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 Day one of The Meetings Show hailed a success

The Meetings Show has experienced a successful first day with thousands of visitors attending for a record number of appointments, to listen to insightful educational sessions and network with fellow meeting and event planners.

The show opened its doors on Wednesday 26 June at Olympia London to welcome more than 900 hosted buyers and thousands of visitors to meet with the show’s 750+ exhibitors.

After an evening of networking over cocktails and hi-tech mini golf at Puttshack for the Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening, the show kicked off with NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau hosting a press conference to announce the exciting new development due to open in 2023 – Gateshead Quays.

Alongside meetings and multiple networking opportunities, visitors on day one of the show attended hours of educational sessions as part of the show’s education programme, based around the planner journey.

The show’s opening keynote was delivered by Colin Maclachlan, a former SAS soldier and star of Channel Four’s reality drama SAS: Who Dares Wins, who shared SAS leadership secrets with attendees, while a host of educational sessions followed on subjects such as sustainability, technology, engagement, mental health and gamification.

More education, appointments and networking are set to take place on Thursday 27 June as the show opens its doors for what is expected to be an equally busy second and final day.

Following an opening keynote from pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller on oppression and liberation in the digital age at 9.50am, visitors can attend talks on subjects such as networking, the rise of festivalization and immersive events.

Some highlights include panel discussion ‘Do Men Have a Future in Events?’ With Martin Ellis of Team Umbrella at 12.30pm and ‘Turning Events into Experiences’ with John Hanlon of Giant itab at 2.10pm.

Visitors can also find out about the latest trends and developments in meetings and events technology from some of the leading technology suppliers at the Technology Tour at 11.10am and 2.10pm.

David Chapple, group event director, The Meetings Show, said: “We’ve had an amazing first day of The Meetings Show with a real buzz experienced across show floor as visitors and hosted buyers meet and catch up with our exhibitors to do business, attend networking events and listen to education sessions. Our second day, with its packed programme and pre-scheduled appointments is set to be just as busy and we look forward to welcoming more visitors through our doors.”

The final day of The Meetings Show takes place on Thursday 27 June at Olympia London. For more information and to register as a visitor, visit Join in the conversation and find out who else is attending by using the hashtag #MeetYouAtTheShow.

Corporate & Agency Representatives to Talk Food at The Meetings Show

-Make Venues to run focus group on food -

Make Venues Woodland Grange property will convene a focus group of senior event professionals, from across the corporate and agency markets, to understand the latest thinking around food at events. The meeting will take place at The Meetings Show later this week and will feature representatives from Barclays, The Association of MBA’s, The Live Group and Black Box Partnership. 

The initiative follows the venue’s group brand, Make Venues, recent launch of its ‘Make Food’ brand, and the increased emphasis by meeting and events professionals to reassess the role of food in events, and particularly its wider impacts on the environment. As part of the focus group session, the group will discuss the attitudes of delegates, the current trends, and how event organisers see these playing out for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. 

“Food has always been, and always will be, a critical part of any event. However, the recent food revolution is more about its place in wider society and how it plays out in front of an increasingly aware and responsible delegation,” comments David Vaughton, Managing Director, Make Venues. “This focus group is about hearing the opinions of event organisers, and to understand how much of these perceptions are being played out in reality on the floor of events.”

Last month Make Venues launched Make Food, with the company’s vision for a more modern food approach announced to customers of the venue group as well as the wider events industry.

Hilton London Heathrow Airport has strengthened its team with the appointment of a new Director of Operations.

The award-winning hotel at Terminal 4 – which was recently voted the best airport hotel in Europe for the fifth year running – has been joined by 32-year-old Chris Darch, who has years of experience in both commercial and operations within the hospitality industry.

He joins the hotel from Hilton London Kensington where he was commercial director for the past two years, having worked previously at Heathrow Airport with another hotel group.

“I’m very excited to join an already exceptional team,” said Chris, “It’s a highly successful hotel which has deservedly won a number of awards and I’m looking forward to helping maintain those standards.

“The hotel is number one when it comes to guest satisfaction scores and everyone is committed to very best customer experience.”

Chris is also determined to help grow the hotel’s strong offering for conferences, meetings and events.

“The corporate market is very competitive and we distinguish ourselves by the high level of services that we offer and this is why companies choose to come to the Hilton London Heathrow Airport,” he said.

Jurgen Sutherland, General Manager at the hotel said, “Chris’s experience and knowledge of the area will be a huge asset to us. He is the perfect fit for the hotel and we are all looking forward to working closely with him.”

