Skip to main content


You are: home > news archive > 06/2016

HBAA presented Meeting Needs with a cheque for £20,000 at The Meetings Show last week as a result of the dedicated fundraising effort by HBAA members during 2015.

Jacqui Kavanagh, HBAA Board Member and CEO of Trinity Event Solutions says,‘’On behalf of the HBAA I am just so thrilled to be passing on this fantastic cheque for £20,000 which represents 12 months of collaborative fundraising activities by our agent and venue members, and will result in positive impacts for the unique projects supported by Meeting Needs.’’

Meeting Needs was founded by leading figures in the UK conference and events Industry and aims to raise funds for worthy causes relevant to the events industry. Without additional funding, these causes may not have the resources to raise sufficient funds to support their needs. Meeting Needs provides financial support to those who are unable to access public funding, supporting the various cases through fund-raising initiatives and activities.
Jennifer Jenkins, Executive committee member for Meeting Needs says, “Whilst some of the funds will be used to support on-going projects, we will also be ring fencing some of the monies raised by HBAA to help those returning to the industry after time out. We hope this activity might prompt a more concerted effort to promote "returnships" in our industry."

Meeting Needs supports projects both within the UK and internationally; recently they have funded operations to correct facial disfigurements of 11 children at a mission set up by Project Harar Ethiopia. The total cost to change the lives of these 11 children was just £3000. Closer to home, Meeting Needs has been working with Frontline, a UK-based charity providing support to people with learning difficulties.

Kavnagh concludes, “Meeting Needs is a superb charity that our industry can be very proud of, they bring about meaningful support, aid and help to individuals that otherwise would go without, making real change for many unfortunate people.”

Unaudited figures reveal that The Meetings Show has seen an 11% increase in unique visitors and a 2.5% increase in hosted buyers as it welcomed close to 5,000 industry professionals for three days of business, networking and education between 14 and 16 June, 2016.

The 3,203 unique visitors included 845 hosted buyers from a wide range of agencies, corporates, associations, charities and the public sector. 

As part of the show’s growth it has also seen a 10% increase in UK based hosted buyers. 

Attendance at the Association Meetings Conference also saw an increase with 105 delegates, focused on the planning and management of association meetings, attending the one day conference.

“This year’s show has been a resounding success,” comments Steve Knight, Event Director of The Meetings Show. “Over the course of the week the industry has clearly demonstrated its support for the show. We have seen a significant increase in attendance levels and in particular, engagement from the buyer community has been superb.  Most importantly though, people were at the show to do business.  Exhibitors saw a significant range and volume of enquiries, whilst the networking and education really allowed them to develop relationships and grow their knowledge.”

Paul Szomoru, NewcastleGateshead Initiative: “Every time I have looked around the stand people have been having really good appointments and there has been some really good conversations. All of our partners have managed to promote themselves and the North East of England.  We have seen lots of enquiries, we have been very, very happy with the people we have met, the conversations we have had and we will be going home with a really good number of enquiries that we hope are going to be confirming in the near future.”

Ines Lebaek, Business Events Denmark: “It has been brilliant, we have had very good enquiries and we are celebrating because today (Thursday) we have picked up one for 4,000 people taking place in 2019 that is going to fill Copenhagen very nicely. It has been good because we have met existing clients and have been able to network with them whilst making contact with new people.”

Steen Jakobsen, Dubai Business Events: “It is the biggest stand that we have had in the four years that The Meetings Show has been running and it has been really good for Dubai. We have had 18 partners with us and altogether we have had more than 350 meetings with hosted buyers, with good business flowing from that.  We have seen so many strong enquiries and I think we will see many more in the coming weeks and months."

Dana Lewis, AccorHotels: “We have had a really successful three days and we’ve had lots of appointments on the stand. We have had a lot of UK and international buyers and the variety has been very good. We have had a lot of enquiries and our hotels have been very impressed in the quality of the briefs coming through.”

Hosted Buyer, Kim Biggs from Cisco said:  “There were a lot of suppliers that we use that you can easily touch base with that you don’t always have time for when working or travelling. It’s great to come and meet new companies to gather information and come away with additional knowledge. The highlight is the organisation of the show. It has made my life very easy and simple – from travel and accommodation to the website. There is no fuss – I can’t fault it.”

