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Louise Goalen, HBAA Chair commented; "While we welcome many of the Chancellor's initiatives and the benefits they will bring to the UK hospitality and events industry, there is not enough to address the major talent gap we are facing."


"The changes in the apprenticeship levy are good news and we hope that venues and agencies whose levy has been reduced to 5% will take advantage of this, and take on more trainees under this scheme.” 


"UK business events will ultimately benefit from the £30 billion spend on roads and the freeze on fuel duty. However, when it comes to overseas events, a rise in long haul APD is definitely unwelcome, as this will impact the incentive market. On a more positive note, it's good to see a reduction in business rates for smaller companies as this will help reduce the overheads of some HBAA agency members."


"Let’s hope there is good news in the Chancellor's 'red books' - the important small print that goes with these headline statements."


Research carried out by The Meetings Show has found that learning about the meetings and events industry is one of the most important personal development focuses for event planners over the coming year.

The survey of almost 200 planners found that 18% would be prioritising learning about the industry, while the same percentage would be focusing on development specific to their own organisations.

Of those who planned to prioritise learning about the meetings and events industry, more than half specifically highlighted gaining more contacts and product knowledge among venues and destinations, as well as sourcing venues within specific geographic regions.

Other key areas mentioned by respondents for gaining more industry knowledge were finding out about new technology trends relevant to the industry, expanding supplier contacts, and discovering the latest innovations in events.

Learning new skills also emerged as an important area for development, with 16% of respondents citing this as their priority. This focus on developing new skills is reflected across all levels of seniority with participants with 10 years-experience still stating this as key for the coming year.

Marketing and social media was one of the most frequently mentioned areas that respondents felt they needed to learn more about or upskill in, with almost 10% of all participants in the survey including this in their answers.

Among the other skills event planners feel they need to improve upon were project management, networking, budget management, creativity, negotiation, and leadership and management.

David Chapple, group event director for The Meetings Show, said: “Meetings and events professionals have an incredible thirst for knowledge, so it’s no surprise that so many are keen to further their knowledge of the industry. Event attendees are always looking for something new and exciting, which is why being on top of the latest trends and knowing all about the hottest venues and destinations is vital.

“The results of this research will play an important role in our development of the education programme for The Meetings Show 2019, ensuring we cover the topics that are most important to our audience. When it comes to networking and gaining contacts within the industry, as well as learning about venues and destinations around the world, there’s no better place to find everything you need all under one roof, making The Meetings Show an invaluable resource for meetings and events planners.”

For more information about The Meetings Show, visit


Taking place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June 2019, The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc). Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals, it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education. The hosted buyer programme – the largest in the UK – attracts buyers from the corporate, association, agency and public sectors. The show features destinations from over 50 countries across 6 continents, venues, hotels and key providers of meetings products and services.

The Show includes:

  • The Exhibition: Featuring destinations, venues, hotels and suppliers, the exhibition sits at the heart of The Meetings Show.  
  • Education Programme: Planned by education experts from across the industry, the conference sessions work in harmony with the exhibition and more than 10,000 meetings taking place on the floor.
  • Networking: The Meetings Show offers an unrivalled networking opportunity for event venues, event buyers and suppliers.  For those looking to see more before and after the show, there will also be fam trips visiting key destinations around the UK and internationally.

The Meetings Show has an Advisory Board that meets several times a year both in person and virtually, bringing together their wealth of experience, ideas and strategic understanding of the meetings industry.


On Wednesday 24th October the events team from BMA House attended the unveiling of the 2018 Hire Space Awards at Museum of London which celebrated high achievers in the events industry within 15 categories as they were shortlisted as a finalist in the Forward-Thinking Venues category for ‘Greenest Venue’, as well as their top senior sales and events planner, Hannah Anderson, being nominated as ‘Unsung Hero’.

Up against strong competition from Lord’s Cricket Ground and ORTUS, they were lucky enough to win this prestigious ‘Greenest Venue’ award!

Rebecca Hurley, Venue Marketing Manager said: “We are one proud events team! Winning this award has made all our efforts seem worthwhile. Our venue places sustainability at the heart of everything we do and we’ll continue to support sustainable events and encourage our organisers and delegates to do the same. Furthermore, achieving a Gold accreditation in Green Tourism in 2017, one of just five venues in London was no mean feat for a Grade II listed building. This prestigious certification was awarded for our inspirational environmental ethos and excellent practices throughout the business, which in turn has led to us winning this award. But for now, we’ll continue to celebrate this great achievement!”

