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Birmingham’s only forum aimed exclusively at PAs and Executive Assistants launched yesterday (Wednesday 15th February), with over 30 attendees coming together over lunch to expand their networks and hear from a keynote speaker.

Supported by the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, The Birmingham PA Forum aims to bring together Personal and Executive Assistants from across the West Midlands region through a series of free-to-attend events hosted at the Park Regis hotel.

Guests heard from business coach Dawn Adlam, who gave an insight into the power of LinkedIn as a tool for networking, and how to maximise your reach and visibility on the platform.

The Birmingham PA Forum’s next event is taking place on Wednesday 7th June between 5.30pm and 7.30pm and will include a talk by Jane Weaver, the Managing Director who joined her firm as a PA and went on to buy and run the company herself.

Places are limited for each event and you can register your interest by emailing

Teesside-based accommodation, conference and event management specialist Hospitality Guaranteed has launched EventStop, an innovative new online tool for event management.

The system, which has been developed in-house by Hospitality Guaranteed, gives event organisers the freedom to create their own customised event pages, invitations and confirmation emails, using their own brand identity, including logo and visual elements, and has been designed to help organisations easily manage logistics and revenue.

The online tool allows users to quickly and easily build event pages, following simple steps, and features an array of reporting and tracking features, giving organisers easy access to information. Its low charges provide event organisers with the opportunity to increase revenues from ticket sales.

EventStop is backed by the firm’s experienced team of event specialists and is directly linked to Hospitality Guaranteed’s online venue finding service, ConferenceStop. Event organisers using the new system can therefore be supported in sourcing a venue, and Hospitality Guaranteed’s staff can negotiate rates and extra benefits on a user’s behalf.

Launched in June 2006 by Amanda Jackson and Victoria Brunton, Hospitality Guaranteed now works with around 3000 conference and meeting venue suppliers in the UK. Headquartered in Wynyard Park, it has access to more than 80,000 accommodation venues worldwide.

The company developed a unique bookings and management system HGOneStop, which provides the foundation for its online systems. These include ApprenticeStop, a system that supports businesses running apprentice or staff residential programmes and AccommodationStop, which allows users to book and manage hotel stays.

Its clients include businesses in the education, automotive, retail and manufacturing sectors.

Victoria Brunton, director and co-founder of Hospitality Guaranteed said: “Our comprehensive understanding of the corporate events market has given us a deep insight into the challenges faced by event organisers – and we’ve used this knowledge, combined with our own expertise in developing custom online solutions, and our specialist events experience, to shape EventStop.

“The user-friendly system has been shaped to help organisations put their own stamp on their event pages and emails, making their events stand out from the crowd. Plus, EventStop is supported by a dedicated team who can help organisers - whether they are just starting out or are an experienced events professional – to get the best out of their events.”

Amanda Jackson, director and co-founder of Hospitality Guaranteed, added: “EventStop provides a flexible, competitively priced ‘one stop shop’ for event organisers which will help businesses save valuable time and money, and maximise income from ticket sales.

“It’s suitable for events from student balls and music festivals, to seminars, training courses, awards ceremonies and conferences and we’re looking forward to seeing EventStop make a real difference to the event management market.”

Hospitality Guaranteed is dedicated to supporting the local community and a percentage of all ticket sales made through EventStop will be donated to Stockton-on-Tees-based charity, Daisy Chain. Daisy Chain aims to provide a haven for families affected by autism through its Day Centre and Farm, which supports more than 1,700 families in the Tees Valley. 

Hospitality Guaranteed is a member of the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBBA) and is AIM accredited by the Meetings Industry Association (MIA) – an industry-recognised mark of excellence.

For more information on EventStop, visit

Goodwood is delighted to announce the opening of Farmer, Butcher, Chef – a unique new dining experience that celebrates the organic beef, pork and lamb reared less than a mile away on Goodwood Home Farm.
Inspiration for Goodwood’s latest food venture, which is located next to The Goodwood Hotel, comes from the relationship between farmer Tim Hassell, butcher John Hearn and chef Darron Bunn. They work together to create the frequently-changing and diverse menu that showcases Goodwood’s award-winning farm produce.