Keith Francis from The American Society of Church History attended as a hosted buyer and commented: “For me The Meetings Show is useful because there are particular UK and European suppliers that don't go to other shows. I had really good appointments where I learnt about what the venues could do for my clients and I’ve been to three education sessions and I feel I can be better at my job as a result of going to those.”

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 13-15 June, 2017 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

This year the HBAA is putting you to the test!  A question a day was asked around the code of practice; a vote for your most likely answer represented in a donation to Brigade.  Meeting Industry Meeting Needs was also supporting this fundraising initiative matching the amount raised with their own donation.  

Simon Boyle, Chef Founder of Brigade says, “We are delighted to be supported by the HBAA. We have been overwhelmed by the amazing and resounding members contributions to help raise vital funds to assist Beyond Food and Brigade to inspire and motivate people that have experienced homelessness.  We give them the support, training and opportunities in long term meaningful employment within the hospitality sector. I am so proud that this generous industry association is using its networks, creativity and entrepreneurial skills to help vulnerable people.”

The HBAA Hub stand was centrally located and joining them this year as as stand partners was Leicester Racecourse, National Conference Centre and Jurys Inn: Oxford & Milton Keynes.

HBAA Chair Leigh Cowlishaw Says “HBAA are delighted to be working in collaboration with Brigade, it is a perfect charity match for the Association and the 2016 HBAA Back to Basics theme. We are also grateful to Meeting Industry Meeting Needs for recognising the important work of this charity and assisting us with this fundraising event.”

The HBAA will also be seeking visitors opinion on the EU vote, a poll will be running throughout the show both on the Hub stand and via the HBAA website. Results of the poll will be issued shortly. HBAA would like to know which way you are swayed? 

The Conference and Hospitality Show (CHS) has reported a 48 percent increase in visitor attendance for the 2016 show. Hosted buyers increased by 35 percent and the total attendance figure increased by 66 percent.

CHS, which is now in its seventh year, was held on 26th April at the first direct Arena, Leeds. The show is focused on bringing national and international venues and suppliers together to reach event buyers from the North of England.

Emma Cartmell, managing director, CHS Group said: "A year ago, I set the team some tough targets: to grow the number of visitors and exhibitors by 40 percent and I’m so proud to announce that they smashed it! The move to the Arena was a bold step but it has certainly paid off.  The industry was very excited by the venue which meant that we sold out weeks before we opened. The Arena was really busy all day – and full of buyers conducting business, networking and learning."

Over 1200 event industry professionals attended CHS which has grown beyond recognition since its humble beginnings at the Royal Armouries in 2009.


Jan Denning, commercial sales director, Wolverhampton Racecourse was a first time exhibitor: "The Conference & Hospitality Show really did rock!  We were busy all day and received some great enquiries. It was great fun too - there was a really special atmosphere amongst exhibitors and visitors. I am keen to attend again next year, but with a larger space where several racecourses from Arena Racing & Leisure Group can be represented.”

Jan Perdu of Capita Travel and Events visited the show as a VIP visitor: “I liked the new venue and the larger variety of exhibitors; I book events mainly in Scotland and London and it was good to see so many London venues here. My day was really beneficial and I will certainly return next year.”

The Conference and Hospitality Show 2017 will be held on 4th April 2017 at the first direct Arena Leeds.

Numbers 2017 (2016 figures in brackets)

Visitors (inc hosted buyers): 657 (445) 48% increase

Exhibiting companies:  228 (132) 72% increase

Hosted buyers: 363 (268) 35% increase

Total attendance 1229 (742) 66% increase

Award winning venue chooses amBX for innovative transformation of auditorium.

An entirely new conference experience is now available to clients and delegates at the Cavendish Venues facility near Oxford Circus, London, following an ambitious refurbishment programme with the focus on delivering a showpiece lighting installation in the venue’s tiered auditorium. Using the delegate desk surfaces as the light source, the ambient experience can now be varied to suit the event, topic and type of audience in ways that have not been previously possible.

The main objective was to provide a distinctive, cutting edge experience for clients that would provide the flexibility to alter the perceived size of the auditorium to suit different numbers of people, set VIP seating areas and enable the space to be altered in real time for interactive sessions where audience participation is encouraged. Each desk can be individually controlled and set from a range of 16 million colours to achieve the optimum lighting experience which can also be easily adjusted in real time as well as react to presentation content.

An amBX control system provides the venue operators with a user-friendly, non-technical interface, which also enables the sales team to brand the space during client visits. A multi-space version of amBX Light-Scene Engine software has delivered a sophisticated control interface not only for the auditorium as a whole but also all the way down to individual desk level.