Voted Europe’s Leading Airport Hotel for five consecutive years and the world’s Leading Airport hotel for two, Hilton London Heathrow Airport is superbly connected to Heathrow’s Terminal 4 via a short walkway and provides a relaxing retreat whether flying into or from London’s Heathrow Airport. To enroll in Hilton Honors and take advantage of great deals when booking direct visit:

Record exhibitor and appointment numbers reported ahead of The Meetings Show

Ahead of The Meetings Show opening its doors tomorrow (Wednesday 26 June), the show is reporting its best-ever exhibitor stand sales figures and the highest number of pre-scheduled appointments in its seven-year history.

The leading event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry has increased overall revenue by 20% year-on-year, with a major contribution coming from an 18% increase in international exhibitors.

At the core of the show’s offering is its hosted buyer programme, which allows pre-qualified buyers to plan appointments with the 750+ exhibitors at the show. This year, more than 12,1000 appointments have been made, which is an all-time record for the show.

The Meetings Show kicked off today (Tuesday 25 June) with the exclusive pre-show conference which was attended by 350 hosted buyers.

The half-day conference began with a keynote address from British economist, writer and public speaker Gerard Lyons.

Lyons’ speech, titled ‘The major economic and financial issues for the world and the UK – and what they mean’ – covered the world’s economic journey and looked at where growth would come from as well as economic threats and opportunities.

He said: “The global cake is getting bigger and becoming significantly different. We have also had a slowdown over the last year and it still remains to be seen how things will turn out, but hopefully trade disputes between China and the US will be solved.”

Following the keynote, the conference, held at the Olympia Conference Centre, divided into separate streams for associations, agencies and corporate event planners.

Discussions included:

  • Attract, Retain and Develop Talent with Sarah Wright of Event Industry Board Skills
  • Disruption Creates Innovation with James Graham of Stagestruck
  • GDPR – Implications of Brexit with Arvi Virdee of Smartec.
  • Breaking the Compliance Code with Andrew Moore, Caroline McKenzie, Mark Handforth.
  • What the Future Holds for Business Events with Giles Smith, deputy director for heritage, tourism and cultural diplomacy at the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Kerrin MacPhie of VisitBritain and Nigel Farminer, head of border security, visa and identity policy at the Home Office.

This was the second year the Pre-Show Conference took on this format and was deemed to yet again be a hit with the hosted buyers attending.

Hosted buyer Dominique Delaporte, president founder of French association Reformed aisbl, attended the pre-show conference for the first time.

She said: “David Chapple opened the pre-show conference with energy and set the agenda for the conference. It was really interesting to hear from Gerard Lyons about the global economic ’cake’ and attend other sessions relevant to my job, such as GDPR – Implications of Brexit.”

The Meetings Show takes place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June at Olympia London. For more information and to register as a visitor, visit Join in the conversation and find out who else is attending by using the hashtag #MeetYouAtTheShow.

Global meetings and events industry set to converge at The Meetings Show

Meeting and event professionals from around the world will be coming together for two days of inspiration, education and networking at The Meetings Show next week, which is preparing for its biggest show to date.

Taking place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June at Olympia London, The Meetings Show will bring together more than 4,500 industry professionals, including over 700 exhibitors and more than 900 hosted buyers already signed up.

Following the hugely successful launch of a new two-day format in 2018, this year the show has seen significant growth in mid to long-haul destinations exhibiting, its education programme has been revamped with exciting new formats for sessions, and for the first time the show is offering dedicated initiatives to support young and up-and-coming talent in the industry.

To help you plan your visit, here are some of the highlights of The Meetings Show 2019.

Pre-Show Conference

Focus on this year being a sell out. A sell-out success in 2018, the Pre-Show Conference returns on Tuesday 25 June to offer exclusive educational opportunities to attendees of the three-day Hosted Buyer programme. Held this year at the Olympia Conference Centre, the conference will be opened with a keynote from one of the UK’s leading economists, Gerard Lyons, then followed with dedicated streams for agency, corporate and association buyers.

Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception

Hosted buyers will be getting into the swing of networking at the Tuesday evening Hosted Buyer Welcome Reception, taking place at hi-tech mini-golf venue Puttshack. Attendees will be able to vie for their place on the leaderboard for the night, while catching up with industry friends old and new ahead of the main show opening on Wednesday 26.

Inspiring exhibitors

With more than 700 hotels, venues, destinations and suppliers to the industry in attendance, visitors will be able to find all the inspiration they need for planning their next event. Walking the show floor, you’ll notice an increased international presence – 18% greater year-on-year – thanks to a whole host of new exhibitors, as well as many familiar faces from last year returning with bigger and better displays. You can see the full list of exhibitors here.

Engaging education

This year The Meetings Show is shaking up its education programme with sessions including expertise from outside of the industry and insight shared in a variety of unusual formats, including a courtroom trial, a dramatic performance and a live teambuilding pitch exercise. The Technology Tour will offer speed meetings with innovative suppliers and campfire sessions will provide the chance to participate in small-group discussions to get to the bottom of any burning issues.