The Hire Space Awards celebrate the very best of the events industry by recognising and rewarding hard working, innovative and forward-thinking venues and event organisers from across the UK.


On Friday 19th October, Lime Venue Portfolio (LVP) celebrated an entire decade of success by hosting ‘Beyond’, a celebratory conference that looked at the future of the events industry and the world of business.


22 October 2018: We said ‘cheers to 10 years’ with Lime Venue Portfolio’s (LVP) celebratory conference at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. The Beyond conference focused on the future of the events industry.  Over the past decade LVP has made a significant contribution to the establishment of the unique and unusual venue market, and has established itself as a firm fixture in the UK events industry. Boasting a diverse portfolio of over 90 unique venues across the UK, LVP has built a legacy that continues to capitalise on industry trends, and to mark this momentous milestone, LVP wanted to share their achievements with the wider events industry.


Central to LVP’s ambition to retain their place as a key player within the events sector, the Beyond conference brought together both industry and non-industry leaders to discuss future trends and what “beyond” means to them. Featuring a host of thought provoking discussion panels, including ‘the millennial perspective on the future of conferences’, the day saw like-minded attendees come together to hear valuable insights from leading commentators; Holly Tucker - Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co., Jason Allan Scott - serial entrepreneur and creator of The Guestlist Podcast, Rue Barksfield - Big Bear X, Caleb Parker - Bold and the Future in 15, and Eleanor Clowes - Unicorn Events.


Keynote speaker Holly Tucker MBE, Co-founder of Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co shared her thoughts on looking ‘Beyond’. She said: “It's important that brands try to create an emotional connection with their audiences and truly listen to what it is they want. Whether that’s being mindful of the issues your audiences care about (sustainability) or engaging and communicating through social media. The future will inevitably be brands connecting on an emotional level, and those that don’t embrace this, will ultimately collapse.” When asked what she thought were the top three things a brand needs in order to ‘be successful’, Holly answered: “Create a personal connection, have a clear purpose with clear brand goals and stand out, be colourful!” 


The conversations throughout the day addressed the relevance for businesses and events alike to be looking beyond. Beyond being ‘beige’, beyond the hard sell and beyond traditional marketing, looking for ways to truly cater to the trends and needs of today’s changing audience. This theme resonated across all our delegates and discussions despite age, experience or industry background.


Jo Austin Director of Sales for Lime Venue Portfolio said: “The feedback we have received from the day has been absolutely fantastic. There was some really great information shared from all of our panellists, and I think the clear take away from it, is that looking beyond is about being different. We are really proud of everything we have achieved so far, not just as a brand but as an advocate for the venues market as a whole. The Beyond conference really cemented this for us and being able to share our legacy with so many amazing people was the icing on our birthday cake! Here’s to another 10 years.”


The team behind Barbican Business Events continues to expand to support its ongoing new business success. Jo Welfare has joined the team as sales administration manager following 15 years in other roles at the world leading conference and arts venue.

With extensive experience at the Barbican, including her most recent position as music administrator in the music department, Jo joins the Business Events team with a wealth of relevant knowledge.  She will be providing administrative support to the Business Events sales team as well as take up the position of Finance Chair for the London City Selection.

Jackie Boughton, Head of Business Events for the Barbican said: “We’re delighted by Joanne’s move to our team as we continue to see exciting growth for our offering in the year ahead.  Jo’s experience and abilities will ensure we maintain our current momentum and I look forward to seeing her develop in the role.”

Jo Welfare adds: “In particular I am looking forward to the new challenges this role offers, whilst delivering value to the Business Events team.  I see this as a real opportunity to grow and learn new skills whilst honing my already extensive knowledge of the venue. 

Further information about events at the Barbican can be found by contacting the Business Events Team: +44 (0)20 7382 7043 |

The recognition comes from the only meetings accreditation programme driven solely by the voice of the customer, with scores generated following event feedback from 40 or more meeting bookers and event hosts between October 2017 and September 2018.

The hotels which have achieved BVA BDRC Gold Standard Accreditations for Q3 2018 are:

Ashford International Hotel, Chesford Grange Hotel, Crowne Plaza London – Docklands, Crowne Plaza Reading, DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge Belfry, DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Westerwood Spa & Golf Resort, Dunston Hall, Holiday Inn London – Camden Lock, The Cheltenham Chase Hotel, The Oxford Belfry, The Queens and Telford Hotel & Golf Resort.