The result is a fully dynamic auditorium that can be used to add new levels of ambience and delegate experience to conferences and meetings of all types.

Dermot Waldron, Operations Director of Cavendish Venues comments “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.”


imago, the conference and events arm of Loughborough University, is marking its 25th anniversary.

Since the organisation came into operation with the opening of its four star conference centre and hotel at Burleigh Court, imago has grown and has now become one of the leading academic venues for meetings and events in the UK.

Emma Boynton, imago’s head of sales and marketing comments on the occasion: “During the last 25 years, imago has gone from strength to strength. We are delighted to be marking our 25th anniversary and everything we have achieved during the last quarter of a century.”

Kay England, imago’s CEO, has been with the company during the last 25 years and says the business has come a long way since 1991. She comments: “I couldn’t be more proud of what imago has achieved over the past 25 years. Burleigh Court was established on a green field site on Loughborough University campus in 1991. Since then with the help of some fantastic staff we have gone from strength to strength adding Holywell Park, Campus Conferences, The Link Hotel and Event Management to our award winning portfolio. We now have a successful, progressive and vibrant conference, hospitality and meeting group that puts our customers and staff at the heart of everything we do.”

To mark the occasion, imago will be holding a celebratory event on 28th October in support of imago’s partner charities Minnie’s Friends and Twenty Twenty. The event is an opportunity for imago to thank clients for their support over the years and to establish new connections for the future, as well as building on its support of vital local community projects.

For those unable to attend, visitors to The Meetings Show are also invited to celebrate imago’s 25 years of conferencing excellence at a drinks reception being held on Wednesday June 15 (4-5pm, Stand L600) to raise a glass and capture the moment in their photo booth.

imago unifies Loughborough University’s conference and events venues under one brand which offers high quality meeting spaces, venues and accommodation along with excellent sports and leisure facilities. imago manages Burleigh Court, Holywell Park, Loughborough University’s conference and events facilities and The Link Hotel. For more information visit or call 01509 633030.  

The Meetings Show is set to deliver a week of business opportunities, education and networking when it opens for the fourth time on Tuesday next week.

  •          There are 900 hosted buyers approved
  •          57% of hosted buyers are from the UK
  •          More than 11,500 pre booked appointments are expected to take place
  •          Registrations for the stand alone Association Meetings Conference have grown to more than 100 attendees
  •          More than 3,100 additional visitors have also pre-registered
  •          More than 700 exhibiting organisations will be in attendance
  •          Over 70 exhibitors will be attending for the first time
  •          In excess of 80 professional education sessions including new streams for leadership and management as well as branding and marketing
  •          More than 30 exhibitor led networking events will take place

“The Meetings Show 2016 will deliver the UK’s largest ever hosted buyer programme,” comments The Meetings Show’s Event Director, Steve Knight.  “Our 2016 event is focused on responding to visitor needs and delivering not just new exhibitors but new and innovative ways to engage and interact at the show.  As in previous years we are delivering a plethora of business, education and networking opportunities.  We look forward to strong attendance from all parts of the industry including agencies, corporate meeting planners, associations, PAs and the public sector.”

New for 2016:

  •          70+ first time exhibitors including global destinations, hotels, venues, technology and meeting suppliers
  •          Corporate speakers such as former directors from companies such as Eurostar, Sainsbury’s Bank, Aston Martin, Harley-Davidson and John Lewis
  •          Switching locations to Olympia Grand, the show has been able to significantly expand whilst remaining under one roof
  •          An enhanced destination showcase, providing bite sized education from around the world
  •          The Future of Meetings, where technology startups can highlight their cutting edge technology
  •          MPI’s Rendezvous on Tuesday 14th June at Under the Bridge
  •          Lounge Bar, Football Lounge and Exhibitor Networking Lounge

Knight continues: “The flexible nature of our hosted buyer programme has proved particularly appealing to attendees who see true value in the ability to build their own programme and attend the show for one, two or three days depending on their diary and availability.  In fact this year, more than 50% of our buyers will stay for two nights, allowing them to truly maximise their time at the event.”

Visitors can still register to attend the 2016 show taking place from Tuesday 14 to Thursday 16th June via or onsite at Olympia London.

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June, 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

The week of The Meetings Show will once again be a focal point for networking as industry peers gather in London from 13th June, 2016.