Tomorrow’s Talent

The Meetings Show is celebrating and championing the rising stars of the industry with its Tomorrow’s Talent initiative. Launched in December 2018, Tomorrow’s Talent has sought out the 10 brightest under 30s from event agencies, associations, venues and suppliers to the industry to offer a platform for furthering their careers. The 10 winners will be in attendance at the show, and meeting with fellow event professionals at the MPI Foundation Cocktails for Charity event at 5pm on Wednesday 26.

The Future of Meetings

Once again, The Meetings Show in partnership with the Meeting Design Institute has selected the five most promising start-ups in the meetings technology sector to be shortlisted for The Future of Meetings Award. All five nominees will be exhibiting on the MDI stand and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 26 at 16:30.

The Meetings Show takes place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June at Olympia London. For more information and to register as a visitor, visit Join in the conversation and find out who else is attending by using the hashtag #MeetYouAtTheShow.

·         Half of UK venues and agents have not prepared for ‘no-deal’

·         The influence of Brexit on business and recruitment has increased substantially


HBAA annual Brexit survey findings

Half (50.0 per cent) of hospitality and event venues and agencies have made little or no preparation for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, 15.6 per cent have done ‘something’ while 34.4 per cent have ’done as much as they can,’ according the 2019 HBAA Brexit survey.

Similarly, 29.0 per cent have prepared ‘as far as they can’ for a Customs Agreement or for Single Market membership, 16.2 per cent have completed ‘some’ preparation for this and 54.8 per cent have again ‘done little or nothing’.

Meanwhile, the HBAA’s third annual Brexit survey of its members also reports that the influence of Brexit on business and recruitment in the industry is increasing substantially.

‘The uncertainty has been difficult,’ is a confidential comment which typifies the views of many respondents on their approach both to preparing for potential outcomes and on how Brexit has impacted on their businesses.

Impact on business

When asked whether Brexit has had a noticeable impact on their business as a whole, only 15.6 per cent this year say it has had none. This is in marked contrast to a year ago when 57.7 per cent reported no impact and that had risen from 47.7 per cent in 2017. While the proportion saying that it has had a significant impact changed very little (6.2 per cent this year, 5.8 per cent last year), the other major change is that the group of those who have noticed a slight impact has grown substantially in the last 12 months from 36.5 per cent to 78.1 per cent.

While many are now noticing some effect, the results are a mixture of both positive and negative. Soon after the vote, some saw a benefit to business from the drop in the value of sterling. Now, there are also reports that the uncertainty has actually had a positive impact for some UK based venues as more businesses have opted to keep their events within the UK instead of going overseas. At the same time many noted that, because of the uncertainty, business was slow or went down in the months before 29 March, the original leaving date.

Major impact on recruitment

The growing impact on recruitment has been striking. 18.7 per cent now report that Brexit has had a major impact whereas 12 months ago that figure was just 9.6 per cent and in 2017, only 2.3 per cent of respondents held that view. Those saying that it has had no effect on recruitment have decreased to 62.5 per cent from 67.3 per cent a year ago and from 80.2 per cent in 2017.

Correspondingly, 19.3 per cent of members have now changed their recruitment policies since the decision to leave the EU, up from 13.7 per cent a year ago. 25 per cent expect to change their policy in the next two years, an increase from 19.2 per cent in 2018.

Angie Mason, HBAA Chair says; “Most organisations are trying to focus on ‘business as usual’ as it is virtually impossible to prepare for every eventuality while the uncertainty continues. But it is proving difficult.

“Whatever the outcome, the need for immediate and long-term action to address recruitment issues is clear. A key element of the solution is the Next Generation, encouraging them to join the industry and helping them to build satisfying careers in it. The HBAA’s current campaign to support the Next Generation is an important step in helping to resolve the impact that Brexit is having on staffing.”

For more information about the HBAA, please see                              

Hilton London Heathrow Airport is flying high after being named Europe’s leading airport hotel for the fifth year in a row.

The hotel, based at Terminal 4, was once again presented with the accolade at the World Travel Awards, which were held in Madeira earlier this week.

And the award confirms yet again that the Hilton London Heathrow Airport hotel is a prime location not only for travellers but also as a conference and events facility.

Jurgen Sutherland, General Manager, accepted the awards and praised his staff.

“This is an amazing achievement for all the team at the hotel,” he said.

“They do a great job and give excellent service. It’s a great accolade which shows that we continue to deliver outstanding service.”

The hotel has 398 bedrooms and suites, 15 meetings rooms and a large suite which can hold up to 350 people for drinks’ receptions, with a dedicated foyer area perfect for breakfasts or buffet lunches.

