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SilverDoor Apartments have won the Corporate Housing Provider of the Year award for the second consecutive year at the EMEA Expatriate and Mobility Management Awards (EMMAs).  

Hosted on the 21st November in London at the InterContinental hotel at the O2, the awards ceremony followed on from the Global Mobility Summit and recognised success, best practice and outstanding contribution to global mobility.  

This year, the shortlist consisted of 11 corporate housing providers. This fantastic achievement rounds off a hugely positive year for SilverDoor Apartments who began 2019 by opening their first US office in Denver.  

Following the event, Head of Business Development at SilverDoor, Graeme Ferguson, said: “As global mobility specialists and relocation experts, there’s no better testament to the work we conduct than winning this prestigious award. Receiving the award for a second year in a row is a great tribute to the continued hard-work, commitment and dedication of our vastly experienced account management team.”  

With the year coming to an end, the company is already looking forward to celebrating further achievements in 2020.


Inntel has recently appointed Alison Proud as its’ new Head of Client Relationships.  Alison will lead the Inntel Account Management team and implement new consultative and strategic programmes to the team to help Inntel’s clients achieve their business objectives.

Alison has 30 years’ experience in the travel industry and has worked in operational, management and consulting roles for some major global travel management companies.

Alison said; “I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to work for a company who were passionate about their business and the people who worked for them.  Inntel absolutely ticked those boxes.  It’s been very evident to me in my initial weeks that Inntel clearly values the strong relationships that are necessary to deliver a first class service to clients.  There is a genuine feeling in the business of the passion everyone has for working here and for growing the business.”

Douglas O’Neill, Inntel CEO said; “I’m delighted to welcome Alison to Inntel.  Her knowledge of our industry and her client services experience will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset to our customers."





Companies Leveraging Best-in-Class Connectivity to Drive Ultimate Value for Business Travellers 

Cologne, 15 November 2019HRS, the leading Global Hotel Solutions end-to-end technology provider in business travel, announced the signing of new multi-year agreement with Accor. The new contract represents a milestone for HRS and the prominent global hotel group, as HRS leads the effort to create a new model for corporate accommodation. Under terms of the agreement, HRS’ growing roster of global corporate clients will make use of enhanced direct connect technology to access the most competitive rates and flexible terms from Accor properties across the spectrum of hotel categories.  

Business travellers who are members of Accor’s loyalty programs, Le Club AccorHotels (which will be enhanced by the end of the year under the new name of ALL- Accor Live Limitless) also see value from this deal, as they can gain points and rewards when booking via HRS corporate channels.

HRS now works with more than 3,000 multi-national companies - including one-third of the Fortune 500 global list - on hotel procurement, transient, group and meeting bookings and innovative payment solutions.

In April, Forbes Travel Guide presented Accor brands with 51 awards across its portfolio, focused on Accor’s four-and five-star properties in multiple countries. Accor, which has 4,900 hotels in 110 countries, is growing where business travel is on the rise: the brand has 1,153 new properties in its pipeline, 78 percent in emerging markets and more than half in the Asia/Pacific region.

“HRS has made tremendous strides in expanding its direct relationships with the multi-national and regional corporations Accor seeks to grow volume with,” said Markus Keller, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Accor. “Their data-driven mindset increasingly marries with our approach to working with corporations, and we’re confident that this newly-defined level of engagement with HRS will help drive valuable business travellers to our hotels around the world.”

“Accor’s focus on adding quality four- and five-star properties in emerging markets only accentuates their leadership status, particularly in Asia/Pacific, Africa, Europe and South America,” said Robert Hornman, Senior Vice President of HRS EMEA. “Beyond working more cohesively during the hotel sourcing process, we leverage our direct connect pipeline with Accor to drive more efficient sharing of Accor’s rates, amenities and corporate-friendly contract terms to managed travel programs and business travellers.”


Meeting planners are now able to book showrounds and events at Wyboston Lakes Resort 24/7 since the venue introduced an interactive ‘Drift’ chatbot.

The chatbot is instantly able, at the pace of the event booker, to capture sales enquiries, perform virtual show rounds, book physical show rounds and enable quotations to be produced quickly. It is VR compatible and can incorporate ancillary services and unusual requests.

Described as ‘conversational marketing technology’, the custom pre-programmed chatbot does much of the heavy lifting by using closed questions and multiple choice to reduce errors and keep conversations moving.

The chatbot is a major step forward from live chat functions, eliminating laborious contact forms and email enquiries that often don’t collect all relevant information in one go and enabling comprehensive quotations to be produced efficiently.

An innovative ‘hand-over’ feature allows sales teams to take over the conversation from the chatbot at any time, with all event details and requests displayed to the sales representative in real time.

Drift has the added advantage of being trackable via Google Analytics, presenting values of enquiries and target metrics. The bot also provides reassurance as it ensures GDPR compliance from the outset, while salesforce integration pushes data and conversations directly, allowing sales teams to be continuously kept up to date.