Not many can control every aspect of their produce in the way Goodwood can. From the fields where livestock graze to the in-house butchery and eventually to the kitchen – where the dishes are created – Goodwood oversees the whole process.
The butcher is directly involved in designing dishes according to what cuts are available. An original approach that means nothing is wasted. Not only does this show the utmost respect for the animals, but it allows guests to enjoy unusual and rare cuts, bringing nostalgic cooking back to life.

Darron Bunn, executive chef at Farmer, Butcher, Chef, comments: “This restaurant is the embodiment of everything that we do at Goodwood, celebrating our slow-grown livestock and ensuring we use every part of the animal. Working so closely with the farmer and the butcher is a totally new approach for me, where the availability of produce dictates our menu and dish design. The passion that goes into the welfare of the animals at Goodwood Home Farm is inspiring.” 

Goodwood has been farmed by the family for over three hundred years and is one of the largest lowland organic farms in the UK. The present Duchess of Richmond was one of the founding members of the Soil Association ran her kitchen garden on organic principles, passing this passion on to her family and the rest of the business. 
This pioneering approach has been recognised by the industry: Farmer, Butcher, Chef will be the first in a group of nationwide venues to receive the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts ‘Sustainable Food Philosophy Seal’. 

John Williams MBE, Executive Chef of The Ritz and Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, says: “Sustainability is a big issue at the top of the food industry’s agenda. As the professional association for chefs, it is our role to encourage members to demonstrate an environmental approach to food philosophy. This includes using local and seasonal produce, being bio friendly, recycling waste, helping the community and having a strong ethical approach to animal husbandry, butchery and cooking. Goodwood is a great example of a business that delivers on the entire range of the Royal Academy’s philosophy in a very humane and sustainable way.” 

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts plans to roll out its Sustainable Food Philosophy Seal nationwide. Restaurants will have to abide by up to six key principles in order to qualify.  

Steeped in history and yet not formal, dining at Farmer, Butcher, Chef is about enjoying delicious Goodwood food in a relaxed atmosphere. The building dates back to 1780 and was once a coaching inn used to accommodate the many guests of Goodwood House. Today it has been given a new lease of life as a unique dining experience. 

2016 saw ACE turnover increase by 30% staying faithful to what is now a 3-year trend.

International Incentives are up by 70%, and travelling further, with South America and Asia featuring more and more in programme design.

As a result of this growth, and due to her terrific performance to date, Claire Okrafo-Smart has been promoted to Director of Incentives. Another talent continues to grow, in Lucy Hay, who has been promoted to Senior Event Manager.

The team has welcomed new team colleagues; Elizabeth Hancox, who comes with experience gained at Universal and Ashfield, and Olivia Clarke, who has a wealth of incentive experience, both joining as Event Managers, Jessica Collis comes straight from Zibrant, to join the ACE Venues Team as Venue Find Executive.

Chris Parnham, ACE’s MD and owner said, “Our refreshed growth strategy, in place since 2014, has been focused on creating unique and memorable experiences for our clients and delegates, winning new business by being distinctive and dedicated, whilst providing our team with a healthy and enjoyable place to work, where achievement and contribution is appreciated and nurtured.”


Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Newmarket’s only 4* Hotel, has launched an extended wine-by-the-glass menu following investment in the Coravin wine system, which allows wine to be poured without removing the cork, thus leaving the remainder of the bottle unspoiled.

Model Two_2The Coravin is the first tool of its kind and lets people pour and enjoy wine from a bottle without removing the cork. The system uses a medical grade needle and a capsule of Argon gas to release the wine through the cork – preventing oxidation and preserving the longevity of the wine for up to eight years.

The Hotel’s wine menu now offers a broader range of wines by the glass, including 15 whites, three rosés, 20 reds and five dessert wines, as the new system allows staff to serve more expensive bottles of wine by the glass without risking wasting the rest of the bottle. Prices range from £6.95 to £75 per glass.