Rob Ledson, Group Director of Sales at RBH, said:

Our properties have consistently produced exceptional VenueVerdict scores over recent years, and 2018 to date has been no exception.

It goes without saying that we’re thrilled to see our teams’ hard work and commitment to providing first class service and facilities for meetings and events clients recognised. Our focus is to ensure these standards translate into excellent scores – and further accreditations – when full year results are revealed.”

BVA BDRC is the UK’s largest independent research consultancy and BVA BDRC VenueVerdict accreditations are based entirely on genuine, verified customer feedback, reflecting the cream of the nation’s meetings providers.


More than three quarters (80 per cent) of hospitality and events professionals want a transparent industry standard that is clear on service levels for Wi-Fi. Nearly all (90%). believe that the industry would benefit from standardised pricing for Wi-Fi that offers a fair market.

These are among the key findings of a survey of HBAA members and the events industry at large with the HBAA, working in partnership with and Crystal Interactive, on the evolving nature of event Wi-Fi and how venues can provide greater flexibility in service demands and transparency in pricing. The results were recently unveiled at the latest Future in 15 Show event, held at the Barbican in London.

Typical pain points for meeting planners include slow Wi-Fi speeds for basic tasks (65%), lack of coverage in key event areas (63%) and bandwidth issues when delegated collectively try and connect at the same time (59%). 

Over half (53%), would be willing to pay for dedicated speed for an event, with 66% separately paying for a dedicated Wi-Fi name and password in the past 12 months. 

88% of responses wish to see free delegate Wi-Fi included as part of the conference package.

The most common way to research Wi-Fi availability at a venue was either through venues making suitable recommendations based on the total number of delegates (61%), or with an event organiser enquiring (44%).

Delegates being able to check emails was the commonly listed use for Wi-Fi at events, with over 80% saying it was the main reason. Real-time audience interaction via an app placed second with 74%, while allowing event teams to check emails and content for the show with

The survey results prompted a lively debate amongst the audience. Addressing the issue of reduced service speeds when overwhelmed, one participant suggested throttling the bandwidth to limit online access. However, all agreed that this approached needs to be communicated in advance to the event planner as early as possible.

Proving a unique perspective, one audience member declared that he prefers to use 4G encrypted mobile data only to prevent any potential intrusions. He then advised that venues which offer Wi-Fi should have a series of protocols firmly implemented to prevent data breaches. These should include bulletproof firewalls, continual infrastructure remapping as well an in-house specialist to rapidly handle security breaches, combined with external 24/7 troubleshooting processes.

Summing up the results, Adam Parry, Editor of says ‘Wi-Fi is here to stay, the first thing we try to do when arriving at a venue is to log on to the internet. This is now clearly reflected in business decisions, with event organisers refusing to book a venue if the Wi-Fi is not first class.”

“Unfortunately, there still remains a disparity between expectation and standard. Agents and venues are all in agreement that there needs to be a global industry standard on pricing and servicing. Included should be buyer transparency regarding their service requirements and transparency with venues regarding their technology capabilities. Tonight marks the start of the conversation.”

Caleb Parker, Tech and Innovation Chair at HBAA and Host of The Future in 15 Show commented “This is just the beginning of an important industry-wide discussion. Wi-Fi is like oxygen to event participants but providing the right level of service at the right price isn’t a simple one-size fits all solution. I hope this spurs our industry’s experts to share their thoughts in a public forum either online or at future events like this one. We’ll continue the discussion on 7 November at Event Tech Live.”

To watch the Future in 15 Show interview on the future of event Wi-Fi please see

For more information, please visit or to register to attend Event Tech Live visit

Steve Jones has succeeded Mark Jones (no relation) as Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Limited following Mark’s promotion to Deputy Chairman.

25 years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry has equipped Steve Jones well to take charge of one of the largest privately-owned venues of its kind in Northern Europe. Wyboston Lakes Resort is located between Milton Keynes and Cambridge, set in a 380 acre rural site which boasts over 400 bedrooms, more than 70 meeting rooms, a full spa, 18 hole golf course, health & leisure club, team building & activity centre and over 60,000sqft of service office space.

Beginning his career as a trainee manager with Four Pillars Hotels, by his early 20s Steve had been promoted to General Manager, managing properties for Corus & Regal Hotels. After rejoining Four Pillars Hotels, he held several positions including general manager and regional director as well as holding a seat on the company’s internal board and overseeing food and beverage operations and guest relations across the group’s portfolio. During this time Steve simultaneously owned and operated his own property and limited company.