Networking kicks off at KidZania London with the hosted buyer welcome reception, sponsored by Lime Venue Portfolio.  The whole week goes on to include a variety of opportunities for the industry to gather, network and conduct business in a host of different environments, venues and styles.

One particular highlight, sponsored by The Meetings Show, London & Partners, Visit Scotland and Visit England is MPI’s Rendezvous, which lands in London for the first time from 2100-0100 on 14th June at Under the Bridge, Stamford Bridge.  It is a chance to network and party until the early hours with a host of industry colleagues.  Tickets are available from either MPI or The Meetings Show’s website or at the Show on the MPI UK & Ireland stand (E502).

“The Meetings Show is about far more than just three days exhibiting at Olympia, it is a chance for the whole industry to gather, share ideas and develop business opportunities,” comments Steve Knight, The Meeting Show’s event director.  “I am delighted that so many other organisations are recognising this and developing their own events to coincide with the Show.  Once again I expect the week of the show to be the highlight of the UK’s meetings industry calendar.”

Networking opportunities continue throughout the week, at either formally organised events or in the Lounge Bar, where industry peers can gather and relax in comfort.  In addition visitors can watch any of the Euro 2016 matches taking place during the show in the Football Lounge (G220), sponsored by Wales in partnership with Cardiff, hosts of the UEFA Champions League Final in 2017.   

Networking events and receptions include:


  •          Visit Belfast (I402) are celebrating their year of food and drink with Shortcross Gin tastings on Tuesday and Wednesday from 1300.
  •          Venues of Excellence will be celebrating their rebrand from Conference Centres of Excellence at 1500 with a Prosecco and Canapés reception on Stand H700.
  •          Raise a glass and say Happy 50th Anniversary to Macdonald Aviemore Resort (E310) each day at 1500.
  •          From 1530 to 1630 Meet in Ireland will be offering hospitality on stand H600.
  •          Manchester Central invite attendees to join the team and their trusty sidekick Barna-bee on stand J600 from 1530 for drinks and a prize draw.
  •          On Tuesday (and Wednesday) from 1600 until 1730 Visit Leeds will be hosting their “End of Day Drinks” (Stand H303) featuring, most importantly – cake!
  •          VisitScotland (Stand H400) and their Scottish partners will be hosting a cocktail reception on Tuesday and Wednesday at 1600.
  •          The Barbican team (Stand I500) are inviting visitors to join them for bubbles and a chance to hear about extensive upcoming refurbishment work every day of the Show from 1630.
  •          The Exclusive Dubai Reception for association, corporate and agency professionals provides an opportunity for buyers to discover what’s new in Dubai between 1730 and 1900 in the Dubai Hosted Buyer Lounge.
  •          Liverpool will be hosting an event from 1800-2100 in partnership with The W. Hotel, London where buyers can hear from partners including Virgin Trains, ACC Liverpool and Liverpool Football Club. Personal invitations are available from their stand.  
  •          From 1900 onwards, The FRESH Dinner is returning to The Meetings Show.  Renowned throughout the world for the quality of the participants and engaging content, it is an evening not to be missed.  Tickets are available from


  •          A French Breakfast will be served from 1000 on the Atout France Stand (B505), providing the perfect opportunity to network and find out why France is a perfect fit for meetings of all types.
  •          Join Team Manchester Central for a Manchester Coffee Morning on stand J600 from 1100.
  •          2016 is a special year for imago as they celebrate 25 years of award-winning service, world class facilities and connections.  Visitors can help them celebrate between 1600 and 1700 (Stand L600).
  •          The Winery Hotel in Stockholm, which opened in January 2016, is the first boutique hotel in the world to double as an urban winery.  Wine tastings will be available from 1630-1730 on the Swedish Stand (C500). 
  •          Millennium Hotel’s Agency Party will include entertainment from Benny Lee and the Whistle Stop 5 from 1830 to midnight at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington.  Attendance is by invitation only with further details available from Stand E210.
  •          From 1845 at the Novotel London West, Accor will be hosting a themed event to tie in with their Wizardy Wins promotion, providing guests with a spellbinding evening of cocktails, food, drink and music.  Information is available from Stand (F302).

Organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc), The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 14-16 June 2016 at Olympia, London. Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education.

Titanic Hotel and Rum Warehouse, Stanley Dock, is celebrating a triumphant double win at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards. 