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing for Wyboston Lakes Resort, says, “This makes life so much easier for both the event booker and our team.

“The chatbot has been well received by planners and has already produced results that are exceeding our expectations. We originally thought the quotations would be for smaller meetings, but we’ve also received inbound enquiries for major events as well.”.

For more information, please visit


We are very excited to announce that Stratford Manor, our four-star spa hotel in Stratford-Upon-Avon, has appointed Matt Loughrey as its new Hotel Manager.

Matt brings over 14 years’ experience to the role, having previously worked for some of the UK’s most well-known hotel brands, including Hilton and Marriott. He started his career in catering roles, before becoming part of the pre-opening management team at Drayton Manor Hotel in Tamworth.

His most recent post was General Manager of The Genting Hotel, where he worked for four years, leading his team to win Best Hotel at the Midlands Food Drink and Hospitality Awards in 2018. This then contributed to Matt collecting the Young Achiever award at the 2018 Birmingham Awards.

Having previously worked at Stratford Manor as Front Office Manager between 2014 – 2015, Matt will use his existing knowledge of the hotel to guide a strong team who pride themselves on providing outstanding customer service.

Commenting on his appointment, Matt said: “I really enjoyed my time at Stratford Manor, the hotel is in a great location with first-class facilities and stunning grounds. Returning as Hotel Manager is a fantastic opportunity for me to continue to build the hotel’s high standard and reputation and lead it into 2020.

“Whether our guests are enjoying a staycation or hosting a meeting, I am committed to making sure that they continue to have an unforgettable experience at Stratford Manor.

“We pride ourselves on being the number one choice for hosting corporate events in the area, whatever the time of year. Our outdoor space offers a fantastic area for team building activities in the spring, whilst our events facilities provide Christmas parties to remember. I’m excited to get stuck in!”

In his capacity as Hotel Manager, Matt will be overseeing the hotel’s 22 acres of grounds equipped for outdoor team building activities, 104 spacious bedrooms, 13 flexible meeting rooms, award-winning Shakespeare Restaurant and modern health club and spa.

Stratford Manor is managed by Almarose Hotels & Resorts, which is responsible for the QHotels portfolio, as well as Delta by Marriott and Doubletree by Hilton properties.

Shaune Ayers, Divisional Director at Almarose Hotels & Resorts, added: “Matt’s extensive experience within the West Midlands hotel industry and prior knowledge of Stratford Manor makes him a fantastic addition to the team. The breadth of his previous roles within the industry means he has exactly what’s required to lead the team at the hotel.”


Twickenham Stadium will be introducing a specialist session, on the growth of esports within the events industry, this year at ibtm. Kieran Holmes-Darby, CEO Excel Esports, one of the leading UK teams in the world of esports, will be speaking on how brands can work best with esports companies and within the wider esports & gaming industries.

The international rugby stadium and home of England Rugby, has been taking the lead on the subject within the UK and developed a partnership with Excel Esports, who are now based at Twickenham Stadium. The venue is keen to support the industry to better engage with the global esports market and will be presenting Kieran’s address on day one of ibtm World.

“The global esports market went past $1bn dollars* last year and roughly 84% of it comes from brands and brand activations,” commented Kieran. “We work with a lot of brands at the moment, all of them looking to tap into this marketplace, some of them are brilliant, some of them not quite so. Through this session we’ll try and explain the sector a little better, and some of the ways brands can engage with it.”

“It’s no secret that esports is a massive industry and is already working closely with venues for live events and exhibitions. However, there is a long tail of business events that are also associated with it, and that is where we see the wider opportunity,” comments Nils Braude, managing director, Twickenham Stadium. “We asked Kieran to come along to ibtm World and share his own thoughts on how brands can make the most of this opportunity.”


HBAA Chair and Chairman of Absolute Corporate Events Angie Mason has been shortlisted as a Social Leader of the Year finalist at the 2nd English Women’s Awards.

The Social Leader of the Year category recognises industry pioneers who have introduced significant societal change through outstanding contributions and innovative initiatives in their respective sectors.

Commenting on her shortlist, Angie says: “It is a tremendous honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. The hospitality and events industry provides unique opportunities to create significant change in communities across the UK and I am passionate about using my wealth of industry knowledge to mentor and empower the next generation of female professionals”.

The English Women’s Awards 2019 celebrates female talent from the Midlands to the South, following the North ceremony held earlier this year. The event honours influential and hardworking women who are making a change across UK industries.

The Awards will take place in Birmingham’s Holiday Inn Airport (NEC) Hotel on Thursday 21 November 2019 and will acknowledge the achievements of women in different roles across diverse industry sectors, including hospitality and events, business, sport, tech, management and charity.

The Awards will provide women entrepreneurs, professionals, businesses, civil servants and sports stars with a platform to be celebrated for their success and contribution to society, while standing as inspirational role models for the next generation of girls set to smash the patriarchy.