It also offers a range of leisure facilities including a gym, steam room, sauna and indoor pool and also has its own beach terrace which can be used by guests or hired independently.

As well as it being named as Europe’s Leading Airport for five consecutive years the hotel was also named world’s Leading Airport hotel twice. 

Hilton London Heathrow Airport is superbly connected to Heathrow’s Terminal 4 via a short walkway and provides a relaxing retreat whether flying into or from London’s Heathrow Airport. 

To enroll in Hilton Honors and take advantage of great deals when booking direct visit:

For most, 25th June signifies the summer season, however, this forward thinking hotel has clocked the date as exactly 6 months to Christmas day, and has put together a free fun filled evening to showcase their Christmas party offering for the 2019 festive season. They are extending an invitation to all HBAA agents and party bookers for the evening of 25th June, 6pm-8.30pm, and would love for you to join in the festivities of food, drink and entertainment on the evening.

Please RSVP to, or on 020 7368 4023 to register your attendance for this FREE event.

The stylish Holiday Inn London-Kensington High Street is situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in central London, located in a quiet spot of High Street Kensington, just a few minutes walk from the nearest tube station and within walking distance from Kensington Gardens, the Royal Albert Hall and the museum triangle (Natural History, Science and Victoria & Albert Museums).

Kensington High Street is lined with shops, while the famous Harrods store and designer boutiques of Knightsbridge are only a few bus stops away.

As one of Kensington's finest hidden gems, they are going all out this summer to encourage guests to partake in the summer sunshine. The Holiday Inn London-Kensington High Street have put together a Picnic in the Park initiative, that includes a prepacked picnic lunch in an eco-friendly hamper, at just £18.00 per person. It comes complete with a map of the local park hot spots, a picnic blanket, frisbee and the most delectable delights suitable for alfresco dining.

Additionally, they are taking summer networking to a whole new level with their summer party packages, encouraging guests to soak up the sun in their private garden, whilst enjoying garden games, summer cocktails and freshly prepared BBQ delights.

For this and other offers from the Holiday Inn London-Kensington High Street, please contact or please visit for more information on the hotel.

Independent country house hotel group, Hand Picked Hotels, has completed a £4.2m renovation of Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Worcester following its acquisition in 2017.

The refurbishment, designed to enhance the historic Grade II Listed venue’s position as a leading residential conference, meetings and events destination in the heart of the country, has resulted in a refreshed and contemporary events space, a brand-new restaurant on the ground floor and 15 additional bedrooms taking the total number to 70 rooms.

In stark contrast to its former traditional cast iron wall lights and dark tapestries, St Anne’s Hall - the venue’s premium function suite located in the old school house wing - has undergone a complete transformation to reveal a neutral and welcoming colour palette to complement its vast high ceiling and natural light.  Elegant wood panelling has been crafted to sit comfortably against a backdrop of restored original features which include original sash windows now benefiting from retractable blinds.   Mirrors replicating the feature windows have been sourced to add an additional feeling of space and light while new bespoke decorative prints and lighting, a new air conditioning system and an in-built projection and electronic screen add an upscale, practical finish. 

The development also involved reconfiguring space to reposition the restaurant on the ground floor and convert unused former nun’s quarters into stylish new bedrooms on the second floor.  The new restaurant, The Refectory Dining Room & Terrace is located in the abbey’s original dining hall and is a sumptuous yet modern restaurant retaining plenty of period detail including stone arched stained-glass windows and wood-panelled walls to offset a contemporary menu of modern British cuisine. 

Julia Hands, Hand Picked Hotels’ Chairman & CEO commented on the refurbishment: “We spent considerable time planning this redevelopment to ensure the venue’s rich heritage and character features were protected whilst making sure it became a more useable and relevant space for today’s business traveller and conference delegate.”

Gordon Burniston, General Manager at Stanbrook Abbey, added, “The all-new St Anne’s Hall complements a variety of event spaces at the venue and the vibrant new restaurant and stylish additional bedrooms now complete Stanbrook Abbey’s proposition as the venue of choice for unique day and residential conferences in Worcester, Malvern and the wider Midlands region.” 

For team building, conferences, breakout sessions and corporate dining, St Anne’s Hall can accommodate up to 120 delegates and offers direct access to the venue’s original library to one side, as well as a covered private patio and expansive lawn with fire pit to the other, making this an ideal self-contained multi-use venue.

Other spaces within the venue for conferences and events include the Garden Pavilion accommodating up to 400 guests, the East Room ideal for up to 60 guests and the Callow Great Hall - the building’s magnificent original chapel – which is a celebrated venue for corporate dining and drinks receptions. The hotel also offers an extensive cellar with games room, wine-tasting rooms and private dining spaces along with complimentary Wi-Fi and ample free parking.


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