The hotel and conference venue was nominated in two categories; ‘Excellence in Business Tourism’ and ‘Hotel of the Year’ and secured both wins following high praise from a panel of esteemed judges during a meticulous judging process.

The annual award ceremony recognises and rewards outstanding achievements made to the city region’s visitor economy and took place on Thursday 19th May) at St George’s Hall.

The 153 bedroom luxury hotel and conference venue was a standout in it’s categories due to its continued commitment to excellence in providing exceptional customer service, as well as its commitment to sustainable tourism.  

Brian Connor, General Manager at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won both awards. The Tourism Awards represent the pinnacle of hospitality achievement in Liverpool’s City Region, championing the best in their respective fields, so we are extremely proud of these accolades.”

Commending the Titanic Hotel for ‘Excellence in Business Tourism’, the judging panel said the hotel has a “strong, focused and innovative business with a clear-targeted approach to this vital tourism sector. A fantastic understanding and knowledge of their customer makes this business a key asset to the city region.”

In the ‘Hotel of the Year’ category, judges said that Titanic has the wow factor - high standards of accommodation and customer service, plus innovative developments to enhance customer experience.”

The award wins come not long after the announcement of a sister hotel to Titanic Liverpool; Titanic Belfast, which is currently under construction in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. The luxury 120 bedroom hotel is being created in the former headquarters of Harland & Wolff, builders of RMS Titanic. 

The 12th international Reasoning Web Summer School and Web Reasoning and Rules Conference will take place at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) on 5-11 September.  

The research areas of Semantic Web, Knowledge Graph and Linked Data have received a lot of attention in academia and the industry recently with the aim of enriching the existing web with data and processing methods to provide systems with intelligent capabilities.

The Summer School is primarily intended for advanced undergraduate, Masters and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral researchers and young researchers and will be open to senior researchers from other areas wishing to learn about the reasoning aspects of the industry.

The announcement comes following a successful bid by Dr Jeff Z. Pan from the School of Natural and Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen. Dr Pan worked alongside TeamAberdeen, a collaboration of expertise from Aberdeen City and Shire Council, AECC, Aberdeen International Airport, RGU, The University of Aberdeen and VisitAberdeenshire, to secure high profile conferences for the city. TeamAberdeen support by helping with conference organisation, sourcing hotel accommodation, identifying superb venues and support in the management of conference budgets. The event received subvention funding from VisitAberdeenshire which was match funded by VisitScotland’s Conference Bid Fund.

The Reasoning Web summer school will offer participants a packed programme of tutorials from world leading researchers on Web Reasoning. Participants of the Web Reasoning conference will enjoy keynote speeches, oral and poster presentation sessions, and a doctorial consortium, all allowing them to expand their knowledge on the subject matter and present their research within their specialist field. A wide variety of activities are on offer as part of the social programme, allowing researchers the chance to see Aberdeen City and Shire by visiting Dunnottar Castle or exploring Old Aberdeen on a walking tour. Aberdeen City Council will host a Civic Reception at the Town House followed by dinner.

Dr Jeff Z. Pan, Coordinator of the EU Marie Curie K-Drive project and Chair of the Summer School said, “ Semantic technologies, such as Knowledge Graphs, become a big deal in modern IT industry. The use of knowledge graph in Google not only provides users with more precise search results but also change the game of Search Engine Optimisations for content marketers significantly. Knowledge graphs are widely used in many applications domains, such as energy, healthcare and finance. Reasoning technologies, on the one hand, help maintain the quality of knowledge graphs with consistency checking, and on the other hand, enable intelligent services by computing implicit information from explicit knowledge and data.”

“The objective of the Reasoning Web summer school is to prepare leaders of the next generation of researchers on reasoning technologies. It provides state of the arts results from on going scientific projects, such as the EU Marie Curie K-Drive project, which is coordinated by the University of Aberdeen and is about constructing and exploiting knowledge graphs in order to support applications and intelligent systems, such as cognitive systems.”

“Each year, the Reasoning Web summer school will publish a book of lecture notes for tutorials in the summer school. As it is the 12th summer school this year, we will have the 12th lecture notes this year.”

Sales Manager at AECC and TeamAberdeen Member, Steven Daun, said “Having Reasoning Web Summer School in Aberdeen will allow the exceptional research which is taking place in the region to be showcased to an international audience, as well as promote Aberdeen as a destination of choice for many other national and international conferences.”


News archive

Member Log In