Church House Westminster scooped the award for ‘Most Innovative and Tech-Friendly Venue’ at the 7th annual Event Technology Awards which took place on 6 November 2019.  

The prestigious event, which recognises leading event tech companies from all over the world, presented 32 awards during a ceremony held at Troxy, London. 

The award was judged on what technology the Westminster venue has integrated into its offering and how clients have benefited from the new technology. Testimonials from new and repeat clients demonstrated the successful installation of new event technologies in Church House Westminster and subsequent efficiency of the in-house audio-visual team in terms of exceeding client expectations.  

Collecting the award on the night, Bradley Hill, Audio-Visual Manager of Church House Westminster, said, “New lighting, a new encrypted microphone system and a new floating screen are just some of the recent modern facilities we have installed in the venue, with sympathetic consideration to the historic building. The in-house audio-visual team expertly anticipates client requirements and offers value-added solutions as we seek to deliver new ways of producing conference messages and interactive presentations to end users”.  

Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, commented, “We are delighted to have won this award. We have invested significantly in our event technology over the last five years, and effectively taken a historic venue and blended it with the latest technology. Our in-house audio-visual team really deserves this special acknowledgement for their ability to work so efficiently with our clients and dedicated Event Coordinators in creating extraordinary events”.   

 Co-founder of Event Technology Awards, Adam Parry, commented: “Each year we welcome back industry figures who return year after year and fresh faces who are either new to the industry or new to the Event Tech Awards. This night is always the highlight of the event calendar – so many people make their way to London to help celebrate the accomplishments of their peers”. 

The full list of winners can be found here -




5th November 19, UK: the eastside rooms will be introducing a specialist session on IBTM World’s Accelerate Stage this year as part of the venue’s international launch. The session, which addresses event sustainability will be presented by Connor Bryant, Founder of The Rubbish Project, an innovative new UK business that is bringing the circular economy to the events industry and beyond. From furniture 3D printed from plastic waste to a closed-loop drinks cup, The Rubbish Project is working to deliver exciting products that make true environmental sense.

The Rubbish Project, which currently works predominantly within the festival industry, has been working with the eastside rooms on their own sustainability initiatives, and the venue has been keen to share some of the organisation’s innovations with the wider business events industry.

“Some people think of recycling as something boring or low quality, but it doesn't have to be, we use a 3D printer the size of a shipping container to produce large pieces of furniture, art, etc all from recycled plastic,” commented Connor. “We work with the events industry to create exciting bespoke products made from their waste. It’s a great reward for attendees to know that the plastics they threw away last year are now being responsibly used for the next event.”

“We’re really excited by The Rubbish Project. They’re predominantly an innovation and product design company that have created something that is perfect for the events industry, and we’re really proud to be the company that brings it to the business events world,” commented Leanne Bladen, Director of Sales & Marketing, the eastside rooms.

the eastside rooms is presenting The Rubbish Project as part of its international launch at ibtm World. The venue, which will open its doors in spring 2020, is now taking bookings for meetings and events, and will be showcasing what is set to become one of the most exciting event spaces in Birmingham, UK




A: Connor Bryant, Founder, The Rubbish Project



Creative Communications agency, Top Banana, have just announced the recruitment of new Creative Director, Richard Twamley. Richard joins the agency from DRPG and brings with him 20 years of knowledge, experience and of course creativity.

Joining as a member of the leadership team, Richard will be responsible for driving the creative direction of the business forward in line with their current five-year strategy. Working closely with the creative team, his day to day role will be to maintain and evolve the output of the studio, as well as supporting the wider Top Banana team. 

When asked why Richard made the leap to Top Banana, he responded “For me, the opportunity to be somewhere that has an ethos and culture which matched my own personality and ambition was one I couldn’t refuse.”

He continues “My career started with planning experiential events and as a result I think regardless of the project I’m working on I bring a creative/practical approach to the table. It’s great to take some of the things I’ve learnt during my career into this role, but I’m also looking forward to new learning as well. I can’t wait to get started with some of the exciting client projects the team work on here.”

This announcement comes as part of a big recruitment drive for the growing agency, who have employed nine new team members in the last 6 months. Top Banana have welcomed new team members to their venues, incentives, events, creative and central services departments and now employee an impressive 58 employees across their three regional offices in London, Manchester and head office in the Midlands.

Richard Bridge, Founder and CEO of Top Banana comments “It’s a very exciting time for Top Banana and it’s been great to welcome so may new faces to the team, who all bring with them their own skills, experience and personality. When looking for new recruits, we don’t just look for people who know what we know and do what we do, we really look for people who can add something new and exciting to the business. Whether they’re experienced or new to the industry, they always bring a fresh perspective and new ideas, which we thrive on as a business.”

He continues “We’ve had a fantastic start to this financial year, with new client wins, new team members, a new office and not to mention winning some awesome awards. We’re in better shape than ever before and now have the team in place to continue delivering the work we are so well known for.”

Polly Stobinski

Marketing Communication Manager


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