Noel Byrne, Chief Executive of Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, commented on the investment: “Most of us would agree that wine is unlikely to go out of fashion, and in fact consumers are becoming more well informed about the variety of grapes and the different blends available – however we understand that our customers don’t always want to buy the full bottle. The new system means our customers can enjoy the wine they want without having to buy the whole bottle. It also gives our bar staff the ability to give customers tasters of the wine before they purchase a glass or bottle.”

As well as investing in its customer offering through the new system and wine menu, the Hotel has trained all food and beverage staff in using the equipment.

Noel continued: “We place the utmost importance on investment in staff training and up-skilling to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality service during their stay with us, while also giving our team opportunities for professional development.”

Capita Travel and Events, the UK’s specialist in travel, meetings and event management, today announces a unique partnership with Concur, an SAP (NYSE: SAP) company and the world's leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, to offer an unrivalled travel and meetings management solution.

Mutual customers will benefit from Capita Travel and Events’ specialist hotel and rail proposition, being fully integrated within the cutting-edge, cloud-based mobile and online booking solutions from Concur.

This highly innovative partnership with Concur underpins a wider Capita Travel and Events strategy of Smarter Working being unveiled at London’s Business Travel Show on Wednesday 22 February 2017.

James Parkhouse, CEO, Capita Travel and Events, said: “The partnership with Concur puts us in a unique position to address some significant market gaps. Our specialist hotel pricing, including non-GDS content, will be available within a great online booking technology, giving UK centric businesses, large and small, an uncompromised travel solution for the future. This partnership addresses the growing trends of mobile booking, non-GDS content reliance, and an emphasis on the sharing economy. The user experience is market leading and this will further boost online booking levels, ensuring greater price and policy compliance. It also enhances our focus on delivering relevant expense system interfaces for our customers.”

Trevor Elswood, Chief Commercial Officer, Capita Travel and Events said: “This is a significant market collaboration that will answer customer needs of today and the future. Our specialist expertise and Concur’s technology leadership will allow us to address market gaps that are becoming apparent as supplier distribution grows in complexity, and as travellers demand intuitive booking experiences alongside mobile accessed on-trip itineraries.”

“The partnership with Concur sits within a wider Capita Travel and Events strategy that will see a significant shift in how we shall lead our sector in realising the opportunity of smarter working. This strategic programme will be launched at the Business Travel Show and is set to revolutionise the way organisations approach travel and meetings.”

Chris Baker, Managing Director of UK Enterprise, Concur, added: “At Concur we’re on a mission to help our customers make the most of their time and their employees’ skillsets. So we’re always looking for ways in which technology can streamline a process and make traditionally cumbersome tasks more efficient. And deliver insights that keep our customers ahead of the competition.

“It’s this drive that led us to partner with Capita. We’re excited to work with a truly unique organisation that encompasses many different sectors. Working together, we’re going to provide a solution that will make a real difference to the way Capita, its customers, and its employees operate. We are excited to present them with a new way of working, that will save time and boost productivity.”

SATISFIED customers have helped put one of Sussex’s leading event venues in line for a major business award.

Brighton’s Amex Stadium – home to Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club – is a finalist in the Place to Meet category in the prestigious Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, held annually to celebrate the achievements of world-class businesses in the region.

And the stadium’s catering partner, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, believes excellent feedback from corporate clients, along with Investors in People Silver Award status and the introduction of new, healthy menus, boosted its submission.

The winner of the Place to Meet category must clearly demonstrate they understand the essence of a top meeting place for business and the needs of those who use it. 

They must also show flexibility, a commitment to please their customers and deliver a service of a high standard that represents value for money. Above all the venue and the service should contribute to the success of customers’ meetings.

The winners in all 13 categories will be announced at a black tie ceremony hosted by Episodes actor Stephen Mangan, at the Effingham Park Hotel, Copthorne, West Sussex, on 16 March.

 “We are overjoyed to have made it to the final of this category,” said Kathy Taylor, sales and marketing manager for Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events at the Amex Stadium.

“And very grateful to all our satisfied customers for taking the time and trouble to provide testimonials for us.”

