training regime. Starting on the 14th September from the agency’s Dunfermline office and making their way over the borders and across the country to the Headquarters in Coventry, the route will see the team take on many tough climbs and cycling an average of 80 miles each day.

From 14th to 18th September Conference Care Directors – Chris Peacock and Andrew Deakin along with Pauline Beattie - Head of Sales Scotland and Sean Henderson – New Business Scotland will be braving the elements to complete an epic 400 mile cycle challenge in aid of Help4Harry and Muscular Dystrophy UK. Pauline has a very close family friend whose son was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at the tender age of 5 years old in 2013. The “Conference Care office to office - Bike Ride Challenge” was cooked up over dinner at a senior team meeting, back in 2014.

Donations have now reached over £7,000, which still leaves a big reach to meet the £10,000 team target; which will go towards more specialist research in the hope that a cure will be found.

“None of us are exactly trained athletes, so the training regime has been pretty tough – just fitting the time in alone is hard enough! What really drives us on is to see the donations coming in every day, and my sincere thanks goes to those who have already supported us.” said Pauline Beattie
Muscular Dystrophy is a rare and painful muscle wasting condition, which there is currently no cure with most sufferers using a wheelchair by the age of 12.

For more information and to show your support visit:

Alternatively you can text CCHH88 £10 to 70070

The AA Inspector recently presented Ye Olde Bell Hotel & Restaurant, Barnby Moor, Retford with the coveted award of an AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence - plus a further increase in its merit score of the AA Four-Stars it has held for the past six years.  

The Rosette puts Ye Olde Bell in the top 10% of restaurants across the UK. Apparently only approximately 10% reach the Rosette standard, which is awarded solely by the AA Hotel & Restaurant Inspectors with no influence from hotels, restaurants or other guides. The 4-Star Merit Score has also been increased to an impressive 80% out of a maximum score of 84% with the UK average at 77%.

Kate Firth, General Manager said "I am extremely proud of this achievement, which is the culmination of hard work and commitment from the whole team to continue to exceed every aspect of the standards required by the AA. Our guests have also been extremely supportive in testing a host of new dishes over the past few months and their constructive feedback has certainly proved invaluable. I genuinely hope this Rosette accolade will bring new diners and guests to Ye Olde Bell where they will be assured a very warm welcome and a fabulous dining experience!".

Over and above the standard of the food and the menu content, the AA Inspector highly rated other aspects in the report commenting: "Hospitality is clearly a strength and all staff members encountered were confident to initiate conversations with guests. Excellent quality of décor throughout including bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas." Particular mention was made of the attention to picture decor, highlighting the creative mural on the staircase by local artist, Mary Daw of Epworth. 

The extensive kitchens at Ye Olde Bell, incorporating a large banqueting team, are under the management of Executive Head Chef, Keith Firth, who led the hotel to AA 4-Star for the first time in its 365-year history some six years ago. Richard Allen, Restaurant & Bistro Head Chef, said "The Rosette is something I have aspired to throughout my career and I cannot thank the team enough for their hard work, consistency and commitment towards this achievement".  

The restaurant and bistro at Ye Olde Bell continue to offer an extensive menu ranging from the creative Rosette dishes to all the traditional favourites, including their renowned homemade steak and ale pie and daily specials. Download the menu on

Ashfield Meetings & Events is delighted to announce the key appointment of Lee-Anne Penn to Business Director.

Lee-Anne has over 14 years’ event experience specialising in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science sectors. She has a strong operational background in both event and medical communications agencies, and more recently has taken on business development roles handling both regional and global accounts. 

Lee-Anne has a detailed understanding of the regulatory and compliance code of conducts that surround global pharmaceutical event management. She also has extensive experience in devising and implementing strategic meetings management programmes (SMMP) on behalf of pharmaceutical corporations.   

Lee-Anne commented on her recent appointment: “I am excited to join the Business Development team at Ashfield Meetings & Events. The pharmaceutical and healthcare expertise of the agency, and the wider Ashfield Division, is an ideal fit to utilise my knowledge of the industry. I look forward to complementing the strong existing capabilities within the agency.”

Nicola Burns (Global Managing Director) commented: “We are delighted to welcome Lee-Anne to the Ashfield Meetings & Events team. Her specialist experience across both event and medical communication agency environments will help position the added value we can offer to our pharmaceutical clients by connecting the excellence across the Ashfield Division. Our existing client base is already benefitting from integrated multi-channel experiences that we deliver by working collaboratively with our sister companies. We are looking forward to her contributions in identifying and promoting strategic solutions for both new and existing clients.”



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