When Four Pillars Hotels was acquired by Starwood Capital along with several other brands, in 2014 he was asked to oversee the Beaumont Estate, a 400-bedroom resort with 75 meeting rooms. Steve joined Wyboston Lakes Resort as Operations Director in 2015.

Steve Jones says “This role is a dream opportunity for a hotelier. Following major refurbishments in the hotel and the £3m investment in transforming our conferences and events facilities, the future here is exciting and I cannot wait to get started on leading the resort and its staff through its next chapter”.

In his new role as Deputy Chairman, Mark Jones will be responsible for identifying opportunities and progressing the development of the company’s land both on and off the resort.

For more information, please visit

Leaders, the premium global conference and publishing organisation in sport, has today announced it will move its flagship Summit for 2019 to Twickenham Stadium, London, Home of England Rugby.

The annual Leaders Sport Business Summit, which has been held at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge since 2007, is relocating to accommodate the growth in numbers of attendees and partners.

The announcement was made as the 2018 Leaders’ Sports Business summit draws to a close. This year’s event saw over 100 speakers take to the stage, including Claire Cronin, Chief Marketing Officer of Virgin Atlantic, Alex Green, Amazon Prime Video’s European Managing Director, Sports and Channels, and Peter Hutton, Director, Global Live Sports of Partnerships and Programming at Facebook.

Now the focal point of Leaders Week, the Business Summit has become the industry’s must attend event, bringing together the biggest international speakers and content in sports today. The summit now attracts over 2000 sport business executives from over 50 countries around the world and the change of venue to Twickenham is needed as the event continues to grow.

“Over the last 11 years and we’ve seen the Leaders Business Summit grow from 600 attendees to now over 2000.” Said Leaders Founder and CEO, James Worrall. “The move to Twickenham is a must as we look to expand our footprint further and keep up with demand. The relocation will give us the opportunity to take the Summit to the next level and allow us to continue to attract the biggest and best names in the sport’s business, providing the essential platform to inform, inspire and bring together the wider industry.” 

“This is an outstanding event which brings together some of the biggest personalities and brands in global sport, and we’re delighted to have them here at Twickenham Stadium,” commented Nils Braude, Catering and Conference & Events Director, Twickenham Stadium. “When the event arrives, we will have launched our new East Stand facility, which will already be changing the face of sports hospitality, Leaders will be a great event to showcase a new look to the staudium.”

Best Western Great Britain has announced the addition of The Best Western Thurrock Hotel to its growing portfolio of over 250 independent hotels. Ideally located next to the M25, with easy access to the nearby towns of Thurrock, Grays and Dartford, the hotel is perfect for leisure and business travelers alike.

With 60 comfortable, recently-refurbished en-suite bedrooms, the property is a great base for those looking to explore London, with the capital less than an hour away. The south coast hotspots of Dover and Folkestone are also within easy reach for day trips, while the hotel is just minutes away from other local attractions, like the Lakeside Shopping Centre.

The venue is well equipped to host large-scale events and regularly runs exciting themed dinners, such as murder mystery nights and ‘Only Fools and Horses’-inspired evenings. Its two function suites can host up to 130 guests for weddings, while the eight conference and meeting rooms can accommodate up to 200 delegates.

Upon joining the Best Western Great Britain brand, the Best Western Thurrock Hotel has access to a range of tools and expertise to support in driving tourism to the local area.

Daniel Beachem, General Manager at The Best Western Thurrock Hotel, commented: “We’re extremely proud to join the Best Western family and take our property to the next level. Looking ahead to the future, we are confident that with the help of Best Western that we can share the success of a global brand that is committed to supporting its properties and maintaining excellent customer service, whilst maintaining our individuality and demonstrating what makes us unique, something we can’t wait to showcase to our guests.”

Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, added: “We’re delighted to welcome The Best Western Thurrock Hotel to our brilliantly different collection of independently owned properties. Best Western members are investing for the future and changing for the better, allowing us to deliver more to our guests. We look forward to working in partnership with the team at the hotel to showcase and celebrate their hotel both locally and globally."

Best Western Great Britain’s members have invested over £210m since 2015 improving properties and guest experiences.

To find out more about The Best Western Thurrock Hotel, or to book a room, visit:


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