The Amex Stadium has some of the most modern and versatile corporate facilities in the region, with complimentary on-site parking and its own, dedicated, main line railway station, linking it to the heart of London.

Along with its nine main conference and event suites, which can cater for two to 500 people, the stadium has 21 executive boxes seating up to 10 guests with uninterrupted views of the pitch.

Further information is available by calling 01273 878272 or email


Following months of planning and research, Rockliffe Hall has announced plans to transform one and half acres of land, adjacent to the main hotel, into an exciting, multi-functional parkland for guests.

One of the main aims of the new £750,000 development will be to help keep younger visitors to the five star resort entertained, but there will also be new offerings for older guests as well.

Planning has now been approved and work will begin in the next few weeks with the new facilities set to be launched in Summer 2017, and it’s also set to create new jobs.

This is the latest in a string of large investments into the award-winning resort, to ensure it remains one of the best in the country. The Orangery restaurant has recently undergone refurbishment while other parts of the hotel will also see further improvements in the coming months, and the £1 million Spa Garden was launched at the end of 2015.

More details about the project, architects drawing and models will be revealed in March.

The business travel industry is a sector rich with opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, and, following the news that total inbound tourism to the UK is set to rise 4% this year to 38.1 million visits, now is a great time to get started.

The careers that await you take many forms, from account management, to finance and data analysis. Get creative as part of a marketing team, oversee a busy HR department, or globe trot your way to success as a Travel Consultant - the choice is yours.

The training and development you stand to gain includes familiarity with complex systems, improved geographical knowledge and an ability to analyse competitors. Greater data protection awareness and presentation exercises may also factor into your induction programme.

Some roles welcome entry level candidates straight out of college or university; others require more hands-on experience. Travel management companies are always on the lookout for people with excellent customer service skills, as are relocation companies. So if you’re positive, hardworking and results- driven, then you could be exactly what the industry is after.

After recent expansion, SilverDoor has a busy recruitment campaign underway, with roles available across multiple departments and offices. The world’s leading serviced apartment agent prides itself on its SilverDoor Academy, offering graduates, interns, apprentices and placement students a structured programme from which to progress.

Make that all important first step of building a career in business travel by checking out some of the positions available on the SilverDoor website. Alternatively, you can get more qualifications under your belt with one of the many training courses HBAA offer.


Rockliffe Hall’s flagship restaurant, The Orangery, has been included in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants supplement, which will be published on Sunday 5th February.

The list is compiled by a judging panel which includes Jamie Oliver, Antonio Carluccio and Nick Jones.

The Orangery, run by Executive Head Chef, Richard Allen, already holds three AA Rosettes and Richard has two of the highest industry accolades to his name – the Cateys’ Head Chef of the Year 2012 and the Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef of the Year 2012. Richard, who joined Rockliffe just over two years ago, is also among only a handful of chefs to have been names as one of Debrett’s People of Today and held a Michelin Star at the last restaurant he headed up, Tassili, at the five star Grand Jersey Hotel.

The Orangery’s tasting menu is praised in the Top 100 for having the “wow factor” – a full review will be published on Sunday when eight regional winners and an overall winner will also be announced.

On The Orangery being featured in the list, Richard Allen said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that The Orangery’s fabulous food has been recognised by such a prestigious newspaper. We have a fantastic, talented team here and we’re making great strides in developing the restaurant as a flagship in the region, offering the perfect mix of informal yet informed dining.”

Eamonn Elliott, Chief Executive at Rockliffe Hall, added: “This is a huge achievement for Richard and The Orangery team, and proves that he is not only one of the best chefs in the North East, but is in fact  one of the most outstanding chefs in the country. We continue to be committed to making Rockliffe Hall the best hotel, spa, restaurant and golf resort in the country and this latest accolade brings us another step closer to that goal.”

Editor of The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants, Laurel Ives, said: “The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants judging panel is made up of some of the most experienced and knowledgeable people in the industry, from chefs and owners, to our own expert writers. They have picked out the very best establishments that the UK’s impressive culinary scene has to offer.”

Contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or visit


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