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HBAA has created a Next Gen Board to shadow its Board and Executive Committee as the first implementation of its central theme for 2019 - supporting ‘the Next Generation’ of event professionals.

Olivia Woolley, National Account Manager at Hotel and Travel Solutions Ltd, Ryan Doyle, Sales Manager at the Park Regis Birmingham and Anthony Kwokori, Business Events Account Executive at the Barbican, took part in the recent HBAA Board and Executive Committee Meeting at the Radisson Blu East Midlands Airport.

The initiative is designed to provide young professionals with first-hand boardroom experience to help accelerate their careers and prepare them for future roles in the HBAA.

Describing her experience, Olivia Woolley said “I found the event to be very inspiring! This is a great opportunity to bring the next generation’s ideas to the HBAA, as well as a great opportunity to develop personally in my career and to help others of a similar age bracket. HBAA is a great association to be part of! I’m very excited about the next 8 months!”

Echoing Olivia’s comments, Ryan Doyle commented “As an industry, we struggle to attract and retain younger talent and being part of the HBAA Next Gen Board, I am committed to giving a voice to the younger generation and providing feedback how we see the industry moving forward”.

Ryan concluded “The committee meetings are a valuable time to examine association objectives for the next 12 months and to discuss how these aims will be achieved. I am keen to promote the industry as the exciting and diverse employment sector that it is.

HBAA Chair Angie Mason says “The Next Gen Board shadow programme represents the first of many initiatives that we are planning to inspire young professionals and to equip and support them with the skills to progress into leadership positions in the organisations they work in, as well as in the HBAA”.


For more information, please see



The four-star Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham City Centre has unveiled the first phase of a £750,000 renovation of its meeting and events spaces.

The investment marks the repositioning of the hotel’s conference facilities to become a standalone multi-purpose events venue.

To date, a total of 16 meeting rooms have undergone refurbishment to refresh the interiors and install the latest technology. Rooms have been fitted with 75” flat-screen LCD screens and state-of-the-art ClickShare connectivity. Designed to encourage collaboration, the technology allows delegates to connect their devices to the main presentation screen and share content at the click of a button.

The hotel’s largest function room, which can host over 500 guests, is also due for refurbishment, with work scheduled to commence later this year.

The modernisation of the hotel’s facilities comes in anticipation of a busy summer calendar of high-profile events, which includes the official launch of the first phase of refurbishment later this month. A further event is planned for September when the hotel’s largest function room – the 500-person capacity Horton Suite - is completed. 

Regarded as one of the city’s leading conference venues, the hotel was awarded the BDRC VenueVerdict Gold Standard Accreditation in 2018 for outstandingly high levels of customer satisfaction.

Tim Sparrow, General Manager of Macdonald Burlington Hotel, said: “Macdonald Burlington Hotel has developed a reputation for being one of the leading conference venues in the city.

“This renovation project represents a significant move to modernise our facilities and provide the best possible experience to our business guests. We are targeting becoming the number one multi-purpose events space in the city and believe by enhancing our offering we’ll be able to achieve this goal.”

The four-star Macdonald Burlington Hotel which is close to both Birmingham Airport and New Street train station combines Victorian splendour and stylish interior design.

For more information on Macdonald Burlington Hotel please visit



Robinson College has appointed Nicole Parker as its new Conference & Events Manager.

Nicole joins from the Museum of London, where she was events manager, and has held similar roles at Royal Museums in Greenwich and the RAF Museum. She has also worked as a lighting technician and has a degree in Classics from Royal Holloway, University of London. At Robinson she will oversee the conference team, including dealing with enquiries, ensuring clients get the best rooms to suit their needs, creating the events and running it on the day. This also includes residential conferences, summer schools and dinners.

Commenting on the appointment Alexis Moreau, Head of Conference and Catering Services at Robinson College, said: “We’re delighted that Nicole has joined us in this role. Her experience in museums, where it’s very much about creating fantastic client experiences, will be invaluable here at Robinson.”

Soniya Savant has also joined the team, as a maternity cover in the events sales coordinator role. She previously worked in sales for Waldorf Hotels.

Robinson College’s award-winning purpose built conference facilities have operated alongside the college’s academic side for more than 30 years. Facilities include an auditorium for 270, Umney Theatre for 120 and the new Crausaz Wordsworth Building offering cabaret or classroom style for 96 or 80 delegates. It also has a number of meeting rooms.

Robinson is one of the newest colleges in the University of Cambridge. It was founded with a donation by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir David Robinson and formally opened in 1981. It has 80 Fellows and around 400 undergraduate and 200 graduate students.



The Edinburgh Collection is pleased to announce that it has acquired the luxurious Princes Street Suites as of today’s date, bringing a touch of luxury to the eclectic accommodation group.

The Princes Street Suites is an award-winning aparthotel that won the 2019 Scottish Hotel Awards’ Family Hotel of the Year category in Edinburgh and the Lothians for the second year in a row. 

The 37 one, two and three bedroom apartments enjoy an unrivalled city centre location with a striking roof terrace commanding views of the city skyline and Edinburgh Castle.



Ricky Kapoor, Managing Director of The Edinburgh Collection said:
“Edinburgh is a robust market where we are long term investors with a good mix of corporate, leisure and event business.  The Edinburgh Collection is well placed to cater to this with each of our Edinburgh properties offering its own unique character, appealing to a different kind of customer.  The Princes Street Suites offers a luxurious edge to our portfolio and our team are looking forward to marketing it effectively from within our group.”

The Edinburgh Collection is passionate about keeping the same high standard of customer service at the Princes Street Suites which previously was managed by RBH. Princes Street Suites will retain existing staff and will bring in-house the outsourced housekeeping staff, with the 22-person team led by GM Alain Martzolff. 

By coming under The Edinburgh Collection group, Princes Street Suites will now benefit from collective local marketing expertise and group promotions with branding consistent with the rest of the group.

Whilst the suites were recently refurbished with fully equipped kitchens and spacious living areas, The Edinburgh Collection will substantially improve the walk-in and welcome experience by expanding the reception area with a 24-hour Bar & Coffee Lounge.  The apartments will be upgraded to include smart TV’s, USB charging points and provide a Handy Smartphone Companion in each apartment providing a complimentary guest amenity offering free unlimited data and calls with content such as destination guides and google maps. These additions are in keeping with The Edinburgh Collection’s drive to provide user friendly technology. This, combined with improved meeting room accommodation, is part of a move to attract local companies to use its facilities for day lets of the suites for meetings of 8 to 12 delegates, which will also be actively promoted. 

Sheetal Kapoor, Group CEO of The Edinburgh Collection also commented: 
“The acquisition of Princes Street Suites enhances The Edinburgh Collection’s portfolio in the city with a full range of accommodation options from the affordable business class Haymarket Hub Hotel; the historic Old Waverley; and the 4-star Holyrood apartHOTEL just off the city’s Royal Mile. The group now owns in excess of 440 bedrooms across Edinburgh, employing over 120 staff across the four properties. The group has seen positive growth in profit and turnover in the last financial year and with the acquisition of Princes Street Suites the group looks forward to continue this trend”. 



Her Majesty The Queen and The Duchess of Cambridge visited King’s College London to open Bush House in March 2019. The royal party were there to meet with staff and academics and to have a tour of the recently renovated Bush House (previously the home of the BBC World Service) which now features an auditorium, various tiered lecture theatres, meeting rooms and the stunning 8th floor event space with rooftop terraces. The Queen and the Duchess both remarked on the “impressive” view across London.

The visit ended in the new auditorium where the Queen, who is patron of the university, unveiled a plaque to formally open Bush House.

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